An entrepreneur has been given the go-ahead to breathe new life into a dilapidated building, which was once a warehouse, in Llanelli town centre. Jonathan Swift owns the building in Bridge Street and is going to turn it into a tavern-style venue.
“It is basically a square box,” he said. Mr Swift has researched the building going as far back as 1730. He plans to name the new food and drink business The Margraves in recognition of Margrave Brothers wine merchants which once traded from the building. He said it used to be a warehouse.
“I love buying derelict buildings, doing them up, and turning them into something,” he said. “We want to do a proper job. It will be a big investment definitely.”
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The building is in Llanelli Conservation Area and comprises three terraced retail units which have been empty for years. Nearby is grade one-listed Llanelly House, which has been restored, and other listed buildings such as St Elli Church.
The tavern will feature a small rear extension, be open during the day and evening, and is expected to generate jobs and help increase footfall in the town. Carmarthenshire Council’s planning department approved the application subject to a number of conditions including that traditional iron handrails must be used for the balcony and stairs.
Among those commenting on the plans was Llanelli and District Civic Society, which said it was pleased that the refurbishment of a “very dilapidated building” had been proposed. The society did, however, suggest a number of amendments.
The council’s built heritage officer said he was very supportive of the application and made recommendations including that window materials, doors, and drainpipes were a traditional type, not UPVC, and that a chimney be retained. Mr Swift also owns heavy lifting company Craine Aid, and The Stag pub, Five Roads.
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