First phase of Cardiff’s Canal Quarter opens after lengthy disruptions

Nine months after it was due to open, the Victorian dock feeder canal has been reclaimed. It had been covered for seventy years.

Construction began on the site of Churchill Way’s former taxi rank in February 2022 to bring back waterways to Cardiff’s Centre.

This is the first phase of a £6m regeneration of this area which aims to attract new restaurants and shops. Areas like this can be found in Birmingham and Manchester.

The construction has impacted local businesses.

Panicos Lazarou has been operating his barbershop on Churchill Way since 2000 and he says that his operations have been affected by the construction works.

He told Cardiff News Plus that Cardiff council have not done enough to support the local businesses of the area.

“I think they could have been a little bit more forthcoming with it and asking us a little bit more about it, and I think they could have given us some form of compensation for their vision of what they think that we need.” Mr Lazarou says.

A spokesperson from Cardiff Council said to WalesOnline that “there has been ongoing engagement with the businesses.”

Mr Lazarou also says that the canal’s design is not complimentary of the buildings that are situated in front of it.

“The design could have been more sympathetic to the area as [the row of buildings] are Victorian properties. It could have been done like Amsterdam – less concrete”

Other businesses have also been impacted by the regeneration. The Welsh Air Ambulance charity shop closed their Churchill Way branch after more than twenty years. They said that construction work was partially to blame as well as rising operational costs.

The original plan for the area that was published in June 2021 shows a multi-year regeneration that spans the length of Churchill Way, involving the demolition of the Utilita Arena and regeneration of Guildford Crescent.

Work began on the next phase in late 2023 but no final date has been given for its completion.