Plans have been approved to transform a prominent commercial building in Swansea city centre.
They will see the former Barclays building – 69-70 The Kingsway – become home to new-style flexible workspace suitable for a range of companies.
The development is designed to complement the neighbouring 71-72 Kingsway, a multi-million pound home for innovative tech and creative businesses about to go up on a site once occupied by nightclub Oceana.
The three-storey glass-fronted former Barclays building will be renovated with new tall glass windows and a ribbed aluminium screen. There will be new doors and, inside, a contemporary workspace created.
The application was submitted to city planners by design consultants The Urbanists on behalf of the council. The design was undertaken by London-based Architecture 00, who are working alongside property specialists Gleeds, Cushman & Wakefield and WSP on this and 71-72 Kingsway.
It has now been approved by the planning authority.
The vacant site has been acquired by Swansea Council and will back onto a new public square to one side of 71-72 Kingsway.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “The former Barclays building will be important to the regeneration of The Kingsway area.
“Now the area’s new two-way road system is in place and the public realm and regreening works are nearly complete, our attention has turned to refurbishment and rebuilding of key buildings around the Kingsway.
“This will complement the private sector investment along The Kingsway which has been attracted on the back of the environmental and access improvements.”
Many of these private sector projects have been boosted by Welsh Government commercial grant assistance, administered by the council.
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “The city centre is becoming a great place to live, work and spend quality leisure time.
“Our work on The Kingsway will stimulate jobs and economic growth. In conjunction with the Swansea Bay City Deal and others, we’re transforming public space throughout the city centre.”
The former Barclays building will stand close to the planned new Biophilic Living project – an eco-friendly building with homes and commercial space being delivered by Wales-based Hacer.
The Barclays project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Welsh Assembly Government. It complements the neighbouring development.
71 and 72 Kingsway – formerly known as the Digital Village – forms part of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project being part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal. It has also secured ERDF support.
Other features of the wider City Deal project include the indoor arena next to the LC, as well as a box village and innovation precinct development for start-up businesses at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David SA1 Waterfront
The first £18 million of City Deal funding has been released by the UK Government and Welsh Government, based on the approval of two projects including the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District.