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Digital bridge landmark option for key Swansea gateway

A futuristic digital bridge over Oystermouth Road could become a new Swansea landmark.

Digital bridge

Acting as a gateway to the city's planned new digital indoor arena, the 12-metre wide pedestrian bridge would link the attraction with new shops, restaurants and other facilities proposed for the former St David's shopping centre site.

Among the final options for the bridge is a lattice 'skin' complete with state-of-the-art LED lighting that would promote upcoming shows, concerts and other events at the 3,500-capacity arena, which is planned for the current LC car park site.

These plans form part of the Swansea Central development being led by Swansea Council and Rivington Land, their development managers for the site.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "Not only will the arena be one-of-a-kind in the UK with a dynamic digital skin, but we're also keen to pursue the option of making the bridge that links the two Swansea Central development sites an amazing digital experience in itself.

"The digital bridge could be an eye-catching feature, helping the new Swansea city centre stand out from the crowd by promoting shows, concerts, exhibitions and other events at the indoor arena. This would add to the visiting experience for an attraction that's going to hold over 200 events a year. 

"The skin of the arena and the bridge could potentially be powered entirely by solar panels incorporated into the roof of the arena, which would allow both facilities to be renewable energy powered attractions.

"We already have nearly everything in place that we need. City Deal money is available, a development manager is on board, an arena operator has been selected and outline planning consent has been approved. Detailed planning consent will be sought in December this year, so we're confident that we're able to move forward with our architects on detailed designs.

"Work on phase one of our plans - made up of the construction of the indoor arena, the bridge, a new hotel and additional car parking - will start next year, with the arena set to be open and fully operational in mid-2020."

The council also visited the Revo 2017 conference in Liverpool last month as the drive to attract tenants to the former St David's shopping centre gathers pace for phase two of the city centre's regeneration. As well as shops, restaurants, cafés and new public spaces, a cinema is earmarked for the site.

Cllr Stewart said: "Further meetings with leading retailers and digital providers will take place in coming months following very positive discussions at the conference. We're determined to deliver on our exciting city centre plans for the benefit of Swansea residents and visitors to the city."

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