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Early construction work is underway on Swansea’s 3,500-capacity Digital Arena

Contractors are on site preparing for main construction work that will see the cutting-edge facility built on part of the existing Oystermouth Road car park, next to the LC.

Pictured at the future site of the Swansea Digital Arena and associated development is Swansea Council leader and Swansea Bay City Deal joint committee chairman Rob Stewart.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “This is the start of a transformational project for Swansea; thousands of residents and visitors share our excitement at the opportunities and benefits it will bring.

“Having the contractors on site for this preparatory work is a big step forward and, along with the recent news that the UK and Welsh Governments have agreed to release City Deal funding for the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project, is a sign of real progress for the people of Swansea.

“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.

“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 arena scheme forms part of a £120m transformation known as Swansea Central Phase One, which 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 preparatory work on site.

RivingtonHark, appointed by Swansea Council, is development manager for Swansea Central Phase One.

Kevin Underwood, managing director of Buckingham Group Contracting, said:

“We are delighted to be making progress on this incredibly exciting scheme.

“Our experience of working on major projects means that we’re delivering high-quality work during this preparatory period.

“We’re committed to delivering the highest standards that this initiative, the people of Swansea and the site’s neighbouring residents and businesses deserve.”

Buckingham’s initial work includes putting up safety hoardings around part of the LC car park and testing the long earth bank alongside the old railway wall which separates the site from the Marina.

Buckingham’s initial work includes putting up safety fences around part of the LC car park and creating a working platform for the installation of a piled wall on the existing long earth bank alongside the old railway wall which separates the site from the Marina.

In due course, the bank will be completely removed 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 car park remains open. Local businesses and venues such as the LC and the National Waterfront Museum remain open and accessible.

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

ATG (Ambassador Theatre Group), which operates close to 50 venues worldwide, from London’s West End and across the UK, the United States and Germany, will run the indoor arena.

Its programme of world-class live entertainment is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors to Swansea throughout the year. The multifunctional arena will also be a conference centre.

The digital indoor arena and digital plaza elements of Swansea Central Phase One are due to be part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal. An investment programme in a number of transformational projects across South West Wales, the City Deal is projected to give the regional economy a £1.8 billion boost.

Also due to be part-funded by the City Deal are a digital village for tech businesses on Kingsway in Swansea city centre, and a box village and innovation precinct development for start-up companies at the new University of Wales Trinity Saint David SA1 Waterfront.