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Welsh businesses get new chance to bid for Swansea arena work

How Swansea Central’s arena will look.

Welsh businesses are being urged to bid for new contracts on building the £135m Swansea Central Phase One scheme.

Principal contractor Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, working in collaboration with Swansea Council, wants to maximise the use of local and regional expertise.

There are 10 work packages available, with a total value of almost £2m. The value of the individual work packages starts from £10,000.

They include cleaning/builder’s clean, landscaping services, mastic application, asphalt laying, street furniture supply and installation, fencing, gates and barriers, and white lining.

A full breakdown of these and the individual smaller work packages will be available at a virtual meet-the-buyer event for businesses.

The event is being held by Buckingham Group and the council in collaboration with Welsh Government service Business Wales, CITB (the Construction Industry Training Board) and the Swansea Bay City Deal.

It is due to take place on November 11.

The format will be one-to-one meetings booked in advance for 15 minutes each and delivered via Microsoft Teams video conferencing.

The event is for contractors able to bid specifically for the packages advertised.

To book a place log on to http://bit.ly/MTBSwansea.

Swansea Central Phase One will bring a 3,500-capacity indoor arena, coastal park, landmark bridge, car parking, homes and commercial premises to a key city centre site.

It is being driven and funded by the council. The £1.3bn City Deal is part funding the arena; the Welsh Government’s Active Travel Fund is part funding the bridge.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “We’re delivering opportunities for local firms through this transformation scheme and that’s been the case throughout the build phase.

“Welsh businesses are finding work on this world-class regeneration project. I urge other business to attend this online meet-the-buyer event.

“Buckingham Group are expected to give every possible opportunity to Welsh firms.”

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “This project will bring investment to Swansea and help regenerate the city for generations to come.

“A key element of the scheme’s success is to ensure that local businesses and individuals have a great opportunity to benefit. Latest figures show that of the 1,341 people who have worked on site, around 76 per cent of them are based in Wales.”

Kevin Underwood, Managing Director for Sports and Leisure at Buckingham Group Contracting, said: “We enjoy working closely with Welsh businesses on this exciting scheme.

“We’re delivering high-quality work – and we’re working with suppliers and partners who can match our demands for the highest standards.

“Previous meet-the-buyer events have attracted a great deal of interest I expect similar interest this time.”

Buckingham Group have been on the expansive site – between the LC and Tesco Marina – since May last year. Main construction work began in November and the project is due to be complete in the second half of next year.

Howard Jacobson, growth adviser at Business Wales, said: “This meet the buyer event is a prime opportunity for Welsh contractors to gain more insight into the appropriate packages before bidding for the transformational scheme.

“Business Wales are delighted to be able to support any businesses wishing to tender through our fully funded support and webinars.”

Mark Bodger, Partnerships Director at CITB said: “CITB are pleased to be involved in this event to continue our great working relationship with all involved in this iconic scheme.

“We will be available to assist construction employers seeking to ensure they have the skills and training programmes in place to deliver the works required on this project. Our team will also be happy to signpost to available funding opportunities to aid development.”