A CHARITY that operated Penarth Pier and its pavilion has surrendered its 125-year lease to freeholder the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Penarth  Arts and Crafts Ltd (PACL) surrendered its lease of the building officially this week, as it approaches insolvency.

The pier, which opened in 1893 and underwent a £4m revamp completed in 2013 with National Lottery funding, is now back in the hands of the Vale, which says it is “committed to securing its future as a community facility”.

All operations have been suspended at the pier since November. PACL remains active on Companies House. Accounts for 2019 that were due on December 31 are yet to be published.

Since December, the Vale council has been in discussions with PACL and National Lottery organisations to ensure the building remains available for visitors.

Those discussions have now been completed and the council will now take over the operations of the pavilion.

All existing event bookings where deposits were paid in good faith and would otherwise have been lost will now be compensated for.

The council says a “range of exciting plans for the next chapter in this building’s history are also being drawn up, with full details to be revealed in due course”.

A spokesman for PACL said: “This decision has been taken following a long period of challenging trading conditions.

"Whilst informal proposals were submitted to PACL for the commercial running of the pavilion they have proved incompatible with PACL’s charitable mission, the terms of the lease from the Vale of Glamorgan and the arrangements with the lottery bodies.

Penarth Times:

“As a consequence the remaining directors worked with the Vale of Glamorgan Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Community Fund to forge a solution that will allow the pavilion to continue to operate as a venue for the people of Penarth and the wider community.”

Cllr. Neil Moore, Leader of the Council, said: “The council, along with The National Lottery Community Fund and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, invested a significant amount of grant funding to create a community facility on Penarth Pier.

“As a council, we will honour any event bookings taken for which deposits have been paid. It is hoped that the directors of PACL will be in direct contact with anyone in this situation to provide advice on how to contact us to discuss these arrangements. I will be presenting a report to the council’s cabinet shortly setting out these arrangements formally.”

Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales added: “We can confirm we are in the final stages of discussions with the Vale of Glamorgan Council about transferring the operations of Penarth Pier pavilion over to them. We will issue a full statement when we are able to do so.

“Penarth Pier Pavilion is an iconic and much-loved structure which has been supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the last 12 years, during which time we have worked closely with PACL to safeguard the building for current and future generations.”