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Swansea’s Tawe pontoon welcomed by river groups

Credit: Swansea Council

​​​​​​​The installation of a boating pontoon at a key site of Swansea regeneration has been welcomed by groups that use the city’s River Tawe.

Copper Jack cruises, the City of Swansea Rowing Club and Swansea University Rowing Club all plan to use the new facility under licence from Swansea Council.

The licence fees will help the council maintain the pontoon which has just opened at a Landore riverbank location around 1.5 miles upstream from the Tawe Barrage.

Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: “We’re delighted to welcome these fantastic local non-profit groups to be the first to use this excellent new facility.”

Credit: Swansea Council

Swansea Community Boat Trust chair Mark Whalley said: “The pontoon will enable us to expand the options we offer on our aptly-named boat Copper Jack, allowing passengers to embark and disembark to tour the new Penderyn distillery, see other historic Hafod Morfa Copperworks attractions and visit the Swansea.com Stadium.”

Swansea Rowing Club chairman Jonathan Rance said: “The pontoon means the club has the option to launch upstream at Morfa. Also, the pontoon has disabled access which will permit our para rowers to enjoy the benefits of rowing at Morfa.”

Ben Lucas, associate director of commercial services at Swansea University, said: “The pontoon – and associated developments – will begin to increase the opportunities available for students to utilise the river to participate in sport and physical activity at all levels.”

Credit: Swansea Council

The first pontoon’s funding included support from the Swansea Bay Fisheries Local Action Group (SBFLAG) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, which is funded by the European Union and Welsh Government and from the Welsh Government’s Small Scale Coastal Infrastructure Scheme.

Main contractors were Inland and Coastal Marina Systems. Plans were drawn up by Ashley Davies Architects and structural specialists Mann Williams.

The pontoon and neighbouring quayside have safety equipment, signs and wall ladders. There are life buoys and lockable gates for key holders.

It will be managed and maintained by the council’s Swansea Marina team.

Initially, it’s accessible to established and constituted non-commercial groups that use the river already. As its use beds in the council plans to take a considered look at how access can be granted to others, with security and safety the highest priorities.

Two other pontoons plus a Swansea Museum extension, further transformation of the copperworks and improvements to The Strand, are part of a £28.7m Lower Swansea Valley improvement project being led by the council and part-funded by the UK Government’s Levelling Up programme.