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The Tin house works

Synopsis

The Works is the title given to the media village and wider cultural hub proposed for the Castle Works brownfield area in Llanelli. We’ve been commissioned to assess the site and create a proposition for the public sector buildings that will extend across the northern half of the site.


The Brief

The Old Castle Iron and Tinplate Company Limited was formed in 1866. The works were erected on a site called Pen Castell which the company derived its name. In 1947, the works were acquired by The Steel Company of Wales Ltd until they fell into disrepair.

Only one building was retained when the site was cleared in 2006. The Tinning House is a Grade II listed structure on a brownfield site of approximately 7.5 acres. It already has planning consent for commercial, leisure, food and drink uses, including a cinema, bowling alley, and a theatre for the arts.

The Works has the function to be a regional creative and cultural campus for communities across the area. With two main facilities based around a theatre complex, the space could accommodate an auditoria for workshops, studios and community groups while acting as a base for Coleg Sir Gar creative studies courses. A mid scale theatre would fill a regional gap in theatre size provisions and fit into the Welsh Theatre Circuit.

The Tinning Shed at the heart of the old Castle Works could be restored as a theatre restaurant and craft gallery, interpretation and skills appreciation areas.

With its location in Llanelli, a facility would be within easy reach of 600,000 people living within a 45 minute drive of the site.

The initial planning we’ve performed shows the huge potential for the site to create real cultural change for Llanelli.

The Tinning House, as the only remaining building from the Old Castle Works, needs to be comfortably incorporated into the scheme both physically and visually. As we refurbish the site, the likely uses for building are as support spaces to the new complex, including: a cafeteria, a gallery, a heritage area and community offices.

Treatment of this structure would be contemporary, but understanding of the site’s heritage. Once the proposals have been finalised, a full historic buildings and impact assessment will be provided to supplement any design and access statements.

The design concept currently being developed is for a grouping of buildings between the Tinning House and a footpath, running along the principal road, set below and around a unifying roof structure. This will provide a covered external area that could be used for organised or impromptu events.

While the project is being developed, we’re also looking at further opportunities for the site. As the railway line to the west cuts off the new developments being built on the waterfront, it would be possible to build a new bridge over the line and even create a new station to serve this site and the waterfront.

Despite being outside the scope of this project, it shouldn’t be ignored and indeed the opportunities for increased pedestrian flow through the site would be tremendous.

I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to comment on the contribution made by Lawray Architects to the recently completed Combined Services Centre in Llandrindod Wells. As lead consultants on a project with three separate stakeholders, their role was always going to be challenging. I was however, very impressed by the professional manner in which they succeeded not only in delivering a quality final product, but also in balancing with skill and patience the competing demands of their three ‘clients ’throughout both the planning and construction phases of the project. From a Dyfed Powys Police perspective, we were very satisfied with the design solutions offered and the ensuing facilities have received complimentary comments from the occupants

Perry Simpson. Capital Projects Manager

Dyfed Powys Police