Regeneration Projects Update
The Swansea Economic Regeneration Partnership (SERP) is pursuing the development of a number of Competitive Places projects, where people can live, work and enjoy themselves, and where investment in property and in jobs and skills can take place, consistent with the aspirations of Swansea 2020. The following are a taste of the various projects currently being pursued:
High Street Urban Village - Coastal Housing Group's regeneration plan to transform High Street and create a vibrant link between High Street and Parc Tawe is now reaching a conclusion.
The mixed use scheme has created a high quality mixed use development that includes retail, office and residential space, a creative cluster, community resources, a childcare facility and a venue fronting on to the Strand.
Some of the new accommodation has already been taken with a new café bar – Mosaic – opening recently. A vintage homeware and accessories store on High Street selling furniture and kitchen products is due to open next March as one of the first retail occupiers. Indycube a non-profit company offering workspace to everyone from early stage startups to established freelancing agents is also due to locate in the Urban Village.
Waterfront Connections Public Realm Enhancement Scheme - A contract has recently commenced on the Waterfront Connections project, which is seeking to deliver real benefits for pedestrians and cyclists wishing to travel between the city centre and the waterfront. Key elements of the project will include improving pedestrian and cycle links, creating a high quality environment, installing new marina guardrails and procuring a new piece of public art in the vicinity of Meridian Quay. In addition it will include a series of improvement works in order to re-open the Paxton Street tunnel. This contract is funded by the European Regional Development Fund with contributions from the Arts Council for Wales, the City and County of Swansea and the private sector.
Boulevard - Further to completion of improvements at the junctions of Victoria Road/Wind Street and Oystermouth Road/Westway, and completion of the Tawe Bridges project, a wider scheme of environmental enhancement along the Oystermouth Road/Victoria Road corridor has now been designed. The first contract is now being procured and will start on site in February 2013 and be completed before Christmas 2013. It will then be followed by a second contract early in 2014. The project will deliver enhanced connections between the City Centre and its Waterfront, and environmental enhancement of this important corridor. This project will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund with contributions from the Arts Council for Wales, the City and County of Swansea and Welsh Government.
Property Development Grant - Applications are still being sought for commercial development proposals within the Swansea City Centre Strategic Framework boundary. Funding from the European Regional Development Fund is available to meet the financial gap between the construction costs and the completed market value of the eligible parts of the property, up to a maximum of 33.3% of the construction cost. The incentive on offer is aimed to stimulate the supply of high quality business premises within Swansea City Centre by offering funding towards high quality BREEAM Excellent new build and major refurbishment projects. For further information or to request an Application Pack telephone City & County of Swansea on : 01792 636404
Building Enhancement Programme - This Programme continues to support City Centre businesses and Property Owners by offering a grant of up to 50% towards a facade improvement. The Programme, funded by the European Regional Development Funds, has 2 years left to run with just over £1million to spend on improvements to buildings in the City Centre. Grants have previously been awarded to 225 Oxford Street, 214 Oxford Street, 35-36 The Kingsway, 27 Wind Street and 4 The Strand, with more on site, and a number of applications being processed. To find out more information or discuss eligibility, please call City and County of Swansea on (01792) 635705.
The Vetch - The demolition of Swansea's historic Vetch Field is now complete, and a new park has been opened alongside the Vetch Veg projects. Discussions regarding development options and a new masterplan for the site have commenced.
360 Beach and Watersports Centre - The new centre for watersports opened on the seafront at St Helens in October and activities are to be seen on a regular basis.
The centre provides a community facility that is inclusive and accessible to everyone. The facilities include a popular café, changing facilities, public toilets and a multi-function room on site.
In addition work has been undertaken on the existing Council building at Knab Rock to provide a purpose-built facility including public toilets, showering facilities, changing rooms, an office and a tourism information distribution point.
Bay Sports Ltd, a not-for-profit company set up as a partnership between Bay Leisure Ltd and Swansea University, has been appointed to run the Watersports Centre.
Coastal Housing Group is also working on redeveloping Swansea's Castle Quarter with an £8 million scheme of 26 affordable rented apartments, four duplex units overlooking Swansea Castle, and a small number of commercial units as well as a kiosk on the Strand.
St David's Site - All empty buildings on this site have been taken down to make way for a major regeneration scheme in the long-term when economic conditions improve, in the meantime work has started on constructing a car park on the site to meet the needs of city centre traders in the short-term. A lot of the debris taken down during demolition works will be recycled and used to build the car park.
Lower Swansea Valley Flood Risk Management Scheme - The Environment Agency Wales, with partners City and County of Swansea (CCS), has found improvements are needed to reduce the level of flood risk from the River Tawe in the area south of the M4 and north of the London-Swansea railway bridges (including the areas of Swansea Vale, Swansea Enterprise Park, Riverside Caravan Park, Beaufort Industrial Estate and Plasmarl Industrial Estate). The improvements are needed due to the likelihood of flooding and the potential consequences to existing homes and businesses.
The proposed new LSV Flood Risk Management scheme will include constructing raised flood embankments and walls at existing low spots, moving the northern Swansea Vale embankment further away from the river and removing three redundant bridges. This will increase flood capacity, reduce the likelihood of flooding for 284 commercial and 16 residential properties, and create wildlife habitat. Construction is planned to start in 2013, subject to planning permission which is currently under consideration. Improvements will also be made to flood warning systems and CCS is working with the local community to raise flood awareness of properties and businesses in the area to know how to prepare for and respond to flooding incidents.
The project, costing £7 million, is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government. The project is predicted to generate £28 million benefits to the wider economy as a result of the reduced flood risk.
For the latest project news and information, visit www.swansea.gov.uk/lowerswanseavalleyflood
Swansea Vale Review - Swansea Vale is a 190 hectare mixed use business and residential area established through a Joint Venture between City & County of Swansea (CCS) and Welsh Government in early 1990's. There has been considerable public and private investment in the area since that time. However new planning guidance, changed market conditions, new issues, demands and constraints have had considerable implications for the area and there has therefore been a need to undertake a comprehensive review to respond to the changed circumstances affecting the site.
Consultants Atkins were therefore appointed by CCS to prepare a revised Development Strategy for Swansea Vale which was completed in draft form at the end of 2010. Since that time there has been considerable work undertaken to ensure that these plans are deliverable, and been the subject of preliminary discussions with Welsh Water Dwr Cymru and the Environment Agency.
A public consultation exercise is being undertaken during November in order that the views of statutory and non statutory consultees, residents and businesses can be considered. The results of that consultation can be reported back to Council members with a view to the revised Development Strategy being adopted as the Council's policy to inform the preparation of the LDP, to help to ensure a comprehensive approach to the delivery of the Overarching Vision for Swansea Vale and encourage renewed market confidence in the area.