THE future of an iconic Aberystwyth seafront building has been left uncertain after plans for a hotel and spa were abandoned and a replacement plan for apartments was withdrawn by the owners.
Cambrian News reported “Swyddfa’r Sir, the former Ceredigion Council offices and magistrates court, has been left empty since the court moved in 2012 following the council vacating the building.
But there was hope that the prominent building would be brought back into use when developers Hawkestone Limited bought the property and won planning permission for a major renovation that would have seen the building converted into a 31-bed hotel and spa, along with 20 flats and 19 studio apartments.
However, with no progress on that development, Hawkestone Limited lodged an application that would have seen the ground and first floor of the building, which was earmarked for the hotel and spa, instead turned into apartments.
But that application has since been withdrawn on 21 December because of problems with European Regional development funding.
Documents submitted with the application for the change of use of the ground and first floor said the hotel and spa proposal had been dashed as funding could not be secured to pay for the necessary renovation work.
They say: “Finance was to be underpinned through an application for European Regional development funding submitted in spring 2015 (for which the project appeared to be a strong candidate).
“However, by spring 2017 it became evident that this grant, amounting to around 40 per cent of the hotel and spa build cost, would not be forthcoming.
“Moreover, private funding provisionally secured for the 28 apartments granted consent for the upper floors under the same planning application was also jeopardised whilst uncertainty remained about the use and occupancy of the lower floors.
“This included having the lower floors lying potentially empty whilst other sources of funding were sought” here.