Plans to create a vibrant Waterfront Innovation Quarter situated in a modern waterfront location with easy access to the city centre are underway.
The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter will be made up of purpose-build facilities for learning, teaching and applied research as well as social, leisure and recreation spaces.
As a major part of the University’s multi-million pound investment in Swansea, UWTSD has acquired sizable areas of the remaining development land in the SA1 Waterfront area.
Mr Skates said: “The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has ambitious and very welcome plans to create a modern purpose built campus with a strong focus on supporting innovation and economic development, working with partners to exploit knowledge and expertise, developing skills for businesses and helping to attract new investment into the region.
“This, together with the expansion of Swansea University and its Bay campus, will provide a significant boost for the area. It will complement and support the aims of Swansea Bay City Region to make South West Wales internationally recognised for its emerging Knowledge and Innovation economy.”
UWTSD’s Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter Project Director Ray Selby said: “ The completion of the land purchase is a major and hugely significant step forward as the University continues to deliver its ambitious project plans in record time, with momentum building by the day. It also reflects the strength and potential of a very positive and constructive engagement with Welsh Government.
“UWTSD will take forward the development of Swansea’s SA1 through its SWIQ partnership with the Welsh Government and the City and County of Swansea, to further define Swansea as an Innovation city by establishing a range of impact hubs in identified priority areas. These will deliver clear economic and commercial benefits to attract new companies, partnerships and investment. By enhancing the employability of its graduates, the university is also looking to fulfil its potential to contribute significantly to economic regeneration in the Swansea Bay City Region.”
Kier Group was awarded a £28million contract in January 2016 to oversee its design and development and more than 50 local firms attended a recent Meet the Buyer event in SA1 to explore supply chain opportunities.
The first phase of construction of the development will include over 12,000 sqm (130,000 sq ft) of purpose-built facilities for learning, teaching and applied research, as well as social, leisure and wider recreational spaces. The University anticipates that this will also facilitate a number of collaborative projects with other organisations who want to be located adjacent to the University’s development and will act as a stimulus to economic regeneration of the SA1 waterfront area.
In the second phase, it is anticipated that up to a further 18,000 sqm will be delivered from 2021 for academic and business uses.
By working in partnership with the Welsh Government and the City and County of Swansea, UWTSD expects the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter will contribute to the ambition of developing a ‘Creative City Region’ strategy and will enhance Swansea’s credentials as a ‘City of Innovation’.