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Swansea’s iconic Castle Garden Square set for major transformation

A top-class development team is to create an exciting new vision for Swansea city centre’s Castle Square area.


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Swansea Council invited professional teams to submit bids to produce a feasibility study for the high-profile location – and Spider Project Management has just started work.

Spider is an independent property and building consultancy providing focused, high-value project management services.


[/aoa]In Swansea they will work with design partner Acme, a London-based international practice with expertise in urban planning and contemporary architecture.

Their work over the next few months will consider how Castle Square could be transformed. A key factor will be how it could link the emerging new-look Kingsway with the new Swansea Central development, including its digital arena and conference centre.

The location will remain in public ownership and will continue to be the city centre’s focal public space.

Enhancements being considered include a restaurant run by a Welsh business, high quality sustainable design and more green space recognising the square’s garden history.

It will remain a year-round destination, practical for events, pop-up uses, commercial, seasonal, cultural opportunities, informal play and activity.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “Spider’s feasibility study and design will show how a new-style Castle Garden Square could complement – and be key to – the city centre’s ongoing regeneration.

“Nearby, there will be a people-friendly Kingsway, 3,500-capacity digital arena, a digital business village and much more – and we want them all to be closely linked for the benefit of shoppers, residents, businesses and others.

“The square is a pivotal location and one of the key city spaces, overlooked by our historic castle.

“It now looks tired and, should funding become available, will be significantly improved to ensure it will be a landmark focal point at the heart of our new city. Its functional public space will be equal to – or greater than – at present and we want to create a new gardens element to offer a re-greened, more vibrant Castle Square.

“The aim of this first step – the feasibility study – will be to create a design that will capture the charm of the original Castle Gardens but have the flexibility to cater for events in the way the square currently does.”

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Swansea will become a destination of choice for shopping, eating, leisure activities, days out for families and an enjoyable, welcoming environment for residents and visitors alike.

“We want to increase the number of people working and living in Swansea and attract high-quality employment. The £1.3bn city deal is helping deliver that, and creation of a new-look Castle Garden Square would be another major milestone in creating a modern vibrant Swansea.”

Spider director Aidan Webb said: “Swansea is a city on the rise, with thrilling regeneration plans. We’re delighted to be playing a key role in considering how a major city centre location could be transformed.”

Spider and Acme have just started work on the feasibility study. This will include a comprehensive review of the Castle Square area and a look into its future.

Activity will include technical studies of the site, indicative costings for the overhaul work and research to understand which Welsh operators would be a good fit for the new commercial space.

An initial design concept will be developed with input from local stakeholders such as traders and residents.

This concept will then go out for broader public consultation. Public feedback will inform the creation of a final concept; subsequent discussions will see the council make a final decision on the design and its possible implementation.

Throughout the feasibility study process, Spider will work alongside council officers and other professionals.