Cardiff Bay (Welsh: Bae Caerdydd) is the area of water created by the Cardiff Barrage in south Cardiff, the capital of Wales. It is also the name commonly given to the surrounding areas of the city. According to Cardiff Council, the creation of Cardiff Bay is now widely regarded as one of the most successful regeneration projects in the United Kingdom. Cardiff Bay is supplied by two rivers (Taff and Ely) to form a 500-acre (2.0 km2) freshwater lake around the former dockland area south of the city centre. The 'bay' was formerly tidal, with access to the sea limited to a couple of hours each side of high water but now provides 24-hour access through three locks.
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Website||http://www.cardiffharbour.com/ Cardiff Harbour Authority http://www.visitcardiffbay.info/ Visit Cardiff Bay|
Cardiff Bay played a major part in Cardiff’s development by being the means of exporting coal from the South Wales Valleys to the rest of the world, helping to power the industrial age. The coal mining industry helped fund the building of Cardiff into the Capital city of Wales and helped the Third Marquis of Bute, who owned the docks, become the richest man in the world at the time.
As Cardiff exports grew, so did its population; dockworkers and sailors from across the world settled in neighbourhoods close to the docks, known as Tiger Bay, and communities from up to 45 different nationalities, including Norwegian, Somali, Yemeni, Spanish, Italian, Caribbean and Irish helped create the unique multicultural character of the area.
After the Second World War most of the industry closed down and became derelict. But, in 1999, new life was injected into the area by the building of the Cardiff Bay Barrage, one of the most controversial building projects of the day but also one of the most successful.
The Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (CBDC) was created in 1987 to stimulate the redevelopment of 1,100 hectares (2,700 acres) of derelict land. The Development Corporation aimed to attract private capital by spending public money to improve the area. Despite opposition by environmentalists and wildlife organisations, the mudflats at the mouths of the River Taff and River Ely were inundated, with loss of habitat for wading birds. The Barrage has created several new habitats for freshwater species with the wetlands to the south of the Hamadryad Park.
When the Development Corporation was wound up in on 31 March 2000, it had achieved many of its objectives. The whole area was unrecognisable from ten years before. Much private land was now open to the public, particularly around the inner harbour and the north side of Roath basin. Work is progressing to complete a 13 kilometre walkway around the bay. In addition, the development has enabled land in the city centre to be redeveloped for higher-value uses.
The development of "something like 1,250 apartments a year" however might cause future problems. As at 2008 up to one third were not occupied. Critics such as Lorraine Barrett (AM Labour, Cardiff South and Penarth) say, the flat complexes will not help to build up a community and too little attention has been paid to develop affordable housing. With the recent falls in property values, sales in the area have become problematic. Therefore, landlords might be more willing to rent their places out to "people who may not be suited to that type of living."
Connecting the bay area to the centre of Cardiff was a primary goal when plans to develop the docklands were first mooted. Original plans included a grand boulevard (similar to where Lloyd George Avenue is located now) with high-density commercial and residential units straddling both sides. This would have created significant demand for quality public transport provisions facilitating connections to the new Bay area but public transport was often of poor quality and, but there are now much-improved connections through the Cardiff Bus BayCar service and rail service from Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay railway station.
On 30 January 2013 the planning consultant, Adrian Jones, stated that Cardiff Bay was a contender for the "worst example of waterside regeneration in Britain".
St David's Hotel
The Pierhead Building
Wales Millennium Centre
The Norwegian Church Arts Centre, is a rescued historic wooden church that was rebuilt in 1992 and operates as a registered self funded not for profit charity. It is managed by Cardiff Harbour Authority and is as a venue for small concerts, art exhibitions, conferences, meetings and celebrations. When living in Cardiff as a child, the famous children's author Roald Dahl attended this church.
Craft in the Bay
A refurbished Victorian dockside building houses Craft in the Bay, the home of the Makers Guild in Wales.
Techniquest is an educational science & discovery centre, which also includes a science theatre and planetarium.
Roald Dahl Plass
Roald Dahl Plass is a large open amphitheatre style plaza frequently used as a venue for carnivals and festivals all year round.
Mermaid Quay comprises a mix of restaurants, bars, cafés, shops and services located on the waterfront.
The Tube (Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre)
Dismantled in 2010, this unique building "single-handedly put Cardiff on the architectural map", housing exhibitions and visitor information.
- Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve – which has rare birds and a boardwalk leading to a viewing platform.
- Cardiff Waterbus – which offers a public transport service and tourist cruises.
- Cardiff Bay Barrage – accessible via the Water Bus and by road, and free to explore and also has guided tours.
- Queen Alexandra Dock
- Cardiff International Pool
- Cardiff International White Water
- Cardiff Sailing Centre – A council run watersports facility based on Cardiff Bay Barrage.
- Cardiff Yacht Club – dinghy racing and cruising, yacht racing and cruising, sea fishing and rowing- RYA training Centre for sailing and powerboating.
- Cardiff Bay Yacht Club – watersports club.
- Cardiff City Rowing Club.
- Ice Arena Wales – ice rink
Commercial and residential
- Style-conscious shops, bars and restaurants at Mermaid Quay.
- Cardiff Bay Retail Park
- Mischief's Cafe Bar, a cafe bar and live music venue.
- The Coal Exchange, formally a music venue, but due to be developed into a hotel and museum.
- The Mount Stuart, a Wetherspoons Pub situated in an 1880s, former dock building.
- Cardiff International Sports Village, which includes Ice Arena Wales and Cardiff International Pool.
- The Red Dragon Centre (formerly Atlantic Wharf Leisure Village), a leisure and entertainment complex.
Appearances in the media
Cardiff Bay was used as the high-tech urban setting for the Doctor Who episode "Boom Town" and the show's spinoff, Torchwood, whose makers deliberately avoided stereotypical portrayals of Wales in order to portray Cardiff as the modern urban centre it is today. In Torchwood series, there is a giant secret base underneath the bay, named "The Hub", from where the Torchwood team works. There is also a lift from the hub into the plaza with a perception filter making anyone who stands on the spot "not noticed". In the third series of Torchwood entitled "Children Of Earth", Cardiff Bay was the centre of a bomb explosion, destroying the Torchwood Hub and Cardiff Bay. Roald Dahl Plass features prominently. The Doctor Who episode "The Runaway Bride" made use of office buildings in Cardiff Bay.
- 1 – Bay Circle clockwise: Grangetown-Leckwith-Canton-Fairwater-Llandaff-Gabalfa-Heath-Penylan-Roath-Tremorfa-Central Station
- 2 – Bay Circle anticlockwise: as above but reversed
- 6 – Baycar: Queen Street station via Central Station
- 8 – City Centre via Grangetown
- 11 – Pengam Green via Central Station and Tremorfa
- 35/36 – Gabalfa via Central Station, Cathays and Heath
The Pont y Werin pedestrian and cycle bridge opened in July 2010, completing a six and a half-mile circular route around Cardiff Bay and Penarth.
A cycle hire system, similar to those in other large cities, launched in September 2009, and includes 70 bikes and 35 hire points (initially seven) around the centre and the south of the city. The current stations are: Central Station; Cardiff Bay Station; County Hall; Cardiff Bay Visitors’ Centre; Churchill Way; City Hall and eastern Queen Street. It is necessary to register before using bike. The first half an hour is free after which a small hourly fee is payable.
Sculpture by Jonathan Williams depicting Captain Scott, outside the Norwegian Church
- Cardiff Bay Economic Development, Cardiff: Cardiff Council, April 2005, p. 8
- Cardiff Harbour Authority, Cardiff Bay Barrage, archived from the original on 10 May 2008, retrieved 28 April 2008
- "Report on Cardiff Bay". Newswales.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-30.[dead link]
- Cardiff Bay Economic Development, Cardiff: Cardiff Council, April 2005, p. 8
- Esys Consulting Ltd, Evaluation of Regeneration in Cardiff Bay. A report for the Welsh Assembly Government, December 2004
- BBC (8 June 2008), "'Slum of the future' fear for Bay", BBC News, BBC News Online, retrieved 8 June 2008
- The Politics Show, BBC 1 Wales, Sun 8 June 2008
- Crockett, Natalie (13 August 2017). "30 years of Cardiff Bay redevelopment". BBC News. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
- "The St Davids Hotel and Spa". Stdavidshotelcardiff.co.uk. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- BBC, Cardiff Bay – Pierhead, BBC, retrieved 28 April 2008
- "Home, Welcome, Croeso, Velkommen". Norwegian Church Cardiff. Archived from the original on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- Sturges, Fiona (3 October 1998). "The 50 BEST BUILDINGS OF THE NINETIES". The Independent. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "Cardiff's Coal Exchange saved in £40m hotel revamp". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "The Mount Stuart, Cardiff Bay". Wetherspoons. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
- Price, Karen (19 October 2006). "Action, aliens – and it's filmed in Wales". Western Mail. Retrieved 4 November 2006.
- Wales South East, BBC (25 December 2006). "Doctor Who: The Runaway Bride". BBC Wales. Retrieved 24 October 2007.
- "Public bike hire scheme for city". BBC News. 22 September 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Smart bike system launch". Wales Online. 22 September 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2013.