New role for art deco historic building

An art deco building in the middle of a Mid Wales town is set to have a new lease of life.

The history, Automobile Palce in Llandrindod Wells has been bought by Powys County Council which is planning to develop it as a business centre.

A striking feature in the centre of the town, the Grade II* listed building was built in the early 1900’s thanks to Wales’ earliest motoring pioneers Mr Tom Norton. Norton introduced aviation to Mid Wales and the building housed the first Ford and Austin agencies in Wales.

The building closed as a garage in the early 1990’s before being converted to business units. Over recent years however the number of tenants has dwindled, and the building has fallen into decline.

Funding has now been secured by Powys County Council from the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Programme to acquire and refurbish the Automobile Palace which is of national heritage importance.

"The Council plans to sensitively refurbish this building and develop it as a business centre to support the regeneration of the town and local economy," Councillor Iain MacIntosh, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning & Economic Regeneration said.

“The project will aim to revitalise this important heritage asset and support new enterprise. Investing in the built environment is vital to support the viability of town centres and Covid recovery.”

The Portfolio Holder for Education and Property Councillor Phyl Davies, voiced his support for the purchase, adding: “Expressions of interest are now invited by businesses which may wish to be based within this building once the refurbishment works are completed. It is anticipated at this stage that existing tenants are likely to wish to remain. All expressions of interest should be submitted to the Commercial Property Team at Powys County Council.”

The Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said: “The regeneration of The Automobile Palace in Llandrindod Wells is an excellent example of how we are supporting the future of Welsh towns through our Transforming Towns programme. This project will not only boost sustainability and footfall in the town but will support economic growth by creating business opportunities in a refurbished, iconic building in the town centre.”

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