WORK is underway on a £3.7million investment to convert Llanelli’s iconic Buckley’s Brewery to high quality living accommodation.
Carmarthenshire County Council has worked with the building’s owners, Pobl Group, to secure £2.3million grant funding to transform the listed derelict building into 21 apartments.
The development will also include significant public space improvements – a comprehensive landscaping scheme on the north bank of the River Lliedi will greatly enhance the setting of the brewery buildings, whilst an attractive riverside walkway will also provide a pedestrian and cycle route that links up with the wider network in the area.
The council’s housing and regeneration teams worked together to secure the funding, which will come from the Welsh Government’s Social Housing Grant and Vibrant and Viable Places fund, as well as finance from CADW and £1.4m of private funding from Pobl Group.
Constructed between 1850 and 1855, the Grade II Listed buildings provided the malted barley for the brewing process until the brewery’s closure in 1998.
The redevelopment of the site fits in with the council’s wider regeneration plans for Llanelli Town Centre.
Planning permission for the residential scheme was approved in March, and Contractors TRJ Ltd have already moved on to the site to begin preliminary works.
Jonathan Hughes, Director of Development (West) explained more about Pobl’s plans for the development: “As an important legacy of Llanelli’s industrial heritage, the Malthouse and especially the Barley Kiln, are architectural icons and we are proud to be working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council to secure their future, giving them a new lease of life so that the people of Llanelli can enjoy them for generations to come.
“Our conversion will be extremely sensitive and sympathetic, in line with the building’s original and traditional form of construction. We’re exposing as much of the original structure as possible, for example, existing cast iron columns and beams will become features within the new apartments. While externally, blocked up windows will be re-opened and render will be removed to reveal original stonework.”
Cllr Linda Evans, Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for housing, added: “Our officers worked hard to secure this funding to support and enable our partners Pobl Group to create quality, affordable, living accommodation in the centre of Llanelli.
“As a council we are working innovatively to increase the number of affordable homes in Carmarthenshire and this scheme fits so well with what we’re aiming to achieve.”
Speaking about the wider regeneration of Llanelli, council leader and member for regeneration, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “This iconic building stands tall and proud in the heart of Llanelli, and despite its significant historical past it has been empty for a number of years. It’s fantastic to see new life being breathed back into the building which is within view of many of Llanelli’s other significant buildings such as Y Ffwrnes, Llanelly House and Llanelli Library.
“It’s great news and a credit to all those who have supported Pobl Group to make it happen.”