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Thousands sign petition to save popular Cardiff music venue Gwdihŵ from closure

Credit: Google Street View

Thousands of people have signed a petition to keep a popular music venue open after it was announced the landlords have decided not to renew a lease on a number of properties in the centre of Cardiff.

The owners of Gwdihŵ bar announced "with a heavy heart" it is to close in the New Year on Wednesday.

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Within hours of the announcement, a change.org petition was launched and has gained more than 8,000 signatures.

Once again, Cardiff culture is under threat. Gwdihŵ Café Bar faces closure on the 30th January 2019, unless we rally together as a community to protect one of our most beloved venues.

– Change.org

The venue opened in 2008 and describes itself as a "flourishing, friendly and relaxed independent space for alternative music on the edge of the city centre in Cardiff."

We pride ourselves on bringing the most diverse, eclectic, intriguing live music, cutting edge DJs & events to Cardiff. On our weekends you’ll discover a musical menagerie from live funk, afrobeat, jazz, electronica & hip hop to the finest in underground DJs.

– Gwdihw Cafe Bar

The bar is situated on Guildford Crescent where there are a number of distinct curved and bright-coloured buildings. Restaurants Thai House and Madeira have also been told they must leave their premises by the end of January.

In June, Cardiff Council proposed plans to make the site a conservation area.

It has since emerged the landlords want to demolish the buildings entirely "in preparation for redevelopment".

Since appearing on the council website, the planning application has had more than 200 public objections.

Given that they are all original and of a consistent scale and appearance, all buildings within the conservation area are considered to positively contribute to its special character.

– Cardiff Council
The council proposed to make the site a conservation area in June Credit: Cardiff Council

Cardiff Central Labour MP Jo Stevens has called for the landmark to be conserved. The council told ITV News it does not have any powers to stop the decision to end the leases but it will "do everything we can to help venues like Gwdihw... to survive."

I know the venue has posted a tweet saying it wants to continue in the city and is looking for a new space. We will do everything we can to help them in that search and I will have officers contact them to discuss any possible new venue space which might be available.

We do not have any powers to stop this, but I will be seeking a meeting with the landlord to see what can be done. Last year, the Council was able to successfully intervene to help protect music venues on Womanby St. Whilst this situation is more complex, we want to try and bring all parties around the table to discuss a way forward.

– Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas,
Hundreds of people campaigned to save Cardiff's Womanby Street

Last year, nearby Womanby Street in the city centre, which is home to a number of music venues, was under threat following plans to build new flats in the street.

The landlords have been approached for comment.