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News in brief: County Hall, Porter's, leisure centre

County Hall could be refurbished or replaced by a smaller council office building, as Cardiff Council considers its long-term options for its use of office space.

The council's cabinet will also consider proposals for City Hall to receive a multi-million-pound investment to address its maintenance needs.

The proposals are in a report into the council's options for office use, aiming to reduce space, save money, and cut its environmental impact.

The cabinet will consider the report's recommendations on Thursday 22 June, and you can watch on a webcast on the day here.

Before then, the policy review and performance committee will scrutinise the report on Tuesday, June 20. A recording of that meeting will be available here.

You can read the full report here.

◼️ The future of popular independent Cardiff bar and music venue Porter's, which also hosts pub theatre The Other Room, has been secured, with a 20-year lease for a bigger venue, spread across three floors, at the top end of Barrack Lane.

Expected to open in the autumn after extensive renovation, the new venue aims to maintain the character and ethos of the original Porter's - but in the words of owner Dan Porter, "do it better."

News broke in March 2021 that the venue would have to leave its current home in Harlech Court, as the landlord had plans to develop the site.

Dan approached Cardiff Council to see how they might help. "They've been fantastic, I really can't fault them at all, they've been very generous with their time, helping us identify potential venues, facilitate conversations and broker meetings, being there for advice".

Dan says he's keen to use the larger space to "increase, diversify and enhance our cultural offering, not just to audiences, but also to makers of art, music, and theatre."

◼️ Cardiff's Pentwyn Leisure Centre is set for an upgrade.

Under proposals by Cardiff Council, the centre would get:

A new 20m x 8m pool, heated by a ground source heat pump.
A new cafeteria.
A new fitness gym on the ground floor.
A new full-sized 3G pitch and mini pitch.
A refurbished family-changing facility.
A new hall and external space which could be leased to a third partner - potentially to create an area for padel tennis on site.
Roof mounted solar panels. 

The council's cabinet will consider the proposals in a report on Thursday 22 June. If agreed, it is expected work could start by the autumn, with some works, including pitches, the fitness centre and changing rooms, completed in early 2024.

The proposals will be scrutinised by the economy and culture scrutiny committee on Tuesday 20 June.

They will then go to cabinet for approval on Thursday, when you can watch a live stream of the meeting (see above).

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