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Swansea £100m arena site to welcome first engineering gear

Excavation machinery will move onto the site of Swansea's proposed £100m digital arena complex on June 5.

Digital arena

It will be the first visible sign that plans are progressing for the 3,500-capacity high-tech venue and its associated elements which comprise the Swansea Central Phase 1 development scheme.

The digital indoor arena is due to be part-funded, subject to the approval of a business case, by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal - an investment in 11 major projects across South West Wales, being funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector.

The purpose of next week's work is to dig a number of small trial pits in the grass bank on the LC car park's Marina side.

These will allow engineers to explore the lower parts of the Grade 2 Listed stone-built former railway wall that runs behind the bank for the length of the car park.

This site investigation will help inform the design of the arena and its immediate vicinity which will have a mix of uses.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: "The arrival of this machinery confirms that our city's new digital arena is more than a vision.

"A planning application will go in soon and we hope to be on site with further enabling works in August, with full construction kicking in after Christmas. 

"We want to push ahead with the arena complex which includes a digital square, car parking and the first new park in the city for over half a century. There will be a broad new pedestrian bridge over Oystermouth Road to new homes and more car parking.

"We've got a world-class venue operator - ATG - on board who have a wealth of expertise in delivery exciting events and spectacles.

"We want Swansea to become a major destination for tours, acts, conferences and events that will boost our city centre economy and create local jobs."

Excavation machinery will be on site from June 5-15, overseen by London-based Padstone Consulting.

Engineers will dig five trial pits of up to 4m in length, the locations specifically chosen by structural engineers. Care will be taken to preserve any excavated items that may be of archeological interest.

This work will mean the temporary loss of around 10 car parking bays.One small tree will be removed and engineers, who worked with an arboriculturalist and a landscape architect when planning this work, will make every effort to re-plant this following the excavation.

Excavated soil, turf and other materials will be reinstated.

The state-of-the-art digital arena is due to open in 2020. A public exhibition about the plans is due to take place in the city centre on June 15.

Cllr Stewart said: "In years to come, our aim is to have major culture or music events every month. The arena will keep the city on entertainment's world stage.

"We should aim to bring the biggest and best to Swansea. People should not have to travel to see the biggest stars or enjoy a brilliant day out."

The recent Swansea visit of global stars such as Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift for the BBC Biggest Weekend will be followed this summer by big names appearing at the Liberty Stadium; they include The Killers and Little Mix.

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