Search site
Cymraeg

New plan for Swansea's historic Albert Hall

An historic Swansea city centre building could soon be brought back to life.

Albert Hall

Swansea Council has received a pre-application planning inquiry to convert the upper floors of the vacant Albert Hall into student accommodation, with retail being proposed for the ground floor.

The Grade II listed building on Craddock Street, which is privately-owned, has been empty since 2007. First opened as a music hall in 1864, the Albert Hall has hosted performances and speeches from the likes of Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and Lloyd George.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "Although the Albert Hall is a privately-owned listed building that we don't have responsibility for, we'll do all we can to help the private owners bring the building back into sustainable use. This is important because it's an historically significant building right in the heart of the city centre that we'd like to see preserved and protected for years to come.

"Although we're considering the detail of the pre-application inquiry at the moment and planning approval as well as listed building consent are needed for any changes, I would support a sustainable re-use of the building that's sensitive to its heritage. Not only could these plans breathe new life into an empty historic property, but they could also generate more footfall in the city centre, boosting existing traders and potentially generating more investment and jobs.

"It's our intention to transform nearby Kingsway into a business district employing many hundreds of people. These plans broadly support our objective to get more people living and working in the city centre, helping generate more vibrancy and the level of visitor numbers our shops, restaurants, pubs and other businesses need to thrive.

"Around two years ago, I made a statement that Swansea was a city that's open for business and the council would work to attract and support inward investment and development. It was important to set out our vision and restore the confidence that had been lost. 

"A lot of momentum has been created since then and we are now seeing high levels of confidence from investors who are putting significant amounts of money in to Swansea. We want to rebuild Swansea and see our fantastic city go from strength to strength."

Work is also expected to start autumn on the £50m Icon 21 complex on the current Mariner Street car park site. The scheme, opposite Swansea railway station, will include 725 student rooms in total as well as new, urban scale buildings. Standing 72 metres high, the tower, with an iconic sloped roof design, will be Swansea's second tallest building and among the tallest in Wales.

Developer RDE Silex is behind the scheme, with support from Swansea Council.

Cllr Stewart said: "While projects like these will help generate the numbers the city centre needs to improve, we're also making progress on our plans to introduce the kind of retail, leisure and recreational offer that will meet the aspirations of residents and visitors. This includes the planned regeneration of the St David's development site that's set to include a new retail street, an indoor arena and a café and restaurant quarter. Confidential discussions with prospective tenants on the St David's site in future are on-going as we maintain our commitment to delivering the kind of top class city centre the people of Swansea deserve."

A proposal to convert the former Sun Alliance building on St Helen's Road into 69 studio apartments for students has also been submitted to Swansea Council.


Powered by GOSS iCM