New chapter begins for historic Porthcawl building

Image Copyright: Barry Gem

One of Porthcawl’s most iconic buildings is receiving a fresh new look in time for its 100th birthday.

Work is underway at the Harlequin Building in Dock Street which is restoring the well-known local landmark back to its historic glory.

The structure is being strengthened so that the building can be brought up to modern design standards with a brand new roof, windows and doors, and a full internal refurbishment is being carried out to make the building suitable for a commercial occupier.

The £143,000 project is being funded by the Townscape Heritage Initiative and Bridgend County Borough Council. Contractors are already on site and the work is expected to be complete by early 2020.

Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, said:

“I’m delighted to see the latest piece of Porthcawl’s regeneration jigsaw falling into place.

“The Harlequin is a popular and much-loved landmark building in Porthcawl, and with the next phase of our regeneration scheme focusing upon the Salt Lake area, it will be a prime spot for a suitable business.

“We said we would look at the Harlequin when we revisited the town’s regeneration plans, and this work delivers on that promise.

“With its recently-completed coastal sea defences, new Watersports Centre preparing to open at Rest Bay and work forging ahead at the Harlequin, Porthcawl is awash with projects that are designed to maximise its potential as a place in which to live, work or visit.” 

Built in 1920 by Sir Thomas Jones, the building was originally used as an estate agents before becoming the property of Great Western Railway where it served as the Porthcawl Railway station master’s office and later a railway goods office.

After Porthcawl’s railway link was removed following a 1965 restructure, the building hosted a number of different businesses, including a well-known gown and suit shop called Madge and the antiques shop which later lent its name to the building.

Harlequin Antiques was the last business to use the building before it closed in 2005.


Image: Barry Gem