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Swansea arena: Contractors set to move onto site

Swansea's 3,500-capacity Digital Arena is due to move a big step closer this week


Contractors are set to arrive on site on May 15 to prepare for construction work that will see the top class facility built on part of the existing Oystermouth Road car park, next to the LC.

The arrival of contractors at the city centre car park is resulting in a partial loss of parking spaces at the car park as the important scheme moves forward.

Swansea Council is confident that plenty of parking provision is still available near the LC and can more than cope with demand with around 1,800 parking spaces still available within walking distance of the LC.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management, said: "We thank motorists for their understanding as we move ahead with this major regeneration scheme.

"As the earliest work is carried out we see minimal disruption to those looking to park next to the LC. The initial loss of the first 95 spaces should not cause too much difficulty for motorists as there's usually a good deal of spare space in the LC car park.

"At this time, people can still park at the LC - and all disability spaces remain. Buckingham Group Contracting will try to reduce their footprint over the Whitsun bank holiday weekend to temporarily accommodate more car parting.

"As work progresses later this year we will fully close the LC car park - although a similar number of parking spaces will return once the arena opens in 2021.

"It will still be easy to visit the LC, the museum and other attractions because there's parking space just across the road at the St David's multi-storey, in the St Mary's ground level car park and in the Quadrant multi-storey. Paxton Street car park is also very close by as is East Burrows car park, by the sail bridge. Park and Ride continues to operate in Fabian Way and Landore.

"We will make it simple for visitors and regulars to park in city centre and be guided to attractions and local businesses.

"This is the start of a truly transformational project for Swansea and we know that thousands of Swansea residents and visitors share our excitement at the opportunities and benefits it will bring."

The £120m arena scheme - known as Swansea Central Phase One - will also see the creation of homes, commercial units, a Digital Square, coastal-themed parkland, a broad pedestrian bridge over Oystermouth Road and hundreds of new parking spaces.

Swansea Council is behind the scheme, with principal contractor Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd undertaking the construction work.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: "This is a significant moment as we deliver a project that will be a catalyst for the transformation and success of Swansea city centre for future generations.

"Buckingham Group Contracting moving on site shows that the arena project is gathering pace. This is a big deal for Swansea, an end to the artist impressions and a beginning for new landmarks."

The council and its partners have been talking with residents and attractions close to the arena site. These include the LC and the National Waterfront Museum.

This week will see around 95 of the LC car park's 270 parking spaces taken over by Buckingham Group Contracting.

Their initial work over the coming 10 weeks will include putting up safety hoardings around this part of the car park, and - from early June - the testing of the long earth bank alongside the old railway wall which separates the site from the Marina. In due course, the bank will go but the historic stone wall will remain and will help future generations understand the importance of the rail line to Swansea in past times.

The LC has contacted members about the work and will continue to keep them informed. In partnership with the National Waterfront Museum, the LC is working with the council to install informative banners in neighbouring car parks.

Nic Beggs, Freedom Leisure Area Manager, operators of the LC Swansea, said: "It is exciting times for Swansea city centre.  We will see some changes to our customer journey but having met with the developers and Swansea City Council I am sure we can work together to ensure our customers are unaffected by this new development.

Steph Mastoris, Head of National Waterfront Museum, said: "The building of the Digital Arena and associated attractions will be a huge step forward for Swansea. We understand that this means change and we're confident that we can help our visitors enjoy good access to the museum throughout the work."

Main contract works on Swansea Central Phase One are due to complete in early 2021.


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