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Swansea conference zones and sponsors announced

Swansea conference

The five zones and five zone sponsors for the Swansea Conference have been announced.

The conference, which takes place at Swansea Arena on March 29, unites local businesses, organisations and individuals who are making change happen in the Swansea region. The event is free to attend.

It will include updates and key announcements on current and planned initiatives to make Swansea a better place to live, work, holiday and do business in.

Last year’s conference, also held at Swansea Arena, attracted over 120 exhibitors and over 2500 delegates. This year’s conference looks set to exceed those figures.

The Arena will house the following zones: the Creative and Digital Zone, the Development and Investment Zone, the Energy and Environment Zone, the Regional Zone, and the Destination Zone.

The Creative and Digital Zone, sponsored by University of Wales Trinity Saint David, will focus on Swansea’s thriving creative community and how to make it better. Plans for a new creative network for Swansea will be discussed and visitors will be able to learn about key digital developments being delivered by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and Swansea Bay City Deal.

The zone is sponsored by UWTSD. Provost of UWTSD Swansea Campus, Professor Ian Walsh said:

“As proud sponsors of the Creative and Digital Zone at this year’s Swansea City Conference the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is delighted to celebrate and support the growth of the Digital Economy across the Swansea Bay City region. The conference presents a wonderful opportunity for the University to showcase its engagement with public bodies and commercial partners across Wales and beyond.

“UWTSD is one of the UK’s leading universities in developing innovative educational programmes which provide those vital high-level skills necessary to succeed in today’s fast paced digital and creative industries.  Working in close partnership with employers across the region, the University seeks to transform the life choices for learners looking to build successful careers within industry or the public services. UWTSD is also committed to fostering entrepreneurship and has supported the launch of more graduate start-ups than any other UK University.”

The Development and Investment Zone will focus on new and upcoming work to improve Swansea’s built environment and infrastructure, and to make it a more attractive place to invest and do business. The zone is sponsored by Swansea Business Improvement District.

Swansea BID CEO Russell Greenslade said:

“Sponsoring this zone is a great opportunity for sharing information on opportunities, growth, and developments and on our 800+ organisations who are investors themselves in the city centre, not to mention the exciting regeneration that’s happening as we speak in our BID area.

“It’s important we, as the city centre businesses and commercial hub of the Swansea Bay City Region, are involved in this event as it really does support the collaborative and partnership approach we have in place that’s key in scaling up our economy and vibrancy in our amazing city and our fast-growing city centre.”

The Energy and Environment Zone will address key sustainability issues, opportunities and developments in Swansea and explore how the city can be made resilient in the face of the climate emergency. It will also see the launch of the new Swansea Food Charter. The zone is sponsored by Coastal Housing Group.

Debbie Green, CEO of Coastal Housing, said:

“Coastal has committed to taking all possible action to ensure its operations directly address the climate emergency. As part of that commitment, we’re sponsoring the energy and environment zone at the city centre conference to talk about our work and encourage local people and organisations to join us in that endeavour.”

The Regional Zone, sponsored by Swansea Bay City Deal, will unite representatives from the from the Swansea Bay City Region. The City Deal is a UK Government and Welsh Government initiative supported by a partnership between Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea’s local authorities, two universities, two health boards local businesses in southwest Wales, along with other organisations.

Within the region, the Swansea Bay City Deal is delivering up to £1.3bn of investment through nine programmes and projects, including Pembroke Dock Marine, Homes as Power Stations and Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal Joint Committee said:

“The City Deal is delighted to sponsor the Regional Zone which will bring together some of the very best organisations in our region in the fantastic Swansea Arena which was delivered as part of the Swansea Bay City Deal.

“We continue to make excellent progress across the City Deal portfolio of projects, by leveraging substantial investment from the public and private sector, which will create significant jobs and grow the economy, not only in Swansea, but through the whole of South West Wales. The City Deal will help fulfil this ambition for current and future generations, providing a bright outlook for our businesses and residents.”

The Destination Zone, sponsored by South West Wales Connected Community Rail Partnership, will focus on projects making Swansea an attractive destination to visit for business or recreation.

Ashley Morgan, South West Wales Connected Community Rail Officer, said:

“We’re very proud to be sponsoring the Destination Zone. Swansea is already an exciting, welcoming and vibrant place to visit, and there are countless projects underway to make it even more attractive and to support the tourism sector, city centre shops and restaurants, and travel in the region. We’re delighted to be part of many of these initiatives and we look forward to discussing plans for Swansea’s future at the conference.”

The Swansea Conference is run by 4theRegion, a membership alliance working to bring about positive change in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

Zoe Antrobus, co-founder and managing director of 4theRegion said:

“We’re very much looking forward to this year’s conference, which is set to be our biggest and best yet. The conference began life in 2019, had a break during the pandemic, then returned in 2022 to a great reception. This year’s five zones provide the opportunity to look at Swansea and the Swansea City Region from every angle – from sustainability to creativity and from tourism to investment. There will be exciting updates, chances to discuss plans for Swansea’s future, and plenty of networking opportunities.”

Anyone interested in exhibiting at the conference can contact Zoe Antrobus: [email protected]