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Swansea City Council signs up Urban Splash as regeneration partner

Words: Roger Milne
Swansea / Shutterstock: 285904760

Regeneration specialist Urban Splash has signed a 20-year, £750 million partnership agreement with Swansea City Council.

This move paves the way for the redevelopment of sites including the 2.2-hectare Swansea Central North at the former St David's Shopping Centre, which is earmarked for new office building, shared workspaces, flats and an area for small creative businesses to make and sell their products.

Also now in prospect is the potential redevelopment of the 9.3-hectare Civic Centre site to create a new city seafront district. New homes and leisure and hospitality uses could feature there, alongside public spaces and a new walkway to the beach.

Other Swansea sites to be regenerated include a 3-hectare riverfront site in St Thomas, where early proposals include family homes, flats, new public spaces and a new terraced river walk providing direct access to the river for the first time in over 150 years.

Rob Stewart, city council leader, said: “The planned regeneration of sites including the area around St Mary’s Church known as Swansea Central North and the world-class Civic Centre site are going to be something really special and unique, building on the work we have already done around Copr Bay and the arena.

“Urban Splash is a company that’s delivered some of the most imaginative and iconic schemes in the UK, so we’re delighted to have signed this £750 million partnership agreement which will take our city to the next level.”

Urban Splash was established in 1993 and has since developed at least 60 regeneration projects across the UK. These include the Royal William Yard project in Plymouth, where the company has transformed a collection of grade I and grade II-listed waterfront structures into flats, workspaces, galleries, bars and restaurants. Urban Splash has won more than 450 awards for its work.

Jonathan Falkingham MBE, co-founder at Urban Splash and a former Swansea resident, said: “We are very much looking forward to progressing our partnership with Swansea Council,  to create a world-class environment which fuses the city’s historic fabric with new, sustainable architecture, with the objective of establishing Swansea as one of the UK’s most healthy and liveable cities.”

Meanwhile, in a separate but related move, the Welsh Government has taken over control of the Prince of Wales Dock from Associated British Ports,  which owns the port of Swansea. The company intends to close the dock from 5 July and end all navigation rights.

Housing and commercial developments have sprung up around much of the Prince of Wales Dock over the past 15 years, and plans to develop another four plots for housing were submitted to the city council last month.

A government spokesperson confirmed that a harbour revision order is transferring the dock to the government. “We will also assume responsibility for its ongoing maintenance as part of the wider SA1 waterfront development,” the spokesperson insisted.

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