CARDIFF’S ICONIC COAL EXCHANGE HOTEL TO REOPEN UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP.
The Coal Exchange Hotel in Cardiff Bay is to reopen on Friday 16th October under new management.
The iconic hotel, which was originally built in 1888 and the centre of the global coal trade, closed on 26th March this year, putting all staff at the hotel on furlough immediately.
This was before the parent company and then owners, Liverpool-based Signature Living Ltd, entered administration, putting all jobs at risk.
Following these events Eden Grove Properties Ltd, acquired the operating management contract saving a number of jobs in the process.
Brian Gamble, a former employee of Signature Living and now Operations Director of The Coal Exchange, discussed the new venture: “This is a hugely exciting time for us. I am delighted we have been able to work with the administrators to reopen the hotel under new ownership whilst saving 40 jobs in the process.
“The most exciting element in all this is that it is a completely new venture and those of us now at the helm of the business have been on the ground at The Coal Exchange for some time.
“We were all devastated when we were forced to close due to COVID-19 and lockdown. We were further dealt a blow whilst being informed that our previous employers had entered administration whilst we were furloughed. We all felt so helpless and given the current climate, there couldn’t be a worse time to be out of a job.
“It’s taken a long time and we’ve worked hard on a number of fronts but I am so thankful we have been able to reopen the hotel. We know what’s best for it and how we can help people.”
The Coal Exchange will operate 80 bedrooms and suites as it looks to stagger its opening. From 16th October, the bar and restaurant, named Culley’s, will be open and operating a COVID-compliant system with table service.
On the subject of customers owed money from unused bookings, Mr Gamble said: “There is understandable discontent for those people who had made bookings and purchased vouchers from the previous ownership, especially weddings. I wholeheartedly sympathise with those who have parted with hard-earned money to have weddings and stay at the hotel. However, that money has always been with Signature Living and we cannot access that money. Signature Living is a completely separate business which has fallen into administration.
“However, whilst we cannot give refunds as we do not have access to the deposits, we are incredibly eager to help those getting married.
“We will honour the value of deposits made on weddings and work with couples to ensure their planned day is as special as possible.
“We have made this commitment knowing it is a six-figure liability but we want to help as much as we can in these incredibly difficult times.
“I encourage all those with weddings booked at the Coal Exchange Hotel to contact us and we will begin to help those where we can.”
Mr Gamble notes how those who had previously got married at the iconic venue had received a complimentary night’s stay on their first year’s anniversary. However, due to the closure of the hotel, many couples have not been able to access this.
“We will honour anniversary stays for those who were unable to utilise them due to the closure of the hotel. Again, we feel it is important to do this.
“Whilst this is a new venture and despite the previous ownership being a completely separate entity, we mustn’t forget those who helped make this venue a huge success; the customers.”
Details of the reopening will be communicated in due course, with a COVID-compliant system and adaptations to the hotel being undertaken to ensure all precautions are being taken.
For more information and booking queries please contact The Coal Exchange on 02921 991904