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Transformation of Swansea’s Castle Square Gardens takes big step forward

Credit: Swansea Council

Transformation plans for Swansea’s landmark Castle Square Gardens have taken a step forward as the council begins its search for a contractor to deliver the prestigious scheme.

Public feedback from several rounds of consultation has helped influence the look and feel of the focal point at the heart of the city centre ahead of planning permission granted earlier this year.

Now the council has moved ahead by putting out the transformation project to tender this week.

The plans will see Castle Square Gardens get:

  • An increased amount of greenery, including new lawns, ornamental and biodiverse planting
  • Two pavilion buildings for food, drink or retail businesses – one with an accessible green roof
  • A new water feature for interactive play
  • New giant TV screen above a bandstand-style facility
  • New outdoor seating areas

There’ll be new planters, steps, seating, lighting and paving. The existing leaf boat feature will be removed to another suitable Swansea location in consultation with the original artist.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “Castle Square Gardens is an iconic feature of our city centre and the re-greening of the area will help boost the city centre’s transformation, attract more shoppers and be a focal point for events.

“We’ll be looking for a very high-quality principle contractor with a track record of delivering great projects of the kind we’re looking for in Castle Square Gardens.

“The feedback, thoughts, ideas and observations from the public mean that we’ll be creating something that complements our £1bn regeneration programme across the wider city centre and our contractor will be turning that vision into reality.

“It’ll be a modern, functional and well maintained public space which can accommodate a range of events, arts and cultural experiences.”

The scheme’s commercial elements – including restaurant units with outdoor seating – aim to increase the location’s vitality and encourage people to stay longer.

Castle Square Gardens will continue to host public and creative events through the year. There’ll be no net loss of useable public open space.

The neighbouring Wind Street has already been improved as a largely pedestrian area – and at the other side of Castle Square Gardens a new public services hub, with library, is planned for the former BHS and What! store.

Consultants Spider management and Acme have been working on Castle Square Gardens on behalf of the council.

Once it’s underway it’s anticipated the new Castle Square Gardens will take around 12 months to complete.

The principle contractor for the project will be responsible for technical design and construction work. Included in the contract will be highways works, drainage, landscaping and the construction of two new-build pavilions and a water feature.

Contractors have until June 1 to submit bids via the Sell To Wales website