During the 1880ís
Cardiff was handling more
coal than any other port in the world
million tonnes at its peak just before the start
of the First World War.
demand for coal slumped after the
Second World War and
with the increasing loss
of trade to container ports
coal exports had
virtually ceased by the 1960s.
By the early 1980s
Cardiff Bay had become a
neglected wasteland of derelict docks and
mudflats. But then in 1987
as part of the
British Government's 'Urban Development
the Cardiff Bay Development
Corporation was set up ito regenerate the old
derelict docklands of Cardiff and Penarth. This
project included the construction of a Barrage
across the mouth of the Bay with large
state-of-the art lock gates on the Penarth side
thus creating a 200-hectare fresh water lake.
The sheltered waters provided a safe location
for the development of a large marina at Penarth
which included the construction of new homes
surrounding the Marina basin and fronting
directly on to Cardiff Bay.
Described as Europe's most exciting waterfront
the barrage was completed in 1999
and responsibility for the Bay now rests with
the Cardiff Harbour Authority
whilst the Marina
is managed by Quay Marinas Ltd. The Cardiff Bay
Development Corporation was formally wound up on
the 31st of March 2000.