Converting Chaplins

A project to transform a former public house hotel into accommodation for homeless people has reached completion.

The project – which completed in February 2014 – comprised the refurbishment and conversion of the former Chaplins Hotel in Merthyr Tydfil, into a great new facility for homeless charity, Adref. The site includes bedrooms, meeting spaces and offices, and allows Adref to continue its good work within the homeless community.

As well as providing a roof for those with nowhere to stay, the forward-thinking building also includes a cafe – maintained and transformed from the original building – to provide training for those looking to increase their future employment prospects.

Work began on the project in September 2013 with Red Builders Abergavenny as the main contractor on the project and Powell Dobson as the architect. Property consultant, Bruton Knowles was the project manager on the conversion scheme.

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council funded some of the external works on the project as part of their High Street Heritage scheme. The external work was designed to help bring the building back to its original design and included the restoration of brick work and the replacement of sash windows.

Discussing the project, Richard Frost of Bruton Knowles, said:

“We encountered no major problems. Red Builders of Abergavenny was very organised and queries were raised in good time.

“This building is quite unique as it is very unusual to have a large, former commercial building converted into this use. In addition to the accommodation, the building also provides offices and meeting spaces for Adref.”

Richard added:

“This scheme was very important for us to be involved with. We conduct a lot of work within the charity sector and this project demonstrates that we can convert old properties into future use. We are now looking at other buildings for our clients, particularly buildings from local authorities, to see if we can convert these buildings too.”

Set up in 1990, Adref is a registered charity which manages a range of support services to help the homeless and those who are at risk of becoming homeless. The charity works with approximately 300 people each year and promotes independence by helping service users develop their skills, allowing them to stand on their own two feet.

For more information about the services that Adref provide, please visit:

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