Practice unpacks £18m proposals to give Art Deco landmark a new lease of life

Heritage specialist Purcell’s proposals to restore, refurbish and extend a South Wales seaside pavilion are set to progress after the project was awarded £18m in government funding.

The practice’s plans for the grade II-listed Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl are among 11 projects in Wales that won the backing of ministers for support from the second round of Levelling Up Fund cash.

The Art Deco Grand Pavilion was completed in 1932 and features a striking three-storey octagonal domed theatre and two single-storey loggias fanning out from the dome. It was one of the first Ferrocrete buildings in the country, however 90 years of seafront weather at the resort have taken their toll on the structure.

Purcell’s scheme for the building will restore its existing façade and roofs, as well as refurbish its auditorium and back-of-house spaces.

An extension to the rear of the building will provide a new studio theatre and gallery space, whilst glass fronted additions on top of the existing loggias will provide a new café with views across the bay.

Porthcawl Grand Pavilion_existing

The grade II Grand Pavilion at Porthcawl

A swooping canopied roof referencing the Art Deco styling of the original building will form a shaded veranda for the new café.

Purcell associate David Burne said the firm had supported Bridgend County Borough Council and Awen Cultural Trust to develop their proposals for the building and was “delighted” that the Levelling Up Fund bid had been successful.

“We look forward to bringing this significant project to fruition, for the benefit of the local community and visitors to Porthcawl,” he said.

Porthcawl Grand Pavilion_Perspective Section

Purcell’s plans for the grade II Grand Pavilion at Porthcawl