Swansea city centre and its seafront have already undergone quite the transformation in recent years. In addition to Swansea Bay welcoming a plethora of new businesses, the city’s university has aligned with their world class reputation for research, innovation and education by doubling its campus in size, signalling a brighter future for its students, staff and the surrounding area. But the city’s exciting regeneration plans don’t end there…
Here Chris Hope, Partner at Dawsons Estate Agents, talks us through the multi-million pound proposals and the impact that the revamp could have on the economy, tourism, and the businesses and residents that call Swansea their home.
From the high street to the seafront
According to plans unveiled by Swansea Council, the city centre, from the high street to its harbour, is in for a major transformation. If approved, the outline plans will see two sites undergo redevelopment with work due to start as early as 2017. With developer Rivington Land & Acme leading the way, St David’s shopping centre, along with its car parking facilities, will face redevelopment with a landmark tower and 3,500-seat arena the jewels in the crown of the centrally based leg of the project. The tower is said to be designed to rival the Meridian Tower, whilst the neighbouring retail and restaurant facilities will provide a vibrant quarter at the heart of the city.
On the seafront, Trebor Developments will construct an aquatics research centre and public aquarium as well as a range of apartments, townhouses, eateries and public spaces.
The impact on our local economy
The increased level of facilities is what will really set the new and improved Swansea city centre and seafront apart from not just its former offering but from other cities and towns in Wales, including nearby rival Cardiff. If the developments were to go ahead as outlined the project will improve the look and feel of the high street ten-fold creating a welcoming environment for city centre businesses looking to set up shop within the area. In addition to generating more vibrancy, the development will attract even more investment with the proposals already resulting in a variety of ambitious and high quality shortlisted bids for both the Civic Centre and St David’s sites.
The new arena will also provide the facilities for a host of events, concerts and performances, a prospect that will increase tourism and spending within the area to support big and small brands based in Swansea. Tourism will be increased further thanks to the addition of what will be a world-leading aquarium and aquatics centre.
What will the plans mean for us?
For residents and businesses alike the potential for long term investment within the area will unlock a selection of exciting opportunities. For individuals, job prospects will increase dramatically, particularly within the retail and hospitality fields, whilst residential property values are likely to receive a boost thanks to access to the improved facilities. Business owners will also reap the rewards with enhanced footfall securing high ROI.
Like my fellow residents and business owners, I too am urging the redevelopment plans for Swansea city centre and seafront to go ahead sooner rather than later. I know I speak for many when I say that Swansea as a whole is tired of so many false dawns with delays relating to rail electrification, the procrastination of tidal lagoon and the job losses at Tata Steel just some of the issues casting negativity over whether this particular regeneration project will get the green light. This city really needs this development to happen for the reasons stated in this article and so many more!