Beloved Cardiff Venue Gwdihw Set to Close its Doors

Gwdihw Cafe and bar could shut in January 2019 after landlords decide not to renew the venue’s lease.

 Cardiff’s music lovers have launched a bid to protect the iconic venue, but demolition plans are already in place.

The interior of Gwdihw
Gwdihw’s decor is amongst some of the most recognisable images of Cardiff

Daniel Minty, who is leading the campaign said, “We know that the landlord is looking to redevelop the area, but at this time unaware what this would entail.”

“They need to balance that development with what the centre offers to everyone”, said Nick Clifton, Professor of Economic Geography and Regional Development at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Landlord firm Rapports have announced plans to demolish the businesses at Guildford Crescent which could cost up to 70 jobs, according to the Save Gwdihw campaign.

For ten years Gwdihw has been a prominent venue, not just in Cardiff’s music scene but for all of South Wales.

Cardiff band rehearsing for a show
Local band MultiTap had been hoping to play at Gwdihw

Sam Lynch, 22, of the Cardiff based band MultiTap said, “It’d be a real shame if it shuts. We’ve wanted to play there  since we formed, it will be such a loss to the city if it goes.”

Campaigners say the revelation is particularly shocking since last year the Council announced plans to make Cardiff a ‘music city‘.

Councillors proposed to make the street a protected conservation area, but this won’t pass until March 2019 and now looks unlikely to save the businesses there.

However the Save Womanby campaign saw success in 2017, after developers pulled out of plans for residential development on Womanby Street which has long been the home of music in Cardiff.

Campaigners are hopeful the same could be achieved here and have urged Rapports to recognise the area as “an are of cultural and artistic signficance”, said Mr Minty.

“The buildings themselves have been there from the mid to late 1800s, you know it’s ridiculous were even considering demolishing these buildings.”

The legendary local venue is amongst three businesses that could be shut in the new year, as the Portuguese Madeira Restaurante and Thai House Restaurant would also be demolished.