Swansea business leaders have welcomed the appointment of an award-winning regeneration company to lead a £750m transformation of several key development sites.
Alan Brayley, Managing Director of AB Glass, and Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of Swansea BID (Business Improvement District), say Swansea Council’s appointment of Urban Splash as its preferred development partner is a major private sector vote of confidence in the city.
Urban Splash have developed over 60 regeneration projects across the UK in the last 25 years.
To be funded by the private sector, early proposals for a number of sites in Swansea have now been developed. The sites include the Civic Centre, Swansea Central North at the former St David’s Shopping Centre site, and a plot of land running alongside the river in the St Thomas area of the city.
The council’s appointment of Urban Splash followed an extensive search for a preferred development partner as part of the Shaping Swansea initiative.
More work will now carried out on the early proposals for each site before plenty of opportunities for local people to give their feedback and help shape the plans.
Alan Brayley, who’s also President of the Swansea Bay Business Club, said: “This is yet another big step forward for the city. We know how much potential Swansea has, and these proposals will help make the most of our stunning seafront while also creating more footfall and spending for our city centre businesses.
“Businesses in Swansea feel confident about the future, thanks to the huge amount of regeneration works already taking place across the city, including the Copr Bay district with the fantastic Swansea Arena development at its heart.
“If anything, this confidence has now been further strengthened by the council attracting a major private sector partner with a great track for delivery in other cities throughout the UK. These are exciting times for Swansea, which mean our city is emerging from the pandemic in a strong place in terms of investment and job creation.”
Russell Greenslade said: “This is a significant private sector vote of confidence in our BID area and city. It’s certainly an exciting time to be part of the unfolding story of Swansea as a modern, confident, forward-thinking city.
“As a BID, we are seeing the impressive investments being made by Swansea Council and the public sector being mirrored by our BID area businesses, who are doubling down on their efforts to make their firms a success.
“We are already seeing a renewed confidence in the area from existing and new businesses investing in the city centre, not least because of the prospect of extra footfall and improved vibrancy that is likely to materialise thanks to sites including the new office buildings, apartments, and shared workspaces on the Swansea Central North former St David’s Shopping Centre site. With the Civic Centre site also in our BID area, we look forward to learning more about its transformation. We have a lot to look forward to.”
A new city waterfront district is being earmarked for the Civic Centre site. A mixed-use destination anchored by the beach is proposed, with new homes and a strong leisure and hospitality focus, generous civic spaces and plenty of greenery. Other proposals include a new walkway to the beach and a mix of permanent and seasonal uses and events to create an all-season visitor destination.
At Swansea Central North, new office buildings, new apartments for residents and shared workspaces are proposed, along with space for small creative businesses.
A residential-led regeneration is proposed for the St Thomas site, featuring family homes, apartments, new public spaces and a new terraced river walk providing direct access to the river for the first time in over 150 years.
Further proposals in future will also cover opportunities to develop other key sites across Swansea.