World class transformation unveiled for Swansea city centre
Swansea city centre could soon be transformed into a world class leisure and shopping destination.
Based on proposals put forward by developers for two key city centre sites, thousands of new jobs and investment worth hundreds of millions of pounds could be on the way.
Swansea Council has appointed Rivington Land and Acme to manage the regeneration of the site both north and south of Oystermouth Road that's made up of the former St David's shopping centre, the St David's multi-storey car park and the LC car park. Their winning ideas include:
- A 3,500-seat arena capable of hosting major international performers, exhibitions and conferences
- A new tall residential building that could rival Meridian Tower
- A new retail street and circuit featuring iconic brands
- A restaurant and café quarter
- A state-of-the-art cinema
- A new public square
- Improved links between the city centre and waterfront
It's being proposed the arena idea could be accommodated above a new, under-cover, multi-storey car park.
The council will now start working alongside the company to explore their proposals, carry out comprehensive site investigation works and attract tenants. New residential units and plenty of other car parking spaces could also be constructed on both sides of Oystermouth Road.
Trebor Developments, who have been appointed to lead the regeneration of the Civic Centre site, will now work with the council to develop the site masterplan. Their winning ideas include:
- Town houses
- Cafés and restaurants
- A new public space
It's also being proposed the company works closely alongside Swansea University to further explore the potential for a 'hydro hub' at the site that could include:
- A public aquarium
- A state-of-the-art aquatic sciences research centre
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "Swansea city centre is a key driver of the Swansea Bay City Region economy as a whole, so these proposals are vitally important as we look to boost prosperity, generate more employment opportunities and strengthen the city centre's status as the regional capital of shopping, leisure and recreation.
"We were hugely impressed with the ambition and quality of all the shortlisted bids we received for the Civic Centre and St David's sites, but we've gone with the proposals we feel best meet Swansea's needs and aspirations. As well as the new shops, restaurants, coffee shops and cafes that could be on their way, the proposed new arena is especially exciting because it could host major international performers and generate increased spending in local businesses.
"The imaginative proposal to accommodate a hydro hub featuring a world class aquarium is also particularly exciting because it would help attract many thousands of tourists every year and place Swansea at the heart of cutting-edge aquatic research. In combination with the proposals to introduce more residential units on both development sites, attractions of this kind will boost city centre footfall, support existing businesses and help attract even more investment in future.
"There's still lots to do as we work through the detail of the winning ideas, but these are exciting times. We're looking forward to working with the developers and other partners, and more announcements will follow in the coming months. We will also continue to work closely with the Welsh Government and are very grateful for their support to deliver a city centre we can all be proud of."
Edwina Hart, the Welsh Government's Minister for Economy, said: "I am pleased to see progress on this exciting and ambitious regeneration of Swansea city centre. From a Swansea Bay City Region perspective, it is vital that the regional capital, Swansea, develops elements of its built infrastructure in a way that supports and enhances its designated focus as the City of Innovation."
John Laker, Chairman of Rivington Land, said: "We're delighted to have been appointed by Swansea Council and look forward to helping them deliver a commercially successful and sustainable retail, leisure and residential development. Helping to secure planning consent, land ownership, and the key anchor lettings will enable the Council to realise its ambitions for the city centre and will ensure there will be strong institutional investor interest in the scheme's delivery and long-term investment potential."
Mark Wright, Partner at Trebor Developments, said: "We're honoured to be chosen by the Council to help it deliver its vision for the city waterfront. Sites of this scale with such close proximity to both the beach and the city centre are few and far between, and this site offers a hugely exciting opportunity.
"Our plans have been very well-received and work is already underway on progressing our ideas, with encouraging interest so far from prospective occupiers. We see Swansea as having great potential, with this development as a clear priority project, and we're delighted to be entrusted to deliver it."