First Minister Carwyn Jones has officially opened the revamped Tramshed in Pendyris Street, 18 months after work began.
There are still a few finishing touches left – the second restaurant with gallery, the 40-seat cinema and the dance/yoga studio and community room are still to open their doors.
Although there were still workers finishing off parts of the building, Tramshed Tech – which is offering a business hub for creatives and digital and tech businesses is up and running. The space was at one time destined to be a Sainsbury “local” store but, thankfully, that option was not realised. Tramshed Tech will be the home to some small enterprises, who can build relationships with others in related fields; while the facilities are available to rent by the day, week or month for those wanting to “plug in” for short periods.
Mr Jones toured the building before telling guests that the building offered the chance to “work, rest and play” all under one roof. He was referring to the concept of “live-work” units – the 30 studio apartments which were sold off to a Hong Kong property company in one lot but are being sold and marketed with creative types in mind. The First Minister paid tribute to the “sympathetic” restoriation of the 1902 building and was familiar with work done by the developers on the Barry pumphouse project.
He added: “It’s a great example of a building which 20 or 30 years ago would probably have been torn down but has been restored sympathetically as a place to live, to work in, and for entertainment.”
Councillor Ashley Govier, who has been a champion of the project, said it had been complicated at times but worth the “hard work.” He had been pleased with the reception from the local community since the first phase opened last October.
“It’s a fantastic asset for the area and it was done with no public money being spent,” he said.
Developer Simon Baston, of DS Properties, praised the partnership from Welsh Government and Cardiff Council in supporting the project and said a “iconic” building had been restored in Cardiff’s ever-growing landscape.
Council leader Phil Bale said the Tramshed venue, which opened last October, was already having an impact in the city.
Indeed, the versatile, mostly music venue has been well received by south Wales gig-goers, with the good organisation and friendly security staff adding to experience. The Waiting Room cafe-bar next door has also settled down and become a popular alternative for burgers, beers or cocktails.