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Swansea ‘box village’ project unveiled

Words: Roger Milne
Shoreditch Boxpark, London

The University of Wales Trinity St David has unveiled proposals for a so-called Swansea ‘box village’ made up of thousands of former shipping containers providing up to 18,580 square metres of floor space.

Also involved would be a 6,038 square metre innovation precinct for start-ups and co-working.

The university’s concept for the ‘box village’ is a series of pavilions (hubs), each with a particular focus linking directly with aspects of its academic programme.

If approved, this initiative would be four times bigger than the proposed ‘box city’ for Cardiff Bay. It could require several thousand shipping containers that could be stacked on top of each other to create a number of storeys.

These proposals form an element of the emerging city deal for the Swansea city region.

The scheme would be part of the Innovative Quarter earmarked for the SA1 Waterfront area of Swansea.

University vice-chancellor professor Medwin Hughes said: “Box village and the Innovation Precinct will enable us to further exploit knowledge and expertise to create new enterprise hubs and high-skill accelerator schemes to grow new businesses linked to our portfolio, develop the skills of current businesses and attract new investment into the region.”

Leader at the City and County of Swansea Council Rob Stewart said: “The plans for a box village are an exciting part of the Swansea Bay City Region’s City Deal bid that would transform the regional economy, open up thousands of jobs and generate the kind of world-class digital environment that will allow local entrepreneurs to flourish and expand.

“The box village project, based on innovative examples of best practice, will allow flexible space for enterprising businesses to set up, grow and globalise. Once the components of a box village are in place, they really can look particularly striking and impressive.

“This project would complement our plans to develop a digital district on Kingsway and a digital square at the St David’s development site that would include digital artworks and digital projections.”

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