Funding to help drive future of iconic Automobile Palace

LLANDRINDOD Wells’ iconic Auto Palace will get a bit of fine tuning with hope that new funding will help drive regeneration of the town and its economy.

Powys County Council has completed the purchase of the Grade II listed building, which is of national heritage importance.

Situated in a prominent town centre location, the art deco building was built in the early 1900’s on the direction of one of Wales’ earliest motoring pioneers, Tom Norton.

Norton introduced aviation to Mid Wales and the building housed the first Ford and Austin agencies in Wales.

It closed as a garage in the early 1990’s before being converted to business units. Over recent years, however, the number of tenants has dwindled and the building has fallen into decline.

Funding has now been secured by PCC from the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme to acquire and refurbish the Automobile Palace. The Council plans to sensitively refurbish this building and develop it as a business centre to support the regeneration of the town and local economy.

Councillor Iain MacIntosh, the council’s cabinet portfolio holder for housing, planning and economic regeneration, said: “The project will aim to revitalise this important heritage asset and support new enterprise.

“Investing in the built environment is vital to support the viability of town centres and Covid recovery.”

Portfolio holder for education and property, Cllr Phyl Davies, voiced his support for the purchase, adding: “Expressions of interest are now invited by businesses which may wish to be based within this building once the refurbishment works are completed.

“It is anticipated at this stage that existing tenants are likely to wish to remain. All expressions of interest should be submitted to the commercial property team at Powys County Council.”

The Welsh Government’s deputy minister for housing and local government, Hannah Blythyn, added: “The regeneration of the Automobile Palace in Llandrindod is an excellent example of how we are supporting the future of Welsh towns through our Transforming Towns programme.

“This project will not only boost sustainability and footfall in the town but will support economic growth by creating business opportunities in a refurbished, iconic building in the town centre.”

County Times | Llandrindod Wells & Rhayader