canal park
Canal Park, Butetown

The people of Butetown have their say on the future of Canal Park 

Image credit: Megan Ballantyne

The park remains popular with Butetown families despite reports of increasing anti-social behaviour in recent years

BUTETOWN residents are being encouraged to have their say on the future of Canal Park, in a council consultation process.

The consultation into the future of Canal Park by Cardiff Council and The Urbanists is seeking to breathe new life into the space, which Butetown Councillor Helen Gunter says has “deteriorated and become the focus of anti-social behaviour”.

The consultation process drew some initial criticism from local community groups including St Mary’s Church and Boss & Brew Academy for the delay in publicising the event. While some information was posted to Cardiff Council’s website Cardiff Newsroom on Monday, November 25, it was only publicised on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday, November 26, just a day before the event took place. St Mary’s Church also stated on X that “some of us were trying to engage with them over a year ago [about the future of Canal Park] and have heard nothing since.”

Canal Park is located in central Butetown just off Loudoun Square. Football and basketball teams regularly play at the park, and it offers a play area for children and open green spaces in the densely packed centre of Butetown. One Butetown resident told The Cardiffian that despite the reported deterioration of conditions in the park, the space still seems “really well-used by families and dog-walkers. In the summer, you can’t get a pin between kids there.”

Cardiff Council has commissioned The Urbanists, a group of urban designers, landscape architects and planners, to develop a masterplan for the future of the park.

Cardiff Council Parks Team described the initial drop-in event as “well-attended,” despite the initial criticism.

“Over the course of the consultation the council will be engaging with as many local community groups and other key local stakeholders as possible to gain their views on Canal Park,” a spokesperson for the parks team told The Cardiffian.

“Being situated so close to the city centre, many do not have access to gardens. So our parks, such as Canal Park & Silurian Park, are vital for the wellbeing of local residents,” Councillor Helen Gunter told The Cardiffian.

“Canal Park means a lot to the Butetown community: as a play and sports area for children and young people, a place where community events are held and somewhere away from the busy roads to enjoy a walk.” 

The consultation process began last Wednesday with an in-person consultation at  Butetown Community Centre between 3pm and 7pm.  

An online consultation will also be open until Monday, December 18, and is available in English, Welsh, Somali and Arabic.