St. David's (Cardiff)

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St. David's
Dewi Sant
St David's Dewi Sant.png
St David's Centre newly opened.jpg
St. David's second phase on The Hayes.
The Hayes Apartments on the upper levels
Location Cardiff, Wales
Opening date 24 March 1982[1](phase 1)
22 October 2009 (phase 2)
Developer St. David's Partnership (Capital Shopping Centres (50%) and Land Securities Group (50%))[2]
Owner St. David's Partnership [3]
Architect Benoy (phase 2)[4]
Building Design Partnership (library)[4]
Glenn Howells (Hayes Apartments)[4]
No. of stores and services 203[2][3]
No. of anchor tenants 5 (Boots, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and soon to be Primark[2] and John Lewis[3])
Total retail floor area 129,561 m2 (1,394,580 sq ft)[5]
No. of floors 9 (2 shopping levels, 1 restaurant seating level and 6 car park levels)
Parking 2,550[6]

St. David's (previously known as St. David's Shopping Centre.[7]) or more formally St David's Dewi Sant, is one of the principal shopping centres in the city centre of Cardiff, Wales. It is in The Hayes area of the southern city centre. Owing to the extension of St Davids 2 in 2009, St David's is now the ninth largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom.

The construction of the extension cost a total of £675m and brought Cardiff within the top five shopping destinations in the United Kingdom. The centre consists of original the first phase, St David's Centre, adjoining St. David's Hall and the second phase, given the development name of St David's 2. The second phase of the shopping centre, opened on 22 October 2009, when the first 58 of its 88 stores opened for business.[8]


In 2008-9, the annual footfall of the centre was 27 million, and is expected to rise to 33 million in 2009-10.[9] 20 million people visited the centre during the first six months after the opening of St. David's 2.[10]

St David's was crowned the international shopping centre of the year in 2010 by Global Retail Leisure International, beating contenders in Portugal and Singapore.[11]

St. David's is patrolled by three paramedics on bicycles between every Friday and Sunday in order to respond rapidly to medical emergencies.[12]

The first phase[edit]

St. David's first phase on Working Street
December 2007
June 2010

St. David's Shopping Centre was open to the public in January 1981, although it did not officially open until 24 March 1982. The centre has 4 entrances located on Queen Street, Cathedral Walk, Working Street, and Hills Street. The entrance on Hills Street connects to the northern entrance of the second phase of the shopping centre, open at street level and via an enclosed bridge on the first floor. It is also joined internally with Queens Arcade. There are 3 thoroughfares within the centre; Town Wall, Cathedral Walk and St. David's Way.[13]

The centre attracted an average footfall of 39,000,000 per annum[2] and has a core catchment of 2.4 million people. The 12 million tourists that visit the city annually help generate over £7.5 billion in retail spending. There are seventy-five individual shops and stores in the first centre that cater for a broad demographic. The centre is anchored by Boots, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Primark.[2] St. David's Hall was built on top of the shopping centre.

The second phase (St. David's 2)[edit]

Buildings that were demolished to make way for St. David's 2
Oxford Arcade, The Hayes
St David's Market
Central Library (St David's Link)

St. David's, and much of the southern end of Cardiff city centre's shopping area, was re-developed as part of the St David's 2 development.

The second phase was a £675m extension of the centre, in which a large part of Cardiff's south city centre was demolished. Demolished buildings included Oxford Arcade, St. David's Market, St. David's Link including the Cardiff Central Library, the NCP Tredegar Street multi-storey car park, the Wales National Ice Rink, the NCP Bridge Street multi-storey car park, and Toys "R" Us who relocated to Cardiff International Sports Village. The second phase of St. David's was known as St. David's 2 during the construction phase, but both phases were simply named "St. David's" when the second phase was completed. The second phase consists of 3 main buildings in total; the Central Library building, which is built on part of the Marriott Hotel car park, the John Lewis department store, which is built on the former Wales National Ice Rink, and the main shopping area, which is built on the former Oxford Arcade, St. David's Link and western side of Bridge Street. It also includes apartments, called Hayes Apartments, above the main shopping centre.

Construction of St. David's 2
Demolition of the Central Library and Bridge St car park
Construction of the John Lewis store
Construction along The Hayes
Construction of the Grand Arcade

The second phase was made up of different sections, they were:

  • St. David's Walk, leading to the extension of Debenhams and the Grand Arcade.
  • St. David's Way, The original part of St. David's.
  • Grand Arcade, connecting St. David's Walk in the original centre to John Lewis. The Grand Arcade was split over two floors.

The Upper Grand Arcade had other shops and stores. The Lower Grand Arcade

  • Eastside, is the restaurant and café quarter of the second phase of the centre. It is split over 2 levels.
  • Working Street, part of the façade of St. David's Hall was converted into store fronts to better blend with the facade of the Working Street entrance of St. David's Centre.[citation needed]
  • The first Welsh branch of the John Lewis department store chain opened in 2009 and is the currently the largest John Lewis store in the UK outside London. The John Lewis department store opened four weeks before the St. David's Grand Arcade shopping area was opened.
St. David's second phase (St. David's 2)
Hayes Arcade
Grand Arcade
John Lewis
The multi-storey car park and entrance to Eastside

St. David's 2 has added an extra 967,500 sq ft (89,880 m2) of retail space[3] to the city centre, in addition to the 260,000 sq ft (24,000 m2) John Lewis department store,[3] 9 other large stores, and a further 90 smaller shops in a two-tiered shopping mall have been built.[3] It has also created 3,000 car parking spaces, new bars and restaurants plus the new 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) Central Library and 4,500 permanent jobs.[14] The development has included 2 new arcades; Grand Arcade and Hayes Arcade to reflect Cardiff's historical Victorian arcades.[15]

St. David's sky bridges
Connecting John Lewis (left) with the second phase (right)
Connecting the second phase (left) with the first phase (right)

The project, that it set to make Cardiff one of the top five shopping destinations in the United Kingdom, topped out on 27 January 2009.[16] Many of the retailers in the second phase of the centre are new to Cardiff, and to Wales, in particular John Lewis, Apple, Hollister, and Ruby Tuesday. St David's is now one of the busiest shopping centres in the European Union, exceeding Birmingham's Bull Ring.[citation needed]

Cardiff Central Library[edit]

The former Central Library was located a few hundred yards north of the present building and was knocked down to make way for the St. David's 2 development. The new Central Library opened on 14 March 2009.[17]


Main article: Alliance (sculpture)

Alliance is a 25 metres (82 ft) high sculpture in The Hayes. The sculpture consists of a large stainless steel and enamelled metal arrow column and a hoop, which glows in the dark, and falls and rises with the tide. It was paid for by the St David's shopping centre as part of a £1.5m public art scheme in the city centre, was installed in the space between the new shopping centre and Cardiff Central Library.[18]

Hayes Apartments[edit]

Hayes Apartments, is part of St David's regeneration development by St David's Partnership - a joint venture between Land Securities and Capital Shopping Centres. It consists of 304 apartments above the shopping centre in seven blocks known as phases. The apartments are a mixture of studio flats and 1 and 2 bedroom apartments.[19] The architects for the residential Hayes Apartments were Glenn Howells Architects.[4] Hayes Apartments has private courtyard gardens designed by Hyland Edgar Driver and planted above the rooftop of the shopping centre.[20]

In summer 2010, the first residents moved into Hayes Apartments which was launched by an outdoor garden party on the development's private courtyard gardens.[21] Sales in the first two phases were announced as completed at the end of 2010 and sales began in the third phase, block 4, which is the largest block.[22] The development was due for completion in 2012.[23]

Barrack Lane[edit]

Barrack Lane, retail and affordable housing.

Barrack Lane is a residential and retail development. It forms part of St David’s and has 9 shop units and 27 apartments. It was developed by Linc Cymru, which is an organisation that specialises in affordable housing in Wales.

Logos and identity[edit]

Logos used at St. David's
The 1st phase logo
Used during the construction phase
The initial "people" design
The final "dots" design introduced Oct 2009

Johnson Banks Design Ltd were commissioned by Capital Shopping Centres and Land Securities to provide a new logo and identity for the new St. David's shopping centre. The designers said

The overall identity is based on the thought that hundreds of thousands of people will gather and use the new centre as their meeting place, and our "people" diagrams swiftly became the beginnings of the entire scheme...The "people", simplified down to dots, become the linking element in a scheme that applies across a vast array of items, from fonts to symbols and images.[24]

Rail Access[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cardiff Timeline
  2. ^ a b c d e "St. David's Shopping Centre". Capital Shopping Centres. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "St. David's 2". Capital Shopping Centres. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Press Release: Luxury fashion brands endorse Cardiff’s St David’s 2" (PDF). Land Securities. Retrieved 21 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Liberty International, 2008, and CSC. St. David's Centre has an area of 39,670 sq m; the St. David's 2 extension, has an area of 89,891 sq m. The figure here represents the combined area.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "St. David's Shopping Centre". Capital Shopping Centres. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Shoppers numbers set to soar in Cardiff". Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  10. ^ Wales Online: St David’s brings in 20 million shoppers
  11. ^ Wales Online | Cardiff’s St David’s is world’s top retail arcade
  12. ^ "Success could lead to more pedalling paramedics". Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "St. David's Shopping Centre" (PDF). Capital Shopping Centres. Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  14. ^ "St Davids 2 Cardiff". Land Securities. Retrieved 9 April 2008. [dead link]
  15. ^ "St. David's 2 matches city blueprint". Capital Shopping Centres. Retrieved 17 November 2008. 
  16. ^ "Milestone for new shopping centre". BBC News. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2009. 
  17. ^ "First look at new 'green' library". BBC. 7 March 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  18. ^ WalesOnline | Arrow art aimed at the heart of Cardiff’s history and culture
  19. ^ "The Apartments". St David’s Partnership. Retrieved 16 October 2008. 
  20. ^ "Rooftop gardens for Cardiff". TheMoveChannel. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  21. ^ "Hayes Apartments prove the centre of attention". Media Wales. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "St David’s flats on sale". Media Wales. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  23. ^ "Skyscraper blocks to remain empty at St Davids 2". Media Wales. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  24. ^ "Build it and they will come". Johnson Banks. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 

External links[edit]

Media related to St David's Centre, Cardiff at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°28′51″N 3°10′32″W / 51.48083°N 3.17556°W / 51.48083; -3.17556