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23 September 2020 | Firm News | Article by Martin Jones

Hugh James secures all-important licence allowing historic Coal Exchange to reopen

Hugh James has helped secure an alcohol licence for the new owners of the Exchange Hotel located in the historic Coal Exchange in Cardiff – which means they can honour wedding bookings made before the previous business collapsed.

The hotel in the Grade Two listed building has been taken over by Eden Grove following the compulsory liquidation of Signature Living Coal Exchange earlier this summer.

Lawyers in the Hugh James Regulatory team supported Eden Grove in its application for an alcohol licence, to allow the company to re-open the Coal Exchange as a hotel and wedding destination. The licensing sub-committee of Cardiff Council granted the premises its licence at a public hearing on Friday, September 18.

The decision means Eden Grove can commit to hosting weddings which were booked before the collapse of Signature Living, despite not receiving the money that couples paid to the previous company.

The Coal Exchange was built in the 1880s and became a hub of global trade – where the world price of coal was set – before closing in 1958. It was partially restored and opened as a hotel by the previous owners in 2017, before the business collapsed earlier this summer.

Martin Jones, Hugh James’ Head of Regulatory said today:

“We’re pleased to have supported Eden Grove in its plans to rescue and reopen this iconic building. The Coal Exchange has played such an important history in Wales, and as the centre of the UK coal trade. We wish the team every success with its plans to develop the hotel into a flourishing and sustainable business.”

Hugh James has a strong track record advising businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector. It works as an integrated team advising on a wide range of matters, including public and private mergers and acquisitions, licensing, equity and debt investments, private equity, joint ventures, management buy-outs/ buy-ins, restructuring and general corporate advice.

More recently we’ve been supporting H&L clients through COVID-19 and the changing government announcements.

Author bio

Martin Jones


As the Head of the Regulatory Department, Martin acts in a wide-range of regulatory crime and professional regulation matters. Martin has built up over 20 years of experience and a wealth of specialist knowledge.

He leads the firm’s cross-departmental alcohol and gaming licensing teams. Additionally Martin manages the teams providing a range of outsourced services to local authorities, including court representation of local authorities Adult and Children’s Services Departments.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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