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Contractor appointed to transform Palace Theatre building

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Swansea Council has appointed experienced South Wales-based contractor, R&M Williams Ltd to transform the city centre’s historic Palace Theatre building.

The construction company have a track record of working with heritage buildings, including £4m refurbishment projects at the grade two listed Penarth Pier Pavilion and Empire House, an iconic 1920s Cardiff landmark

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They will now be main contractor at Swansea’s flatiron-shaped 133-year-old Palace, a grade two listed building that once staged performances with the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

The council acquired the six-storey High Street building from private owners around 20 months ago.

The derelict and dilapidated building from years of lack of use will be transformed sensitively into a home to tech, start-up and creative businesses. Planning permission and listed building consent have been granted.

Work will start in October and the building could reopen in 2023. The council has appointed Tramshed Tech as the lead tenant to run the building.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “I welcome R&M Williams Ltd to this excellent project that will bring new life to one of Swansea’s most iconic buildings.”

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Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “I’m delighted that a high-quality Welsh construction firm will be part of this prestigious project.”

Darryn Parry, managing director of R&M Williams Ltd, said: “R&M are delighted to be appointed as principal contractor to undertake the restoration of the iconic Palace Theatre building.”

Lee Waters, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Climate Change, said: “Through our Transforming Towns programme, we are providing £136m to further support the economic and social recovery of our town and city centres across Wales and our Town Centre First policy, embedded in Wales’ national development plan Future Wales, means that town and city centre sites should be the first consideration for all decisions on the location of workplaces and services.”

Tramshed Tech CEO Louise Harris said: “At Tramshed Tech we are delighted to be able to kick off our partnership with our new colleagues on this landmark project, to be housed in such an iconic building as the Palace Theatre.”

The main contractor was selected in a competitive tender process.

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Lead image: Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies, left, at the Palace with Darryn Parry, of R&M Williams Ltd. (Image: Swansea Council)

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