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Plans approved for open-air courtyard at Cardiff’s historic Castle Quarter

Cardiff High Street Arcade Aerial

Plans have been approved for a new open-air courtyard in the heart of Cardiff’s historic Castle Quarter.

Work will start this summer to demolish a former nightclub which sits in the space behind High Street and Duke Street Arcades. In its place, eight new spaces designed for independent hospitality businesses will be created around a central open courtyard.

Adding to the feel of a ‘hidden’ courtyard, a new entrance will be created through an existing passageway off High Street Arcade.

A new balcony will run around the courtyard at first floor level, opening up previously unused spaces above shops and uncovering and enhancing more of the Grade II Listed Arcade’s original features.

Designed with independent food and drink businesses in mind, the new Castle Quarter Courtyard spaces are set to attract some of the best known names in hospitality, boosting Cardiff’s growing reputation as a food city.

Phillip Morris, partner at EJ Hales leads the development team. He said:

“We are delighted that Cardiff Council has embraced the opportunity to create these new spaces which will be designed from the ground up to suit the needs of independent food and drink operators.

“We’ve seen how successful bar and restaurant developments have been in bringing new life to High Street and the wider Castle Quarter. City centres are changing and as more people work from home and shop online, we need to give them more and better reasons to visit – showcasing the unique experiences that independent hospitality and retail businesses can offer. Regeneration schemes like this are a perfect example of what the future of our city centres should look like.

“Interest in these units has already been strong and we’re talking to some of the best-known independent operators in the country – we’re excited about the opportunities, investment and new talent that this is going to bring into the capital’s food scene,” he said.

Planning approval has been granted and demolition works will begin in August 2021. Eight new units will be available ranging from 500 sq ft up to 10,000 sq ft.