After 20 years of standing derelict, Port Talbot Cinema finally sees contractors arrive on site to commence its delicate restoration.
BAM Construction is beginning works under a pre-contract agreement with Neath Port Talbot Council to re-develop the grade II listed art deco building that was once frequented by Anthony Hopkins and Richard Burton.
The construction firm BAM, which is enjoying its 150th year of trading globally. has been active in Wales since it created Usk Sessions House in Monmouthshire 1877. The company will retain as much of the original cinema’s facade as possible having secured the initial phase of works against strong competition.
BAM is behind many iconic buildings in Wales such as the old Hoover factory in the late 1940s, the National Museum of Wales in the late 1980s, and a suite of recent buildings for Cardiff University, is discussing the full contract to deliver the new cinema building valued at around seven million pounds.
Award-winning architects GWP are the designers and the scheme has been procured via the South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework.
When it re-opens in 2021, the new cinema will have been converted into a multi-purpose community hub with recreational facilities, shops, and office space for local businesses, among other things.
Tim Chell, BAM’s Director for Wales and the South West of England, said:
“We’ve got an immensely strong record in Wales, where we’ve had a dedicated permanent office based in Cardiff since 1989.
“Our strength is our working style, which is highly collaborative, and we’re also known to be market leaders in technology. Both of those qualities will be important to both renew and re-create facilities here that make Port Talbot’s cinema a special building again.”
BAM history includes several schemes in Neath, including schools and 70 years ago two industrial facilities for Metal Box Company, once one of the world’s largest packaging businesses. BAM is now behind the new Brecon High School, Cardiff University’s Student Centre, and Gwent Police HQ.
Mr Chell added that he believes the supply chain in Wales is the best in the UK.
“Time after time, we find Welsh companies scoring very highly in their approach to safety and collaborative working. I believe Welsh construction businesses rank equal to any found in the UK.”
If all the contractual agreements are concluded, full works on the cinema will commence later this year.
In a separate announcement today, BAM – together with sister company civil engineering contractor BAM Nuttall - have become the first pioneers for a study into flexible working in construction on site, which could change the way the industry retains and attracts people.
Our strength is our working style, which is highly collaborative, and we’re also known to be market leaders in technology. Both of those qualities will be important to both renew and re-create facilities here that make Port Talbot’s cinema a special building again.” Tim Chell, BAM’s Director for Wales and the South West of England