The latest news on developments in the Swansea Bay region.
The proposals by London-based developers Rivington Land will include an indoor arena, a hotel, shops, restaurants, a boutique cinema, car parking and a broad pedestrian bridge over Oystermouth Road. If the public backs the plans they will join a host of changes coming to Wales’s second city, including a ‘digital business district’ in Kingsway and a regenerated Civic Centre. The cost of the Civic Centre and St David’s developments is estimated at £500m. The published ‘outline plans’ will give the public a chance to air their views before they are formally submitted You can read more in the draft outline application in full here.
The skyline of Swansea’s SA1 is changing as a steel frame marks progress on a new £300 million development. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is building a new academic neighbourhood which is expected to encourage companies to set up shop there as well as benefiting students. Phase one of the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter will comprise a faculty of architecture, computing and engineering, a faculty of education and communities and a new library, and open for the start of the 2018 academic year. The second phase of the development will expand the university’s academic facilities further and create space for businesses by 2021. Kier Construction won the contract to deliver phase one of the development and it is working with a number of local contractors and suppliers. These include Neath-based Cuddy Group, and Swansea companies Donal Hayes & Sons and AB Glass Doors and Windows.
Regeneration company Hammerson said its investment would transform the retail area around Plantasia. The Odeon cinema and Tenpin bowling will stay put, while Mothercare will move into a new unit and the Toys ‘R’ Us store will be upgraded. Costa Coffee is a new signing — and its “pod” will double up as a drive-thru. In addition there will be new public spaces, with seating and “living” walls. The work is expected to be completed this year.
Worm’s Head Hotel in Rhossili has been granted planning permission for new extensions and other remodelling that will increase the number of guest rooms, create a new outdoor seating area and improve the overall look of the cliff-top venue. Visitors will see gabled dormers, new links between the various parts of the hotel, and a raised outdoor seating area.
A new waterfront ‘box village’ built from thousands of shipping containers in Swansea that would provide a new innovative environment for the worlds of business and academia to collaborate. The planned village and business innovation precinct, at Swansea’s SA1 Waterfront Innovation Quarter scheme, is seeking financial backing from the £1bn plus (when factoring in private sector backing) City Deal bid for the Swansea Bay City Region. It would aim to create ‘communities of practice’ bringing students, academics and businesses together to explore ideas and create opportunities for the development of new businesses, products and services.
Building work on 30 sheltered housing apartments on Swansea City FC’s former Vetch Field home is due to begin. The complex would be built off William Street where the turnstiles and part of the old North Bank once stood. It is being funded by housing association Pobl Group and a social housing grant from the Welsh Government. “Maintaining and creating high quality housing is our priority and the new scheme will allow us to provide more homes to modern standards,” said Pobl’s director of development, Jonathan Hughes. The work should be finished by summer 2018
Developer Conygar Investment Company, has started building a new 100,000 sq ft retail park in Cross Hands. The park will include 10 units, a variety of shops, a pub, restaurant and a 521-space car park. Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Emlyn Jones, said “This demonstration of confidence in our local economy, and the company’s commitment to creating new jobs in the county, is something we truly welcome. This is good news for the area, and a sign of a prosperous future ahead.” During its construction period the project will create 100 jobs. Work on the scheme is being carried out by Carmarthenshire-based contractor TRJ.
The proposed building, which could in some parts reach 12 storeys, would provide accommodation for approximately 250 students, with a separate unit to house a coffee shop. If approved, the project would be built at 14 to 18 The Kingsway, on the ground level car park to the west of Christina Street and opposite the top of Picton Arcade. The proposal is one of a number being considered for The Kingsway, as Swansea Council looks to breathe new life into the area and create a new business district
The first new council homes in a generation will soon start to go up on land off Milford Way in Penderry. The ten two-bedroom homes and eight one-bedroom apartments have been designed to innovative an Passivhaus standard, which means they’ll be extremely energy efficient because of the inclusion of in-built measures that will reduce the need for heating.
Popular Pembrokeshire tourist attraction Folly Farm has been granted plans to develop a £10m Holiday Village. The award winning adventure park has been given planning permission to build more than 56-themed lodges, touring caravans and glamping facilities, including teepees and yurts, on 11.03 hectares of land to the north of its Kilgetty site. The application is for 27 timber lodges, 29 showmen’s wagons, 43 touring caravan sites, 15 safari-style ridge tents, 11 circus-style bell tents and 10 yurt tents. Barns will also be converted into a cafe, games room and shop. It still needs to go in front of full council early next year. Read more.
Carmarthenshire Council has approved work to begin on the development of Burry Port’s new £9.6 million primary school, which is set to replace the existing Ysgol Parc Y Tywyn. The new school will be built to the highest energy efficient standards and has been scheduled to be completed by the summer 2018. It will be designed by the council’s own architects as part of its Modernising Education Programme. Councillor Gareth Jones, Carmarthenshire Council’s Executive Board Member for education commented: “I’m pleased to see the start of yet another 21st century school as part of our Modernising Education Programme. “The new Ysgol Parc Y Tywyn will provide a first class learning environment for pupils and teachers and we’re delighted to see work beginning.” Read more.
Plans for a new homes development with a Marks & Spencer store in Mumbles are set to be approved. Swansea Council’s planning committee is due to consider the application for the former British Legion site on Newton Road, which has stood empty for almost a decade after the building was demolished. In that time it has been used as a car park and market space, but the latest application proposes a mixed development, with a 1,295 square-metre retail food store, with 61 basement car parking spaces, and nine apartments, with a further 15 associated parking spaces. Paul Whittaker, of the Mumbles Traders Association said: “Mumbles is going through a transitionary period and I think this sort of business will help increase footfall for other business in the village”. Read more
Plans to regenerate Swansea’s former Hafod copperworks site could also include a hotel and leisure complex. Heritage Lottery funding has already been granted to set up a distillery and visitor centre to attract up to 50,000 visitors per year. But a hotel complex has been earmarked by Swansea council which would also be used by sports fans attending matches at the nearby Liberty Stadium. Council leader Rob Stewart said there was an “opportunity” for the scheme. Read more .
The wraps have come off the next phase of Llanelli’s new Vocational Village. Special guests were invited to get their first glimpse of the pioneering scheme, developed specifically to offer top of the range vocational learning opportunities for secondary schoolchildren in the Llanelli area. Cllr Gareth Jones, Executive Board Member for Education, said: “We are proud to launch the first element of the Vocational Village scheme at Bryngwyn. “The aim of this scheme is to ensure that young people have access to first class vocational training in key employment sectors, right here on their doorstep. “The feedback we’ve already had from pupils shows that we’re on the right track, with exciting times ahead.” Read more.
Trawler Road student block in Swansea marina with 287 bedrooms, restaurants, bars and shops approved
A student accommodation block reaching six storeys high is on its way to the marina. When built, the Trawler Road block will include three units of 40, 70 and 255 square metres which will be to be turned into bars, restaurants or shops, as well as a 43-space car park. The site is one of the few remaining plots in the marina yet to be developed. Read more
Work has started on a section of the multi-million-pound and picturesque Tywi Valley Path. The first phase of works have taken place between Fronun and Bwlch Bach, near the concrete works in Abergwili, and will form part of the planned 16-mile route linking Carmarthen and Llandeilo through the scenic Tywi Valley countryside. The works included drainage and widening of the existing carriageway for approximately 1km, with some road markings and signage still to be carried out, and were paid for thanks to a Local Transport Fund grant from Welsh Government. Read more
Plans to develop new performing arts and sports facilities at the Graig Campus in Llanelli have been given a £1.5m boost, Education Secretary Kirsty announced today (Thurs 15th Dec). The funding will go towards Coleg Sir Gar’s proposals to build a new facility at the site to accommodate performing arts and sports together with a business development innovation unit. The total project is expected to cost £3.2m and will also include incubation units for entrepreneurs to develop business ideas and improve the ability to maximise commercial activity linked to sports and the creative industries. It will also mean lower running costs. Kirsty Williams said: “This is an exciting project and I am delighted to announce £1.5m of Welsh Government funding to support it. Read more.
Two giant wind turbines in the Swansea Valley go live. They form Wales’s largest community energy project and are based at Mynydd y Gwrhyd, near Cwmllynfell. The Awel Aman Tawe wind farm will be connected to the National Grid on Friday after 18 years of planning. The two turbines stand at 330ft (100m) and it is claimed they will produce enough electricity to power 2,500 homes. They are expected to generate about £3m over their lifetime, which is intended to benefit local community projects. Read more.
An interactive science centre presenting examples of cutting-edge Swansea University research through hands-on exhibits could be on the way to the city’s Civic Centre site in future. Talks are on-going that could see the Oriel Science gallery forming part of a proposed ‘hydro hub’ at the site that would also include a public aquarium and a state-of-the-art aquatic science research centre. Swansea Council has appointed Trebor Developments to manage the regeneration of the Civic Centre site. read more
The £20million funding package from Affordable Housing Finance will enable Coastal Housing Group to expand on its existing portfolio of residential schemes, which are helping to regenerate town and city centres across South Wales by creating new communities through affordable living. The cash injection will pave the way for the Swansea based housing association to invest in further regeneration projects in and around Swansea’s retail and commercial districts following the success of its £8m Castle Quarter development. read more
A refurbishment is being planned for NPTC Group of Colleges’ busiest campus. The development is expected to cost just over £3 million, with the Welsh Government meeting half the costs. The Neath Campus of Dwr-Y-Felin road plans to install a Starbucks Coffee shop, study area for students, catering facilities, retail area and a lift to allow access to the upper floors. The college is now waiting on Neath Port Talbot Council to approve the proposals. read more
Work has started on phase one of SA1 Waterfront – the new campus for University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Phase 1 of the £300 million development, will see the creation of new facilities for the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, as well as new library facilities.It wants to attract companies to the site to exploit knowledge, develop skills, support existing businesses and attract new investment into the region. read more
Multi-million pound art deco re-development of Tivoli Arcade opens
Popular bar group Loungers is opening its second venue in Swansea – at the Oyster Wharf development in Mumbles. The opening of Croeso Lounge will see the creation of 25 jobs, the company said. Loungers has spent £610,000 transforming the site into what it says will be a “family-friendly retro-inspired cosy retreat”. Jeremy Burton-Dickie, operations manager, Loungers, said: “Oyster Wharf is a beautiful development and we’re looking forward to showing the good people of Mumbles how to lounge in style.” read more Co-op was the first tenant to open their new 5,000 sq ft store in the old Tivoli Arcade last month employing 33 staff. read more
Trees, plants and turfed areas are being put in place on West Way as part of a major road improvement scheme that’s nearing completion there. Swansea Council is behind the work, with funding from the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places Swansea City Centre Regeneration. read more
Since acquiring the former Oceana building on The Kingsway via a partial lease swap, the authority has snapped up six nearby buildings and is looking to buy a seventh. The six buildings are 69, 69a and 70 The Kingsway, and 232, 233 and 234 Oxford Street. These acquisitions will give the planned business district a larger footprint and also frontages on two streets rather than one.read more
The Welsh Government has approved a £19m grant for a new school in Margam. Ysgol Newydd Margam will accommodate 1,455 pupils and replace Dyffryn Comprehensive and Groes Primary schools on the current site of Dyffryn Upper School next to the M4. The grant means the £37m school is now one step closer to reality. If all goes to plan it is hoped the work could begin as early as March or April 2017 ready to open in September 2018. read more
Feasibility work is starting shortly on plans which could see a new English language comprehensive built on the former Daniel James School site, a complete rebuild for Blaenymaes Primary, and a major overhaul of Portmead, while YGG Tirdeunaw in Treboeth will relocate to the Ysgol Bryn Tawe campus. The plans were revealed by Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart in his mid-year Budget update to councilors. If approved the first of the new school builds could start as early as 2019. read more
People can have a bird’s eye view of the new Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth with aerial footage taken of the site. The film of the £18.4million investment has been unveiled for the official opening of the school. https://youtu.be/IbH3fqy66CY
The Creative Cluster, the second phase of the Urban Village scheme – a £25m development project from Coastal Housing Group – is completed. The Creative Cluster provides 16,500 sq ft of workspace across six floors. The flexible office space has been specifically developed to bring together creative industries under one roof. Read more
Plans for the first phase of a multi-million pound redevelopment of Gower College Swansea’s Tycoch Campus have been approved. The latest plans include provision for a new glass front to the existing main building and the creation of a new plaza. The overall expansion, which will see five buildings — for catering and hospitality, creative arts, sports and motor vehicle courses, and a sports barn — take shape on the site of the former Hill House Hospital and Tycoch site. (Oct 16) Read more
New £6.5 million UWTSD and CITB Cymru Wales Innovation Centre will offer World-Class Training for Individuals and Construction Companies
The new Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) will see partners from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) develop a unique ‘Hub and Spoke’ training framework to deliver specialist construction training at all levels across all sectors and supply chains in Wales. The unique £6.5m construction training centre “Hub” will be based at the University’s SA1 Swansea Waterfront and will train 1,100 people per year across Wales. The “Spokes” will be located at colleges across Wales including: Coleg Sir Gâr, Coleg Ceredigion, Coleg Cambria in North Wales and Coleg y Cymoedd in South East Wales. (Oct 16) Read more
A 22-acre site in Cross Hands billed as “prime development space” has been announced by Carmarthenshire Council. The site is being marketed to the private sector, particularly those in the field of advanced manufacturing, financial/professional, creative agri-technology and environmental services, with opportunities to build high-quality commercial premises near the A48/M4 road network. (Oct 16) Read more
Planning consultants Savills have written to Swansea Council’s planning services team on behalf of Rivington Land, the company appointed to manage the development of the St David’s site, asking if an environmental impact assessment needs to be prepared for their planned scheme.If required, the environmental impact assessment would form part of a planning application the company is looking to submit for consideration in the spring of 2017. (Oct 16) Read more
The first phase of the £5 million Carmarthen West Link Road has been completed with the opening of the new Jobswell Road junction. The road, which will connect the A40 at Travellers Rest with College Road in Johnstown, is under construction by Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd, on behalf of the county council. It will improve access to key employment sites at St David’s Park, the University of Wales Trinity St David and Coleg Sir Gâr, and serve the new S4C headquarters Yr Egin. (Oct 16) Read more
The application, to convert Aberafan House into 33 one-bed and eight two-bed affordable apartments, was approved by Neath Port Talbot Council. The £4.7 million redevelopment scheme is set to begin later this year, and will also see the improvement of the immediate surroundings including improved lighting, cycle racks for residents, benches and street furniture along the riverside walk. (Oct 16) Read more
Around £260m will have been invested in Swansea Council’s housing stock by 2020. A huge amount of work is either complete, on-going or planned as part of the council’s drive to reach the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. Recent schemes include more than £8m worth of investment over the last year to carry out re-wiring works and fit new kitchens, bathrooms and boilers in council. (Oct 16) Read more
Pupils at a Swansea primary school have been showing off their new classrooms to VIP visitors. Pentre’r Graig Primary School in Morriston is undergoing a £2.7 million upgrade to its existing buildings and an extension to link the two school buildings. Now youngsters at the school have been hosting a visit from cabinet members and councillors so they can see for themselves just how successful the latest phase of work has been. The project is being delivered by Swansea Council’s corporate property and building services, who successfully completed phase two ahead of the original schedule. (Oct 16) Read more
Swansea Council is inviting offers for the Pipehouse Wharf depot located on the riverside off Morfa Road. The 4.33-acre site is currently a base to Swansea Council staff. Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “The Pipehouse Wharf site’s development will help further regenerate the Tawe river corridor as we look to place the river at the heart of Swansea life once again. The river corridor has so much potential, with scope for introducing facilities like housing, water-based activities, restaurants, pontoons, landing stations and boat trips.” Chartered surveyors Knight Frank have been appointed to market the site.
Major proposals to overhaul Jackson’s Lane and King Street are being unveiled in Carmarthen. The plans, which would also see small shops built in Chapel Street, near its junction with Red Street, have been designed to increase footfall in the “old town”. King Street could be pedestrianised, while Jackson’s Lane would see a complete overhaul and more retail units built, according to the artist’s impressions released by the county council. The project, which is still in an early stage of consultation, is being led by the Carmarthen Town Regeneration Forum along with members of Carmarthenshire Council.
Carmarthenshire Council has now released multimillion pound long-term plans for the regeneration of areas including Burry Port and Pembrey. A range of retail, leisure and residential development is being considered for Burry Port Marina, and a strategic review and masterplan of the Pembrey peninsula will be carried out to identify further regeneration opportunities, the council revealed. Plans for both Pembrey and Burry Port are included in the Llanelli Waterside Joint Venture scheme with Delta Lakes and North Dock also set for investment. At Delta Lakes, a 34-acre site, has already been earmarked for the £60 million Llanelli Wellness Village, being developed through the Swansea City Region Arch project, while land at North Dock is being marketed for commercial use such as a café bar, restaurant and landmark hotel.
The site of the former Afan Lido Leisure centre is being marketed by Neath Port Talbot Council as what they describe as ‘a key development opportunity’. The site is on the verge of being transformed into a residential mixed-use development which could boost retail, leisure and tourism in the area. More than £5million has been invested in the infrastructure and facilities on Aberavon seafront and promenade in recent years and the new £13.4million Aberavon Leisure and Fitness Centre and Adventure Golf Course has seen visitor numbers rocket, the tourism boost has resulted in greater confidence from the private sector to invest in new projects of their own.
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates has given the green light for a new £5.3m integrated transport hub in Port Talbot. The Hub, which will be located adjacent to the recently rebuilt Parkway station, will act as a focal point for transport in the area. It is jointly funded by the Welsh Government (£2.7m) and the European Regional Development Fund (£2.5m). Ken Skates said, “I look forward to seeing the completed Hub, alongside the new train station, forming the nucleus for a well-connected, modern public transport network for the area. The new Integrated Transport Hub will be a key development for Neath Port Talbot as we work to improve connectivity and boost economic growth for our local communities..”
Kier Group has been appointed main contractor for creative industries hub that will house new HQ for S4C
Subject to planning consent the 3,600 sq mt Canolfan S4C yr Egin building will open its doors in 2018. The hub, which as well as S4C will be home to a range of creative and digital firms, is the latest project from the University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD). The team will now work collaboratively with Kier Construction to deliver the ambition project.
Swansea Council is planning a second housing development in the city. The authority already has the green light for 10 two-bed houses and eight one-bed flats on Milford Way, Penderry — the first council house-building in decades — and construction is expected to start this year. The pilot builds are part of a long-term strategy for providing additional council housing in the city, and other schemes could follow. The aim is for the new properties to be built to Passivhaus standards, meaning very energy efficient, with specialists Archetype helping with the design work. The council wants to build a second development of 12 one-bedroom flats and four two-bedroom flats on a plot of land between Fford-y-Bryn and Parc-yr-Helig Road, Birchgrove.
A new development could on its way to Neath as part of the town centre’s ongoing regeneration. Coastal Housing Group has put in final planning to radically transform the derelict space with up to six shops, cafés or restaurants and 12 residential units above.
New homes plan for Penllergaer Civic Centre site
Swansea Council has now exchanged contracts to sell the site to Enzo’s Homes – a regional housebuilder based in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire. Subject to planning permission, the deal will lead to a development made up of 80 homes. As part of the agreement, Swansea Council will also gift three parcels of land to the Penllergare Trust, an organisation that manages the adjoining Penllergare Valley Woods. The three-storey Penllergaer Civic Centre building, is part of a 5.9-hectare (14.58-acre) site. Enzo’s Homes will now take over responsibility for the site as well, also helping save the council money.
Plans to redevelop the site of Glan Afan Comprehensive School, whose former pupils include actor Michael Sheen, have been revealed. Coastal Housing Group plan a mixture of new homes and commercial units at the school in Port Talbot which closed in July.
Match funding for a new £8m English medium school in Briton Ferry has been given the green light by Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams.
The road, which will connect the A40 at Travellers Rest with College Road in the town, will improve access to key employment sites at St David’s Park, the University of Wales Trinity St David and Coleg Sir Gâr, and serve the new S4C headquarters whose plans were unveiled at last week’s Eisteddfod; as well as open up land for new homes and a primary school. A major milestone is the installation of a new Bebo arch bridge over the Tawelan Brook.
The new walking and cycling route was officially opened by Carmarthenshire Council leader Emlyn Dole, with MP Nia Griffith and Llanelli AM Lee Waters also praising the investment into traffic-free travel alternatives. Opening the path Mr Dole said: “It’s good to get out and be here to see the work that has been done. It’s part of the aspiration I have for Carmarthenshire that we want to become the cycling capital of Wales, this project is a part of that.” The new route will provide enhanced, traffic-free access to popular tourism destinations along the Carmarthenshire coast and also link to two existing walking and cycling routes that are already popular with tourists and local users.
Plans for a £45m student accommodation scheme at Swansea’s SA1 waterfront regeneration project have been revealed. The plans, from Swansea-based NMJ Property Developments, are for a 507 bedroom in a brick building on a temporary surface car park between Technium 1 and the Ethos building on King’s Road. If approved it will offer large communal lounge areas, a café, gym, faith room, laundry and reception area with 24 hour service. Construction is scheduled to begin in November 2016 with completion estimated for early summer 2018. July 2016
The first phase of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David project has secured approval from Swansea council. The project, from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) at the city’s SA1 regeneration scheme, aims to create what it describes as a “new learning neighbourhood” in Swansea – connecting education with business to spark innovation. Vice-chancellor of UWTSD Professor Medwin Hughes said: “The Innovation Quarter will not simply be a new campus – it will be a vibrant integrated neighbourhood where we will work with partners to exploit knowledge and expertise to our mutual benefit, develop the skills of current businesses and attract new investment into the region.July 2016
The 13-storey Oldway Centre owners want to create 116 student flats and studios by converting the office accommodation and adding two storeys to the High Street block. If given planning permission, the scheme would relieve student housing pressure in other areas of the city by creating accommodation for 556 students. The application also includes upgrading the exterior of the building and putting new windows in. July 2016
Asbri Planning, on behalf of applicant Douglas Villiers, has submitted a proposal covering land off Trawler Way, forming part of the Swansea Point development site which would provide accommodation for almost 300 students. Permission is sought for a new student accommodation building measuring between four and six storey and containing 287 bedrooms and communal facilities. It would also feature three commercial units fronting onto Atlantic Square and a 43-space undercroft car park. July 2016
A new mixed-use development, featuring retail and restaurant units, a hotel and a five-screen cinema could be built in Haverfordwest if newly-submitted plans by Conygar Investment Company are granted consent. The proposals for the mixed-use scheme include ten retail units, ranging from a 1,800 sq ft drive-through café, up to a 20,000 sq ft variety store, and a 60-bedroom hotel. It would also include 434 parking spaces. The second part site would feature A five-screen, 16,730 sq ft cinema and five restaurant units. A total of 168 car parking spaces would also be provided. July 2016
The Pembrey attraction will see a raft of improved facilities, enhancing catering and outdoor activities. Around £75,000 is set to be used to enhance the park entrance, including signage and a barrier system; while £200,000 will be invested into a shower and toilet block for the caravan and camping site. There are also plans for a further investment of £600,000 for refurbishment of the visitor centre and cafe, which will include indoor activities such as soft play areas, indoor climbing equipment, table top games, activity walls and a small arcade. Longer term proposals include the creation of a beach sports zone near to the kiosk and a beach volleyball and soccer area. The ski and activity centre is also in line for new adventurous activities such as a climbing wall, adventure play area and a zip wire. July 2016
Swansea Council has been given a first-round pass by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a grant of £3.75 million to develop the former Hafod Morfa Copperworks site. The council has also received a £189,600 development grant to further progress the plans, which could see Penderyn Distillery expand their business into the city with a new distillery and visitor centre at the historic riverbank site. June 2016
The £50 million development that will help breathe new life into the High Street area of Swansea city centre. The Icon 21 scheme, opposite Swansea railway station, will include 725 student rooms in total as well as new, urban scale buildings. Standing 72 metres high, the tower, with an iconic sloped roof design, will be Swansea’s second tallest building and among the tallest in Wales. It’s expected Icon 21 will be finished in time for the start of the 2018 academic year. June 2016.
The next wave of Swansea University’s ambitious campus development programme to be supported by the EIB includes further space optimisation at the Singleton Park Campus to enhance the student experience, refurbishment of the Grade 2 listed Fulton House and Wallace Buildings to upgrade specialised laboratories, and redevelopment of the Talbot Building. The scheme will also transform the student learning, social, and support spaces to better cater for modern study practices and deliver an enhanced student experience. The campus development programme also includes construction of a new Computational Foundry at the Bay Campus. June 2016.
Further plans are now being submitted for the Mumbles Pier transformation project. The now 55-room hotel, beside the pier’s café, shops and arcade, is proposed to be built over four floors and will require no cliff-side access, as it previously did when plans were submitted to Swansea Council for six floors. It would include a large function room for events on the ground floor. Meanwhile, the apartments have been moved closer to the seafront, with car parking underneath, instead of in front. John Bollom, of Mumbles Pier and chairman of its owner company Ameco says he is pleased with the proposals and hopes the hotel, apartments and new promenade will be ready by next summer. June 2016.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a consortium led by UWTSD are behind the £6.5 million venture, which will also comprise smaller sites at colleges across Wales, including Coleg Sir Gar. The idea is to create state-of-the-art facilities and offer top-class training for construction companies as well as aspiring and current tradesmen and it will train up to 1,100 people each year. The CWIC concept will allow new concepts in construction training to be trialled, with a ‘rapid construction zone’ at its headquarters to test things like structural performance. It will also be the first of its kind in Britain to provide applied research, training and consultancy through one partnership. Work on CWIC is expected to start before the end of this year, with opening targeted to occur alongside the opening of the new UWTSD campus, in September 2018.
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, has announced a £31 million EU-backed investment for a world-class computer science facility at Swansea University. The Computational Foundry, based at the Swansea Bay Campus, will house a modern state-of-the-art centre, enabling world-class researchers to carry out focused research. It will include research and development laboratories, postgraduate and researcher areas, as well as networking and inspiration space. It will be kitted out with world leading experimental set-ups, equipment, devices and prototypes that will accelerate innovation, and building work is due to begin in November.
Harbour Walk, a safe and secure pedestrian and cycle link between Port Talbot Parkway station and Harbourside has been completed. It is part of a programme to improve connections and links in and around Port Talbot town centre and its opening coincides with the redevelopment of Port Talbot Parkway Station which is nearing completion. The new route is constructed of high quality materials and features paved areas and bespoke seating, with new lighting providing a safe and secure path at night and during winter months. The path is flanked by tree and shrub planting with grass and wild flower seed mix to enhance the biodiversity of the area. The work has been carried out by local contractors Afan Landscapes.
Gwalia – now part of Pobl Group – are forging ahead with a £2.2 million scheme to redevelop the former Morfa Afan Care Home and provide much needed social housing in the Port Talbot area. Neath-based Hale Construction have been appointed to take forward the scheme and provide 23 new homes at the former Neath Port Talbot Council-owned care home on Dalton Road, Port Talbot. Plans include building eight two-bedroom houses and 12 one-bedroom flats and redevelop an existing house on the site. Gwalia commit to using local contractors, whenever possible, to ensure that the surrounding local communities benefit from the investment and Hales will provide training and apprenticeship opportunities for young people looking for a career in construction and source materials from the locality wherever possible.
Detailed plans have been put forward for the first phase of new housing at Swansea’s Hendrefoilan Student Village. St Modwen Homes has submitted a reserved matters application to Swansea Council for 43 homes at the 18-hectare site, although eventually it wants to build up to 300 properties, once Swansea University has relocated its students. St Modwen Homes has said it only wants to build on eight hectares while protecting the remaining woodland.
Plans have been submitted for an extension to the Swansea North Premier Inn hotel on newly-acquired land at Swansea Enterprise Park. It currently comprises a two-storey L-shaped building with 63 bedrooms along with the Swansea Taybarns restaurant, open to guests and the general public. The application proposes the construction of a new annexe on a newly acquired piece of land, west of Heron Way and opposite the existing hotel block. It will comprise 47 bedrooms laid out around a central corridor. It will provide an increase of 46 bedrooms on the site with one of the existing hotel rooms converted into a linen room. As well as the new building, 56 parking spaces will be crated, taking the total at the hotel to 163. The operator said the development could bring in 8,000 additional visitors per year and create jobs in the area.
Young people will have a hands-on role in a new Gower residential centre by helping to build it themselves. Two organisations, Valleys Kids and Down to Earth Project, are behind the plans for the site at Little Bryn Gwyn, Cilibion and momentum is very much on the up after the groups received a £583,000 grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund after the judges were impressed with the notion of young, disadvantaged people being at the core of the centre’s construction. The aim now is to start on the residential centre this summer, with 16 to 24-year-olds, referred via various agencies, helping with the construction. The six-acre Gower site has already received more than £1 million funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Welsh Government over the last couple of years and this has enabled the construction of a timber-framed workshop area and training building, which is due to be completed in March.
Gupta family interests has committed to an eight-figure investment in the development of tidal lagoon power plant in the UK and India. The move is part of a wider strategy by Gupta company, SIMEC, to create multi-billion pound renewable energy capacity worldwide and apply innovative technologies to provide low-cost power for energy-intensive industries, particularly steel. The investment gives Gupta interests a substantial stake in Tidal Lagoon Plc, a holding company established by Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd to finance the development of full-scale tidal lagoons in UK and international waters. The agreement will also see the creation of a joint venture between SIMEC and Tidal Lagoon Power to develop largescale tidal lagoons in India. Since that announcement, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay has welcomed the launch of a Government review into the potential for tidal lagoon energy across the UK. The independent review of tidal lagoon energy will examine its feasibility, the UK government has said, and a decision on the lagoon is expected in the autumn, after the review has been published. .” See also www.abayoflife.com/2016/02/tidal-lagoon-welcomes-government-review
The transformation of the old Green Park industrial area in Port Talbot is underway with the creation of a new Riverside Walk and Park. The first phase of the imaginative scheme is expected to be complete by April and the second phase will be launched later in the year. The work to create Riverside Walk and Park is being carried out by contractors Afan Landscapes, a local company which actually started life in the very area they are now improving. The scheme includes a footpath, seating area, new planting and environmental improvements over a wide area. See also www.abayoflife.com/2016/02/coastal-housings-construction-brings-local-benefits
A new 400-tonne footbridge, which links Port Talbot with its improved train station, has been hailed as a “fantastic gateway” to the town. The bridge, which is part of an £11 million regeneration of Port Talbot Parkway station, has been installed as part of Network Rail’s £40 billion railway upgrade plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers. The unique footbridge houses a new ticket office, waiting area, customer facilities and CCTV equipment, as well as steps and lift access to all platforms. The rest of the work is expected to be completed over the coming months.
A bid to create a ‘culinary, cultural and shopping destination’ on the site of Llandeilo’s derelict Market Hall has been revealed in a planning application submitted to Carmarthenshire Council. Owners Dawnus Construction Holdings Ltd have submitted an ambitious scheme to see the Carmarthen Street hall completely refurbished, extended and altered to build a brand new community venue creating jobs, helping bring a cash boost to the town and attracting lucrative tourists. With plans for ‘unique dining venue’, shopping opportunities and office space alongside an indoor venue suitable for shows and events, Dawnus’ scheme will attempt to preserve the listed building’s heritage and create an economic and employment boost for the town.
Carmarthenshire council has unveiled £60m plans to create 1,000 affordable homes over the next five years. They include a new-building programme, extra investment in four “action areas” and more properties under its control. The four areas which would be bolstered by “additional investment” are: Ammanford and the Amman Valley; Carmarthen and the west; Carmarthenshire rural and market towns; and Llanelli and district. Mooted solutions include the council managing additional private sector tenancies, more empty homes brought back into use and private homes bought for social let.
University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has appointed Kier Group Plc to deliver the initial phase of its new £300 million Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter in the city’s SA1 area. The £26million contract, to oversee the design and build of the first phase of the development, should also see the creation of 25 local jobs and 250 apprenticeships as Kier has collaborated with the University in its mission to ensure the community benefits from the scheme.Phase One of the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter will comprise the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering as well as a new Library building, with an approximate area of 12,200 sq m together with external public spaces. Work is expected to begin in autumn 2016 with the site is operational for the start of the academic year in 2018.
St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist and lead developer of the new £450m Bay Campus, has signed a Development Agreement with Swansea University to deliver an additional 538 en-suite student rooms at the new Campus site. Works will start in January 2016 and will complete in time for occupation in September 2017. Collectively, this will bring the total number of student residences, provided in three distinct phases by St. Modwen for the Bay Campus, to 2,000 by autumn 2017. Under the existing outline planning consent for the Bay Campus, capacity is allowed to deliver a total of up to 4,000 new student residences across the lifetime of this 10-year project build and St. Modwen will continue to work closely in partnership with Swansea University to realise this end goal. See also, £450m Swansea Bay Campus sparks new era for university life, New £600,000 cycle path to link Bay Campus with city
The two authorities of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot councils have now launched a public consultation on a Fabian Way Innovation Corridor draft masterplan. The draft masterplan envisages, among other things: opening up land between the Bay Campus and the planned SA1 campus; a new link road between the Bay Campus and SA1, but not as a direct alternative for Fabian Way traffic; creating an outer gateway at Jersey Marine, and a new park and ride by the Crymlyn Burrows Materials and Energy Recovery Centre. The masterplan would come into effect from 2021, the year the tidal lagoon is expected to be completed. Members of the public are being invited to comment on the masterplan by 25 January, and a number of community events have been set up to facilitate this. see also Plans to transform Fabian Way into an “innovation corridor”
Planning councillors have given the green light for a brand new £6m primary school which will serve the children of Gorseinon for generations to come after approving a proposal to unite the school on a single site at Parc y Werin. Councillors were told the school would mean children in Gorseinon would be educated in 21st century accommodation for the first time, replacing a school currently located on three sites in ageing buildings – two more than a century old. The planning committee was told the footprint of the new building at Parc y Werin would cover about 6.5% of the park and that new pitches being created for the school would be available for community use. A run-down play area at Parc y Werin will be replaced with a new one as part of the first phase of the building work.
The team behind Llanelli’s new multi million pound Ysgol Ffwrnes have been congratulated at the National Assembly for Wales after winning the Construction Excellence in Wales award for sustainability, with the judges singling out for praise the project’s management and the local benefits it delivered. The state-of-the-art combined nursery and primary school was one of three west Wales construction projects showcased at a Senedd event, with the others projects on show being the A477 St. Clears to Red Roses Improvement and South West Wales Regional Shared Apprenticeship scheme. The school achieved a top rating in the world’s leading sustainability assessment, BREEAM – the first Welsh primary school to do so and one of only three in the UK.
Work is due to start on the new Seaside School in the spring following approval by the Welsh Government. The new school will be bilingual offering education through English or Welsh to children aged between three and 11. It will have the capacity for 420 pupils, along with 60 nursery places, and cater for children in the existing catchment areas of Copperworks and Lakefield schools. They will officially become one school in September 2016 before moving into their new home. It is hoped that the new building, estimated to cost around £12.5million, will be completed by the summer term of 2018. The former Draka site in Copperworks Road will be the site for the new school, although detailed plans for access are still being discussed.
Exciting plans to build a theme park “twice the size of Oakwood” in Llanelli have been revealed as Ken Strelley, owner of the town’s Gateway Resort, has said he is gearing up to submit a planning application that would see a 20 acre site developed just off the A484. The plan is for 26 rides across the site, one of which will traverse the lake and will be licensed as the only one of its kind in Britain. Vekoma Ride Manufacturing, one of the largest roller coaster builders in the world, has been lined up to design and install the ride. Some of the planning applications will be for full permission and some for outline as the site is developed and the exact theme for the park is still being decided upon.
The directors of Ethos Group have approached Carmarthen Council with plans to develop a multi-million-pound facility which would house new businesses and create jobs. It would be modelled on the hugely successful Ethos building in Swansea’s SA1 waterfront area, which provides a first-class business environment for a range of companies, and would include the river frontage which would provide a public cafeteria, walkway and environmental improvements. The plan is for the Quay Centre which is currently used by the youth service and other organisations and it is hoped that the development would be the catalyst for further regeneration along the Quay.
New images of the Canolfan S4C Yr Egin building have been unveiled at an event in Carmarthen at which UWTSD and S4C updated guests on the development of the project and the plans to realise the vision for the centre. Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is an exciting development that will house a vibrant cultural community – a multidisciplinary, entrepreneurial and creative exchange based in West Wales. Home to more than 25 related companies and organisations, it will be a centre where people, connections, ideas and talents will stimulate one another.
Plans for a new primary school in Llansamlet are set to progress after gaining Welsh Government approval. The proposed £9.7 million upgrade at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Lôn Las has been officially signed off with the costs being shared between Swansea Council and the Welsh Government. The new school will provide Welsh medium education for more than 500 pupils between the ages of three and 11. To enable the development to take place, pupils and staff will be temporarily accommodated at Y Cwm Primary School from next year before a planned return to the new school in 2017.
The children of Gowerton are set for a New Year present to remember when they move into their £6.8m pound new school in early 2016, which has been funded jointly by the Welsh Government and Swansea Council. Building work on site is complete and has been handed over to Swansea Council by Cwmbwrla -based contractors Interserve on schedule so that Swansea Council and the school can prepare it to take in pupils in January. The finishing touches are now being put on the new Gowerton Primary School which will unite the children on one site for the first time in its history.
Plans for a new Integrated Transport Hub in Port Talbot have been on show to the public. It will be designed to provide attractive and safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists between the town centre and Harbourside, and to provide pick up and drop off points for buses and taxis with easy access to the train station. The plans also aim to improve the quality of the town centre environment and include the development of a new vibrant public space for informal use by residents and visitors with outdoor seating areas. The Integrated Transport Hub is one of eleven projects which will see over £30m invested in and around Port Talbot as part of a three year housing-led regeneration programme and a planning application is expected to be submitted shortly.
Contractors have been appointed and work has begun on the new £5 million Carmarthen West Link Road. The road, which must be open before the 61st house can be built on the 1,100-home Carmarthen West development, will be built by Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd. The link road is a key part of the development of Carmarthen West and a Local Transport Fund grant of £1.3 million has been secured from Welsh Government, with further support from University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Preliminary works including creating the site compound and site clearance have already started. Discussions with landowners and other interested parties are well advanced and the main works, which are expected to take 12-months, will start as soon as possible
A planning application for a new school at Parc y Werin in Gorseinon has been published which, if approved, will see Gorseinon Primary School united on one site for the first time in its history. If the proposals gain backing from councillors pupils could move from three outdated buildings into state-of-the-art facilities by spring, 2017. Pupils would also have safe, direct and easy access to green space to play and learn, many for the first time in their school lives.
Delta Lakes is being touted as a key part of the jigsaw for regenerating Llanelli with up to 500 jobs to be created. The new strategic regeneration plan for the county says the 34 acre site could become the area’s “most prestigious” business park location. The vision is to link Bynea and Pendine in a 50 mile sweep incorporating south Llanelli, the Witch’s Hat and the Pembrey Peninsular. Carmarthenshire Council want to develop the Delta Lakes site to attract companies in growth sectors including life science, finance and health care and they say that research has proved new units will be filled, though it is too early to say whether financial incentives such as tax breaks could be used to encourage companies to move there.
Swansea University’s College of Science is to become home to a new digital economy research centre worth in excess of £7m, which will help create and deliver digital innovations with real-world impact.
A new £15 million transport hub and train station is to be built in Port Talbot town centre as part of the Vibrant and Viable Places Regeneration Programme, in a move which it is hoped will bring more businesses and visitors into the town. The hub, which is currently undergoing consultation and is awaiting planning consent, will be created in the town centre, next to Port Talbot train station.
Building work on Prince Philip Hospital’s Front of House project has started. The Front of House project focuses on six different areas of care – substance misuse, frailty, mental health, acute medicine, minor illnesses and minor injuries. Whilst the footprint of the hospital won’t be increased by the works, the £1.4m investment will see the department undergo a significant redesign and refurbishment throughout for the benefit of staff, patients and visitors. It is due for completion by June 2016.
Housing developer Persimmon has been granted planning persimmon for 61 new homes at Swansea’s SA1 development. The application was given the go-ahead by Swansea City Council with the new builds comprising 37 three-storey town houses and 24 apartments. Persimmon Homes West Wales has already built 48 properties at the site and the new properties will form part of the final phase of the project.
New £8m development planned for SA1 Swansea Waterfront
The £8m development on SA1 Swansea Waterfront by Waterstone Homes, which is part of the Jehu Group, has secured a prime water-fronted site from the Welsh Government that overlooks the Prince of Wales Dock and adjacent to the iconic Norwegian Church. The company have planning consent to construct a high quality development comprising 25 apartments over four floors above 8,000 sq. ft. of waterfront retail/leisure space, with outside seating for restaurant operators. It is anticipated to create and support 220 jobs and generate over £22m of economic activity.
Swansea Council’s Cabinet has approved the contract for the design and construction of YGG Lôn Las new Welsh medium primary school on its existing site at Walters Road, Llansamlet. The £9.7 million project can go ahead as soon as the Council has final agreement with the Welsh Government for a grant which will fund half the costs. The project is all part of Swansea Council’s 21st Century Schools Programme which has already seen building replacements and upgrades at Morriston Comprehensive and new classrooms at Newton and Glyncollen.
Swansea planning officers have given approval to London-based SHC Development LLP for Swansea’s old county court to be converted into student accommodation. 22 self-contained units and flats are to take shape there on the first and second floors, with a new, partial third floor to be added. The grade two-listed building, on the corner of St Mary’s Square and Princess Way, has been empty for nearly a decade. Officers said the key issue was whether the conversion would retain the early 20th Century building’s character, appearance and form. The planning officers’ report concluded that the building’s character would be preserved and that the student accommodation would secure its long-term future..
Coedcae Secondary School is set to benefit from a £6.7m investment which will see the building of a new science block and help with refurbishment of the existing building. Improvements to transport and pedestrian access are also planned with covered walkways throughout the site. Work will begin in September and will be carried out in two phases — the first phase being the new extension, and phase two being the refurbishment of the existing school. The targeted completion date is August 2017.
Planning permission has been granted for HMT Sancta Maria to develop a state-of-the-art hospital in Felindre, to replace the existing building in Uplands. The new Parc Felindre facility will be a flagship hospital for not-for-profit owners Healthcare Management Trust, with a wider range of services being carried out.
Plans by Grŵp Gwalia to transform the former Port Talbot Police Station site into new modern apartments have been unveiled in a planning application submitted to Neath Port Talbot Council. The new proposals will see 30 new apartments on two upper floors and around 600sqm of new commercial space on the ground floor. The site is a key location in Port Talbot, in close proximity to Port Talbot Parkway Station and Harbourside.
A new £12m Welsh medium primary school is to be built to replace the current Ysgol Parc y Tywyn in Bury Port, with plans in hand to start work in August 2016. The new school is one of six elements planned for the site, which also includes housing and infrastructure at the former Grillo site; housing alongside the site; a commercial leisure development at Burry Port East; and employment space alongside Silver Terrace.
The development of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin in Carmarthen is a step closer after the appointment of the team of architects and engineers who will design the building. The centre at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s campus will be the broadcasters’ headquarters as well as a range of creative industries and community groups co-locating with the channel within an iconic and sustainable building. The design development will start in August with a completion date forecast for spring 2018.
Developer St Modwen has submitted plans for one of the biggest solar energy parks in Wales. The company is asking Neath Port Talbot Council for permission to establish a 40,000 panel solar energy park on land which was formerly part of the BP Chemicals plant close to the M4-side Baglan Energy Park. St Modwen, the developer behind the nearly completed Swansea University second campus project at nearby Jersey Marine, suggest the solar park could generate up to 10 megawatts of power, the equivalent of providing enough energy for around 2,000 homes. The Baglan Bay solar park, says St Modwen, would also include the construction of a substation, a 20-metre high communication tower and security fence and CCTV facilities. The developer says the ground-mounted panels would be connected to the National Grid.
A review of the masterplan for the former Vetch stadium site has been approved. The proposals contained in the review reduce the housing provision estimate to 40 new homes plus a new care home or flats. In addition, around 0.7 hectares of public open space can now be accommodated including the retention of the Vetch Veg Community Garden.
The new £7.3m Baglan Bridge has been officially opened. The new bridge and the resulting links to Harbour Way have already shown their value, being key in attracting a new £5.7m investment on Baglan Energy Park.
Carmarthenshire Council has announced that, following a national marketing campaign in 2014, Dawnus Construction has been appointed as preferred developer for the for the renovation of Llandeilo Market which aims to bring the historic building back into use. The Council said that detailed design and planning discussions have been held to formulate plans for the refurbishment of the hall for non-residential uses and that the intention is for the car park to remain and to be extended into land to the rear to create a larger car park.
A Gwalia development of 13 apartments on the site of the former St. Mark’s Church in Waun Wen has won the ‘Best Social or Affordable Housing Development’ category in the Swansea Building Excellence Awards. Built by Hale Construction for the not for profit housing provider, the development has been recognised for good building practice including technical innovation, sustainability and high performance.
Work will start on Swansea’s newest seafront attraction in the spring when the disused observatory in the Marina will be transformed into a continental-style cafe. The old promenade building will also house luxury holiday accommodation with an art gallery, public observation deck and function room over the top two floors, with a licensed restaurant below that.
Not for profit housing provider Gwalia has been granted planning permission to build 27 new homes on land off Heol Dyfnallt in Carmarthen. It is anticipated that work will start on the £3.3 million development in spring 2015. Gwalia is working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council to deliver the affordable homes as a housing co-operative, one of three Welsh Government pilot projects in Wales. The design of the two, three and four-bedroom homes has been inspired by the local architecture; brickwork facades mirror the material used most frequently in the locality, while the angular bays of nearby Job’s Well House have been modernised and incorporated into the design.
The three year programme for Port Talbot will transform the living and working environment of the town centre. The work involves 10 projects and will link up with developments at Harbourside and Aberavon Seafront, as well as other regeneration activities that are underway in the Sandfields and Aberavon Communities First areas.
Carmarthenshire Council has unveiled its transport improvements across the county, set to cost £35 million over the next five years, which will help to improve road safety and bring more than 1,000 jobs to the county.
The development of a new primary and community care centre for the people of Briton Ferry, together with high quality office space, has begun on a site next to NPT Council’s Quays building.
St. Modwen has submitted an application to build 79 houses as part of the next phase of its wider £1bn Coed Darcy development in Neath.
A new eight bedroom supported living facility in Gorseinon is being developed by Coastal Housing Group in partnership with the Swansea Young Single Homeless Project (SYSHP), an innovative organisation dedicated to providing a range of housing and support services to young people aged between 16 and 21.
Plans which will see 46 homes, along with 100 log cabins and a leisure complex built at the old Rheola Market site between Glynneath and Resolven have been given the green light by Neath Port Talbot Council.
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