A multi-million pound package of investment is on the way to further help Swansea recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Building on work Swansea Council has already carried out since the onset of Covid, a number of new schemes are now set for approval to support even more residents, families, communities and businesses.
Schemes due for the green light include the upgrade of all council-owned play areas across the city to a high standard, following-on from the improvement of dozens in 2021. Also due for approval is a plan to assess and improve all skate park facilities in Swansea.
Further planned schemes include a new and improved data centre at Guildhall, which would be relocated from the Civic Centre building that’s earmarked for redevelopment. This will help meet the needs of more and more people using the council’s online services, as well the council’s move towards more agile working for its staff.
A key element in supporting the council’s digital services, it’s anticipated the improved data centre at Guildhall would be about 60% smaller than its current size, helping deliver significant energy savings while also providing improved efficiency, storage, cyber security and resilience. Costs of introducing the new data centre would be covered by funding the council has in reserve.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “So many departments at the council have carried out a huge amount of work throughout the pandemic so far to support our residents, communities and businesses.
“This has included the setting up and running of food banks and track and trace services, while continuing to support the homeless, our looked-after children, our carers, our schoolchildren and people in shielding and social care.
“Other support has included the allocation of over £150m worth of grants to our businesses and the upgrading of more than 30 play areas to benefit children and families, but this major investment will continue well into 2022 and beyond.
“As well as our new plans to upgrade all council-owned play areas and improve Swansea’s skate park facilities, we’re also looking to strengthen our digital systems and services, which have been so important for hundreds of thousands of people during the pandemic.
“Not only will a new and improved data centre make these digital systems and services more efficient and resilient for years to come, but it will help cut the council’s carbon footprint as well because of the energy savings it will create.
“These are among a package of new measures set to be put in place as the council continues to do it all it can to support Swansea, while ensuring the city is well-placed to quickly recover from the pandemic’s impact.”
Other measures include strengthening the council’s economic recovery fund, which is due to be increased from £20m to £25m.
Projects funded by the council’s economic recovery fund so far include free bus schemes to help local shopping, the provision of free outside public space use for businesses to expand, and the free use of sports pitches for many football, cricket and bowls clubs in Swansea.