Butetown is a district of the city of Cardiff, Wales. It was originally a model housing estate built in the early nineteenth century by the Marquess of Bute. Commonly known as "Tiger Bay", this area became one of the UK's first multicultural communities with people from over 50 countries settled here by the outbreak of World War I, working in the docks and allied industries. Some of the largest communities included the Somalis, the Yemenis, and Greeks, whose influence still lives on today. The first Mosque in the UK was built in Butetown in the mid 19th century, and a Greek Orthodox church still stands at the top of Bute Street. Larger than it's neighbours Grangetown and Riverside.
In the 1960s, most of the original housing was demolished including the historic Loudoun Square, the original heart of Butetown. In its place was a typical 1960s housing estate of low-rise courts and alleys, and 2 high rise apartment blocks. The development has since become much criticised as both destroying Cardiff's heritage, and in destroying a vibrant community and condemning its mainly Black and Mixed Race population to poor educational and employment prospects.
In the 1980s, the new Atlantic Wharf development was built on the reclaimed West Bute Dock, and has involved the construction of some 1300 new houses. Together with the developments in the Inner Habour and Roath Basin, it was hoped this would spur redevelopment and employment in Butetown, but it seems not to have. The divide between the wealthy "Cardiff Bay", and the poor "Tiger Bay" seems as wide as ever, although some of the surviving areas of historic Butetown are becoming prime office and retail locations. With the new Century Wharf development to the West on the banks of the Taff, the housing estate is becoming a little 'boxed in', increasing feelings of exclusion. Over the next few decades, the 1960s housing will require renewal and it is hoped that new development will be more suitable of the urban context of the area and will provide a better mix of private and public housing to help fully integrate the community with the rest of the city.
The electoral ward of Butetown is located in the parliamentary constituency of Cardiff South and Penarth. It is bounded by Cathays and Adamsdown to the north; Splott to the northeast; Severn estuary to the southeast; and Grangetown to the west.