Construction work is set to begin this week on making Swansea’s Wind Street a more family-friendly environment.
South Wales contractor Griffiths will undertake Swansea Council’s work to improve the city centre venue.
It follows consultation with local businesses and residents.
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “I’m pleased that this important work can begin.
“We want Wind Street to be a family-friendly, high quality hospitality environment.
“Preparation work has continued through the pandemic; this has included consultation with traders and with environmental, disability and residents’ representatives.
“Our reimagining of Wind Street is a key element in our £1bn transformation of the city centre. Work is already well advanced on Copr Bay Phase One and The Kingsway and our plans for other significant city centre locations such as Castle Square mean that Swansea will lead the way out of the pandemic.
“Throughout these difficult times the council continues to be here for Swansea.”
Russell Greenslade, chief executive of Swansea BID, said: “We’ve worked closely with the council to help deliver this project and drive change in this part of the city, improving the economy and vibrancy of the area.
“We’re constantly striving, on behalf of our BID area businesses, to assist the council in its regeneration of the city centre to develop more vibrancy and attract more footfall.
“We’re proud to see plans like this come to fruition and we’ll continue to work with the council on such projects to attract new investment to Swansea, whilst supporting our existing, much valued BID businesses through the regeneration process as much as we can.”
The Wind Street project will see the street become significantly greener, with new planted areas at the main entrances and exits from the street and at points along it. There will be seating alongside the greenery.
Wind Street will become more accessible to pedestrians and users of all abilities, with clear accessible routes. The street will be all one level; this will provide a flexible space for events and other activities.
It will become a more attractive place for businesses wishing to trade outdoors, with dedicated areas set aside for hospitality dining areas – all part of the proposal to make the street a more family-orientated environment.
Wind Street will link to a new-look Castle Square where the council wants to have more usable green spaces, new planting, better accessibility and an enhanced setting for the many activities that take place there.
The aim is for Wind Street to be a family-friendly all-day café quarter with traffic restricted to 7-11am for business loading only.
The street will be free of vehicles during the daytime and evening trading periods.
Transformation work is set to be carried out through this year.
Existing natural stone paving and kerbs will be taken up and re-used. They will be laid in a way that reduces future maintenance costs.
The re-use of existing footway material will reduce the need for new materials, making the project more sustainable and reducing its carbon footprint.
To help those with mobility issues, there will be a clear accessible route. A new blue badge parking/dropping area will be created in Salubrious Passage, which will also benefit from new lighting.
Work already undertaken includes tree management that makes historic architecture more visible. More light now reaches pedestrians and people in the buildings. New street lights and new pea-lights on trees provide a vibrant backdrop to the street’s activities.
Funding sources for the Wind Street improvements include the council’s capital budget and the Welsh Government’s Targeted Regeneration Initiative. The work will be carried out in line with government pandemic guidelines.
To allow the work to be undertaken swiftly and to offer construction personnel a welfare area and compound, the nearby Worcester Place car park is temporarily closed for the duration of the works.
Other council-managed parking is available nearby on-street and at car parks in The Strand, Park Street and Pell Street.