Swansea city plans take step forward

Swansea city plans take step forward

The plans to transform Swansea's waterfront and city centre into a cutting-edge digital district have taken a major step forward.

An advanced draft of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District business plan has now been sent to the Welsh Government and UK Government for their consideration, with formal submission of a final business case set to follow.

If successful, the proposal will be funded by the £1.3bn City Deal investment the Swansea Bay City Region secured from the UK Government.

This project is one of 11 across Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Neath Port Talbot that is slated to boost the regional economy by £1.8bn, create 10,000 jobs and generate more skills and opportunities for local people.

The project includes a digital village and tech quarter on Kingsway in Swansea city centre, which would provide flexible and affordable office space for new and growing technology businesses.

A 'box village' on the University of Wales Trinity Saint David's SA1 waterfront development that would create incubation spaces and co-working areas for start-ups and small businesses will also be created.

Money from the City Deal would also be used to digitise the indoor arena planned for the LC car park site, meaning the attraction could accommodate state-of-the-art conferences and event spaces for tech industries and universities, thanks to the availability of world class internet speeds.

Cllr Rob Stewart, leader for the Swansea Bay City Region, said: "Considerable progress has been made on the City Deal since the Swansea Bay City Region secured this unprecedented investment for South West Wales from the UK Government about 10 months ago

"Over 50% of the business plans have now been submitted to both the UK and Welsh Governments for their consideration, which shows how determined we are to deliver on our promise to benefit people across South West Wales as soon as possible.

"We also soon expect a joint working agreement for the City Deal to be approved by all four Swansea Bay City Region councils, along with the setting-up of a joint committee that will allow us to access the first part of the City Deal investment from April this year.

"Other imminent progress includes the expected appointment later this month of a chairperson for the City Deal's economic strategy board, with this funding sure to act as a catalyst for even more investment in coming years."