County Hall, Cardiff

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County Hall, Cardiff
County Hall, Cardiff Bay.jpg
County Hall
County Hall is located in Cardiff
County Hall
County Hall
Location within Cardiff
General information
AddressBute East Dock, Atlantic Wharf, Butetown, Cardiff
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates51°28′10″N 3°09′48″W / 51.46956°N 3.16326°W / 51.46956; -3.16326Coordinates: 51°28′10″N 3°09′48″W / 51.46956°N 3.16326°W / 51.46956; -3.16326
Design and construction
ArchitectJ. R. C. Bethell

The County Hall is the head office of Cardiff Council. Formerly the home of South Glamorgan County Council, it is located beside the disused Bute East Dock in the Atlantic Wharf area of Butetown, Cardiff.



Rear of County Hall

Following the implementation of the Local Government Act 1972, which broke up Glamorgan County Council and established South Glamorgan County Council, the new county council was initially headquartered in a building on Newport Road, Cardiff.[1]

Design and construction of the new building[edit]

The building was designed by J. R. C. Bethell, the County Architect for South Glamorgan, and built 1986–87.[2] This was at a time when the surrounding area consisted mainly of post-industrial dereliction. Hence the construction of the new building has been described in Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan as a "remarkable gesture of faith [by] the South Glamorgan County Council".[3] It is seen as representative of a new form of civic building that does not dominate its surroundings by its size, or formal language, to the extent that it could "even [be] a deliberate abregation of the arrogant assertiveness of the late C19, expressed across the water".[2]

County Hall was officially opened by the Right Honourable Lord Callaghan of Cardiff KG, in October 1988.[4]

The building is generally three storeys in height, but rises to four and five storeys in places. The distinctive shallow pitch roofs are of black slate. In plan the building is formed around a central courtyard.[2]

Recent developments[edit]

On 1 April 1996, under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, South Glamorgan County Council was broken up and Cardiff Council became the local authority in the area and took over County Hall.[5]

In September 2007, former Council chief executive Byron Davies unveiled plans aimed at massive efficiency improvements and bringing in additional funding, which could include selling County Hall, the Cardiff Heliport and up to 40% of Cardiff Bus.[6]

In 2013 the sale and demolition of County Hall was again raised, as part of Cardiff Council's plans to reduce their property commitments. It was suggested an indoor arena and convention centre could be built on the site.[7]

Occupants and function[edit]

County Hall is the main headquarters of Cardiff Council. It is home to many of the Council's departments.[8]

The accommodation includes the main Council Chamber and several committee rooms.[9]

The Cardiff Council Camera Control Room is also located at County Hall, where operators use CCTV to monitor locations across the city in an attempt to stop fly-tipping and other criminal activity.[10]

County Hall is also marketed as a venue for conferences, weddings and other events. It boasts an in-house catering team, a large bar for refreshments and function suites to accommodate up to 300 people.[11]


  1. ^ "Jack Brooks", South Wales Echo, 25 February 2005. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  2. ^ a b c Newman, J. The Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan University of Wales Press (1995), p. 266
  3. ^ Newman, J. The Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan University of Wales Press (1995), p. 263
  4. ^ County Hall website Weddings: A Venue For All Occasions (Retrieved 2011-09-14)
  5. ^ "The Local Government Reorganisation (Wales) (Property etc.) Order 1996". Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  6. ^ Next stop: The great big sell-off of Cardiff Bus South Wales Echo – 6 September 2007
  7. ^ Peter Law, Cardiff council considers replacing County Hall with new HQ, WalesOnline, 8 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  8. ^ Cardiff Council Strategic Estates Office Locations (Retrieved 2011-09-14)
  9. ^ County Hall website Floor Plans[permanent dead link] (Retrieved 2011-09-14)
  10. ^ Wales Online (article from South Wales Echo) The Big Picture: Cardiff council camera control room Archived 2011-11-11 at the Wayback Machine Jan 7, 2011 (Retrieved 2011-09-15)
  11. ^ "Cardiff County Hall". Retrieved 13 August 2019.

External links[edit]