Swansea's former observatory is to become a café bar and holiday accommodation as councillors unanimously approved city businessman Noah Redfern's application. Mr Redfern, the owner of Noah's Yard in Uplands, wants to create a ground and first floor cafe bar, install a new balcony, create an area for staff and add a one-bedroom holiday let. Mr Redfern said he aimed to open the seafront venue — Marina Towers — at the end of October.
Swansea City are looking to expand the size of the Liberty Stadium to cater for the huge demand for Premier League football. The club have submitted plans to increase the capacity, which from next season will be 22,500, to around 33,000. If backed by Swansea Council, work will be carried out over three phases. Under separate plans, the club intends to increase the stadium's capacity to 22,500 in time for the start of next season by making changes in the West Stand. Work is also underway on a new training facility in Landore and a training base and academy in Fairwood.
Swansea Council's cabinet has approved a scheme that will see the council working with Swansea University to develop the Hafod Copperworks site. The joint initiative will see experts from both organisations working together on a project that will bring the site back into use. It will aim to generate a new destination in an historic environment on site that could include business space, educational space, a hotel and homes. Work on the first phase has already begun. The 12.5-acre Hafod Copperworks site contains 12 grade two listed buildings and features. The site's smelting works and other buildings date from 1810 and helped shape the development of Swansea as a key industrial town. See also: Hafod copperworks regeneration will start this year
Cabinet members in Swansea have approved plans to spend just over £1 million on a new domed roof for the city's historic indoor market. Roofing sheets will be replaced, lights will be renewed and flat roof areas will be treated. The investment could see the introduction of energy-efficiency measures like integrated solar panels and rainwater drainage.
The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is undergoing a makeover — but a reminder of its history has gone up outside the building. Colourful hoardings have been put up at the historic Alexandra Road building as contractors continue with a £6 million project on site. Some of the artworks included are Swansea by Samuel Austin, Swansea Castle in 1885 by Alfred Parkman and Swansea Market in 1830 by Calvert Richard Jones. Refurbishment of the main gallery building includes major alteration works to the 1970s wing, the conservation of the original 1911 gallery, and an extension to the rear of the Alexandra Road buildings. The project is being funded by the Welsh Government, the Arts Council of Wales and Swansea Council. See also: Further funding announced for Swansea's Glynn Vivian Gallery
Welsh Health Minister Mark Drakeford has announced a £4.8million investment in a new combined services centre at Morriston Hospital. The centre will be based in a partly refurbished building with a new extension at the north of the Morriston Hospital site. It will house facilities management services and non clinical support services vital for the smooth running of the hospital, a spokeswoman said. The project is part of the HealthVision Swansea programme of investment, supporting the reorganisation of services between Morriston and Singleton hospitals and the modernisation of Morriston. The combined services centre will also include goods and stores, specialist freezers, a plant room and supporting infrastructure and allow for essential service yard improvements. See also: Morriston Hospital Emergency Department redevelopment is complete and £40m Morriston Hospital boost starts to take shape
Swansea University has signed a development agreement with St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist to build the first phase of its new Science and Innovation Campus. Preparatory work is now underway at the site of the new campus on Fabian Way, Swansea, following the conclusion of an EU procurement process and the appointment of St. Modwen and its selected contractor VINCI. About 4,000 direct jobs will be created during the construction phase, with a further 6,000 jobs supported in the wider economy as a result. See also: World-leading Research Institute announced for Swansea University
Construction firm Dawnus has won a key building contract to regenerate Coastal Housing’s £8 million Castle Quarter development in Swansea City Centre. Contractors are expected to take over the site this month. The development will feature 26 "affordable" homes and a further four duplex units which will be available for private sale. Commercial units are planned for the ground floor on Castle Lane and a small area for business or retail purposes will be located at Strand level. See also: Historic part of Swansea to get new lease of life
A major development in Swansea's SA1 has been given the green light. City planning officers have given permission for a six-storey care centre, with ground floor shops, in Langdon Road. The site in question is adjacent to the Premier Inn to the east, with the Norwegian Church to the west. It overlooks the Prince of Wales Dock to the south. The proposed care centre will, according to planning documents, provide high dependency care in a 94-bed unit. Applicant 55 Plus Waterside LLP — a joint venture company formed between 55 Plus and Waterstone Estates — said there was a need for such specialist care facilities in Swansea East. Its development should, it said, create the equivalent of 99 full-time jobs. See also: SA1 Future is taking shape
A firm behind proposals for a £650m tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay have released more details of its plans. Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Ltd said the scheme could generate 450,000 MWh - enough to supply 107,000 homes. It hopes to submit a planning application in October and the lagoon could be working as soon as 2017. The planned lagoon, which would take about two years to build, would comprise an impounding "breakwater or seawall" of about 10.5km (6.5 miles) in length, and capable of holding 11 square kms (4 sq miles) of water. It would hold on to water and then let it out through turbines at both high and low tides which would generate electricity.
Work has begun on a project to generate better links between Swansea City Centre and its waterfront. The first phase of boulevard project works between Princess Way and The Strand lasts until the end of November before a second phase follows between the River Tawe bridges and The Strand on a similar timescale next year. The £8 million project will improve the look of a key Swansea City Centre gateway by introducing environmental enhancements between the River Tawe bridges and Princess Way. The project includes better quality and wider pavements, better facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, tree planting, benches, and public art.
Swansea's Paxton Street tunnel is being improved and will be reopened by the early summer. The tunnel linking Oystermouth Road with the marina, is being reopened for pedestrians as part of a Swansea Council scheme called Waterfront Connections, which will improve links between Swansea city centre and the waterfront for pedestrians and cyclists.
Swansea Council has started work on landscaping the 907-year-old Swansea Castle’s courtyard area to create a public space capable of hosting varied events and market stalls. Some of the events could include battle re-enactments and guided tours that tell the story of the castle's rich contribution to Swansea's history.
Work is due to start on the redevelopment of Neath town centre with the demolition of vacant houses. New shop units and a multi-storey car park are to be built next to the magistrates' court on Water Street. The development will create 110,000 sq ft of new retail space linked to the existing town centre.
A strategic road that will benefit business and residents has opened off Fabian Way at a cost of £3 million. The second and final stage of Ffordd Amazon has been completed on budget and three months ahead of schedule. It will form part of the Fabian Way corridor and has been constructed to serve industrial land between online retail giant Amazon and the former Visteon plant. Neath Port Talbot Council says it will advance its work to develop a location that includes Bay Studios and Swansea University's Science and Innovation Campus. It will open up 35 acres of land for potential development.
The new £13.6million facility will be built on the Hollywood Park site, and will feature: an 8 lane, 25 metre swimming pool with a learner/splash pool; a 100 seat wet-side spectator gallery; a 4 court sports hall with retractable seating for 100 spectators; a fitness suite; a combined dance studio/dojo; wet & dry side changing facilities; a youth club facility; community meeting rooms’ an indoor children's soft play area and a cafeteria. It is expected that work will start on the project during the summer.
Work has started on a £5.7m state-of-the-art residential care home in Moor Road, Baglan. The development will be the first of four to be constructed in a deal between Neath Port Talbot Council and housing and care provider Gwalia. In 2011, the authority agreed a 25-year contract for Gwalia to take over its residential and respite care homes, along with its supported housing. The 60-bed home in Moor Road has a dementia-friendly design which sees the rooms spread over six clusters, each with a living and dining room, an assisted bathroom and sensory garden.
Work on a business park at Felindre, north of Swansea, is set to start this month. Adjacent to the M4 motorway with a dedicated junction, Felindre's an ideal location for businesses like high-tech manufacturing and emerging industries. The work is being funded with £11.7 million from the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund.
The former Hill House Hospital has been sold for more than £2 million in one of a series of confirmed deals relating to hospital sites in the Swansea and wider Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board area. The Cockett Road hospital, which has been bought by Gower College Swansea, is expected to be demolished and the 7.3-acre site redeveloped. The sale of the hospital came about following a period of public engagement where it was agreed services would be transferred to Singleton Hospital. Other confirmed deals include the sale of Clydach War Memorial Hospital to Gwalia Housing for £235,000, and a £150,000 deal, also with Gwalia, to provide new facilities at the Fairwood Hospital site.
A share of a £1.4 million cash pot announced by the Welsh Government will be heading Swansea Bay’s way. Projects awarded funding this year include public realm works in Pontardawe, which is getting £175,000. Town Improvement Grant programme to support private sector building enhancement projects in Ammanford, Pontarddulais and Clydach town centres. Next year will see £210,000 to support the development of the off road cycling facilities at Afan Forest Park. Also £188,000 of capital funding for public realm works in Pontarddulais town centre. Town centre improvements in Ystradgynlais, will get £500,000 split evenly across both years.
The £15.2 million heartbeat of Llanelli’s East Gate development, Y Ffwrnes theatre, opened its doors to the public for the first time in January. Zolas Braai, which specialises in steaks and general grill, will set up next to Portuguese chicken restaurant Nando's with plans to open by the end of April. Hungry Horse is currently fitting out and is due to open in February, while Jobs Force Wales has started its fit-out and is likely to open by the end of May. See also: Llanelli's regeneration continues at pace.
Marston's are gearing up to start work on a new pub, restaurant and hotel expected to bring around 70 jobs to Llanelli. Work is set to start this month on the site which is situated close to the Parc y Scarlets stadium and also opposite Parc Trostre and Parc Pemberton — two major retail parks. The pub restaurant and inn will certainly fit in very well with the existing local amenities and will help to provide additional facilities for events taking place at Parc y Scarlets.
Laugharne is set for a series of upgrades ready for the centenary celebrations of Dylan Thomas's birth next year. A total of £327,500 has been set aside to upgrade the township with works to put new stone paving outside the town hall and improving signage in the centre. The consultants are drafting proposals for community consultation before refining plans with the aim of delivering the first phase project this year.
Work is due to start on the second phase of a £1.5 million upgrade to Pendine's promenade. The new hard-wearing surface is a specialist concrete designed to blend in with the beach. It is anti-slip and does not get too hot in the sun. It is believed to be the first time the surface concrete has been used in Wales. A third phase, to upgrade lighting in the area, is expected to start later this year. The gateways to the village have also been improved in the scheme.
A car park built after part of the St David's Shopping Centre was razed to the ground has opened in Swansea City Centre providing 129 new spaces. Demolishing Oldway House has now begun as contractors look towards finishing the overall project in the spring. It comes less than a year after Swansea Council and the Welsh Government bought the site with the hope of making it part of a major city centre redevelopment in the long term.
Neath Port Talbot Council and developer, Deryn Properties have marked the latest milestone in the construction of the first phase of buildings at the £6.3 million R&D Village in Port Talbot's Harbourside area with a topping out ceremony. The 42,000 sq ft office and laboratory space is a key part of the successful first phase of the wider Harbourside Park development and is expected to accommodate up to 170 high-tech jobs over the next year. Plans have been unveiled for further phases of the wider Harbourside Park development as the overall site has the capacity to accommodate an additional 75,000 sq/ft of development. The three two storey BREEAM 'Excellent' buildings are primarily devised to accommodate companies operating within the manufacturing, engineering and material sectors, sharing a 'state of the art' complex to help pioneer research and development.
Work is due to start in spring to create a £13.5 million business park near Cross Hands. The project has a completion target of June 2015. The project has been called Cross Hands East and includes a new access road, infrastructure, landscaping and five development plots.
Work will start this year on the £60 million Sainsbury's development site in Cross Hands.
A new environmentally-friendly office development has been built on Carmarthen’s Quayside, and new industrial units at Llanelli's Business hub have opened thanks to the South West Wales Property Development Fund (PDF). Bassett, MacGregor & Ash have constructed an energy efficient building offering more than 3,500 sq ft of lettable office space at the Quay, in Carmarthen, with £300,000 in PDF assistance towards the costs. The new three storey building which is to be named Cei’r Cwrwgl (Coracle Quay) has been built to BREEAM Excellent standards of environmental sustainability. Meanwhile Davies Richards Llys Aur Ltd has developed a 5,000 sq ft and 3,000 sq ft industrial units at the Llanelli Gate business hub in Dafen.
Construction is beginning of a housing estate which forms part of one of the biggest regeneration schemes in Wales. The £1.2bn Coed Darcy community near Neath, where 4,000 homes will be built on the site of a former BP oil refinery. Developers St Modwen said the work will provide about 880 local jobs, resulting in a new community of 10,000 people. Sixty homes have already been built and work has begun on Coed Darcy's main site which initially will be made up of 302 homes. Coed Darcy, which is supported by Prince Charles through his Prince's Foundation, will also have four schools, community, leisure and recreational facilities. Work is also nearing completion on a £3m infrastructure programme - including a road linking the community to the M4. St Modwen said the improved access is also set to benefit more than 100 tenants already working in the business park built for the project.
Port Talbot's Parkway railway station is to get a £9.5million makeover thanks to a Welsh Government grant. The funding is part of a larger £40million Wales Station Improvement Programme introduced by Transport Minister Carl Sargeant.
Work has started on the redevelopment of the former Central Library on Alexandra Road. Construction and civil engineering company Andrew Scott Ltd have now begun work on the project, in which Swansea Met is investing nearly £8 million. It will involve the refurbishment and repair of the original building and its architectural features, as well as the creation of extra space and an exhibition area. It is expected to be completed by September 2013. When finished the building will become an international centre for research and design, focusing on automotive design, sustainable product design and architectural glass.
Following the recently announced funding support by the EIB and Welsh Assembly Government for the delivery of a new Science and Innovation Campus at Fabian Way, Swansea University has instructed Savills to bring Hendrefoilan Student Village to market. Savills will offer the Student Village for sale as a residential development opportunity, whilst retaining Hendrefoilan House and Stables, which currently houses South Wales Miners Library.
Work has started on a new £8 million school that will welcome hundreds of Port Talbot pupils through its doors next year. Ysgol Newydd Sandfields will replace the existing Glanymor and Tirmorfa primary schools as part of Neath Port Talbot Council's £93 million 21st Century Schools programme. The new school, planned to open in September next year, will be English medium and expected to accommodate around 350 pupils aged between three and 11. It will also include a primary inclusion centre along with pre-school childcare and associated community facilities.
The final stages of Harbour Way, the Port Talbot Peripheral Distributor Road are underway, thanks to the completion of the demolition of the Cefn Gwrgan Bridge which has been the main entrance into the Tata Steelworks at Port Talbot for over 60 years. The old bridge had to be demolished to make way for a new 150m long road-over-rail bridge that forms an integral part of Harbour Way, currently being built by Costain on behalf of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. The £107m project is jointly funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Regional Development Fund.
The Great Western rail line is to be electrified between London and Swansea. As well as cutting journey times, the decision to electrify the main line to Swansea means newer, longer trains will be able to run on the line, powered by overhead cables. The new trains will have nine carriages instead of the current eight, allowing more passengers to be carried on the line. The main line upgrade, costing more than £1bn, is due to be completed by 2019.
A £500m rail link that will provide direct rail access from the South Wales mainline to Heathrow has been announced by Westminster Transport Secretary Justine Greening. The announcement of a direct rail link to Britain's busiest airport from Cardiff and Swansea will mean that South Wales will be linked to the UK air hub for the first time rather than having to travel into London Paddington to get to Heathrow. The rail link will cut 30 minutes off the journey time from Wales and West of England and could be operational as early as 2021.
The £9.5 million Mumbles lifeboat house will house a bigger and faster lifeboat than currently serves the area and is expected to take 18 months to complete. It will replace the current boathouse at the end of Mumbles Pier, which is itself due to be revamped by the end of 2013. The pier revamp is likely to cost around £2.5 million, See also: First stages of Mumbles pier development plans
The Welsh Government has unveiled detailed plans on how it intends to spend £15 billion over the next ten years on roads, schools, hospitals, and other capital projects across the country. The plans include the £87 million redevelopment of Morriston Hospital. The plan outlines seven priorities based around improving Wales's transport and telecommunications networks, supporting the development of the energy industry, housing, developing enterprise zones, more efficient public services in the NHS and improving the quality of the educational estate, particularly schools
Previous Development stories
These are just some of the physical developments that will be seen around the Swansea Bay region.
Morriston Hospital Emergency Department redevelopment is complete
Morriston Hospital Emergency Department redevelopment is complete