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Swansea's empty Albert Hall celebrates 150 anniversary

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 16, 2014

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TODAY it stands forlorn, but Swansea's Albert Hall celebrates a landmark anniversary this weekend.

The building on Craddock Street opened its doors for the first time 150 years ago on Sunday as a music hall, evolving years later into a cinema.

But it has remained closed since its last business, as a bingo hall, left the property in 2007, and metal fencing now stands around much of its outside for safety reasons.

Two years ago, a campaign to safeguard the hall was launched, and attracted support from all over the world.

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Campaigner Ian Howells, originally from Penclawdd, said: "The anniversary makes it even more poignant that it has yet again been left to fall into a very bad state of repair.

"So many rumours have gone around of late about its future but nothing seems to have changed in the long seven years since it closed.

"It is sad to see the building is now a danger to the passing public and is surrounded by fencing.

"Recently part of a window covering on the front has fallen off only to reveal the building's original Victorian window frames behind, just a little more proof that behind that fencing sits one of the UK's oldest and grandest Victorian music halls."

Swansea's University of Wales Trinity St David and Swansea Council have confirmed they are still working towards bringing the privately- owned building back into use. It had been earmarked for a major transformation had Swansea Bay won the bid to be UK City of Culture 2017.

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  • Gowerview  |  May 16 2014, 9:02PM

    Some answers the good citizens of Swansea are entitled to :- The planning framework for Swansea advocates a huge retail led regeneration . This has a site cleared - it's the Oldway House and former St David's centre. House of Fraser could be the anchor tenant. It should comprise a modern food/retail/visitor attraction ie a concert venue. The plans have suggested this for 15 years or more. 1.Why is there no (repeat NO )development partner for this site ? 2. What did Hammersons ever do for Swansea' sregeneration. 3. What are the current regeneration office reporting into Jack Straw and David Phillips doing about it ? 4. Can Kevin Johns and Mal Pope (people who care ) start a campaign to kickstart a landmark regeneration of the city centre? 5. Who , under the freedom of information act , passed the plans for the Boulevard. The leader admits it's a gross waste of public money. Someone is hell bent on turning business and visitors and investment away from Swansea. 6. Why isn't Carwyn Jones and his assembly addressing the chronic economic situation of the city centre ? It appears he's happy pandering to the Cardiff chamber of trade and Roger Lewis with the following looking top of his agenda :- billion pound investment in metro rail links into Cardiff, huge billion pound project of Newport to Cardiff M4 relief road , Cardiff airport improvement, Sofia gardens test matches and fixtures at Millenium , film studios and media centres in Cardiff Bay 7. Are Mike Hedges, Julie James and Edwina Hart ,our AM;'s doing enough for the bigger picture in Swansea ? The city needs to come into the 21st Century. Who is going to open the city for business and ensure a quality developer gets signed up with County Hall and the Assembly for an immediate start on Oldway House/St Davids /Quadrant.