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Interactive science gallery plan for Civic Centre site

An interactive science gallery presenting examples of cutting-edge Swansea University research through hands-on exhibits could be on the way to the city's Civic Centre site in future.

Civic Centre

Talks are on-going that could see the Oriel Science gallery forming part of a proposed 'hydro hub' at the site that would also include a public aquarium and a state-of-the-art aquatic science research centre.
 
Swansea Council has appointed Trebor Developments to manage the regeneration of the Civic Centre site.
 
Oriel Science is now hosting its first pop-up exhibition, called 'The Story of Time', on Princess Way in Swansea city centre. A Back to the Future-style DeLorean and a Dr Who-style Tardis form part of the exhibition, along with a mock-up of the CERN Large Hadron Collider. The exhibition is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm. 
 
Oriel Science, which plans to open in a permanent location by 2020, will feature exhibitions that celebrate Swansea University's research and wider scientific themes by highlighting the relevance of scientific research to everyday life.
 
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "Swansea University, which recently hosted the British Science Festival, is one of the best in the UK in terms of the quality and impact of its research. 
 
"We're keen to make the most of this expertise by potentially accommodating a permanent exhibition space for their Oriel Science project as part of the proposed Hydro Hub development, on the current site of the Civic Centre. Sitting alongside a public aquarium and a cutting-edge aquatic science research centre, this would attract many thousands of visitors every year to the seafront, give Swansea residents another world class attraction on their doorsteps and bring science to life in a fun and imaginative way, helping inspire a new generation of scientists in Swansea and beyond.
 
"Combining with other winning ideas for the site, including hundreds of homes and spaces for a hotel, offices, bars and restaurants, this proposal would generate more vibrancy and attract more investment to our world class waterfront. 
 
"We're now working closely alongside our partners at Trebor Developments and Swansea University to further explore this exciting idea. A masterplan is also being worked on for the regeneration of the Civic Centre site that will inform the timescale of development there."
 
The Oriel Science gallery in the city centre has already attracted thousands of visitors since opening its doors on September 17. 
 
Professor Iwan Davies, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, said: "As a leading University renowned for its science research globally, this proposed facility will provide a strong opportunity to showcase our cutting edge research, as well as a strong additional offering for the visiting public, locally, nationally and internationally. We are continuing to work closely with Swansea Council to develop ambitious plans that would provide a unique home for science in Swansea, with research at the heart of what will undoubtedly be an international beacon for science that will broaden research and engagement opportunities for years to come."
 
Mark Wright, partner at Trebor Developments, said: "The Oriel Science initiative can add an exciting further dimension to the range of uses within our proposals for Swansea city waterfront. The pop-up exhibition shows a taster of a range of thought-provoking ideas which we will be progressing in our masterplanning work with our partners at Swansea University and Swansea Council."
 
Rivington Land, the company the council has appointed to manage the regeneration of the St David's development site, is also making progress. Discussions with retailers, restaurant businesses and cinema operators who could make up the final scheme are well underway, as the company continues to work on the detail of an outline planning application set for submission in March 2017. The council also advertised earlier this week for an indoor arena operator. 
 
Cllr Stewart said: "These schemes will combine to transform Swansea city centre into a leading destination for shopping, dining, entertainment and recreation. We're determined to deliver our vision for the benefit of Swansea people and visitors to the city."
 


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