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Dramatic video marks landmark moment for Swansea.



Artist impression of Arena (Picture: Swansea Council)

A milestone moment in one of Wales’ most high-profile current regeneration schemes was marked by the online release of a dramatic video today.

The topping out of Swansea’s new, 3,500-capacity arena – a new landmark destination for South Wales – took place with a virtual celebration, in light of current restrictions as a result of COVID-19.

It saw political and business leaders mark the moment together, digitally, via a specially created video.

The film features footage from a drone sweeping through the expansive – and newly named – Copr Bay Phase One district. It takes the viewer around the complex and right up to the arena rooftop over 20m above the road below.


The activity was the latest milestone for the £135m Copr Bay Phase One scheme, a catalyst for the city’s £1bn transformation over the coming few years.


The scheme is being delivered by Swansea Council and funded by the council, the Welsh Government and the Swansea Bay City Deal which includes both UK Government and Welsh Government funding.

Topping out of Copr Bay Arena (Video: Swansea Council)

Develop Managed by RivingtonHark, it is being built by Buckingham Group Contracting and the arena is to be operated by The Ambassador Theatre Group, (ATG), a global leader in live theatre. The project, with the arena, new 1.1-acre of parkland, homes, commercial units, parking for around 1,000 cars and landmark bridge, is on target to open in the second half of next year.

Those appearing in the topping out video included council leader Rob Stewart, Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies, Wales Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters, Members of the Senedd Julie James and Rebecca Evans, Buckingham Group Director Kevin Underwood and ATG Group Operations Director Stuart Beeby.

The film combined drone footage across the site with CGIs and video interviews. It can be seen online here.


Council leader Rob Stewart said: “This is a key moment in the transformation of this site and the £1bn regeneration of Swansea city centre.


“The private and public sectors are backing Swansea with ideas, money and action – and people across our communities can be confident in the city’s future.

“Swansea city centre is fast becoming a great place to live, work, study and play.

“Although this was an important moment, we took the pandemic into consideration and chose to do it virtually rather than with a traditional gathering.”


Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “It’s fantastic see a transformative project – one of the biggest in the UK – being delivered in the heart of Swansea.

“The UK Government is working to bring greater investment and growth to communities across Wales and this project is going to make a huge difference to Swansea and to the wider region.


“It is something to be excited about and it’s been an incredible achievement to deliver it during some very difficult times.”

Wales Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said: “The arena will be visible across the sweep of Swansea Bay – and we hope its economic impact will be felt right across the city region.”


Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Swansea’s ambitions are coming together!

“We’re already blessed to live on the UK’s best bay – now the arena illustrates how we’re delivering a first-class destination city centre.

“This development is going to be the catalyst to drive all the ambitions we have so I urge investors to take a look at us; they won’t be disappointed.”


Buckingham Group Director Kevin Underwood said: “We’re delivering high-quality work on this very special project – a fantastic flagship development for the centre of Swansea. We’ve reached an important milestone in the construction of this innovative arena and I look forward to it hosting some fabulous shows in the near future.”


ATG Group Operations Director Stuart Beeby said: “With this major milestone reached, everyone can start to see what a premier building the Swansea Arena is going to be.

“An arena of this calibre deserves to be filled with world class acts and we’re already booking in shows with some of the industry’s top promoters.

“Swansea’s new future as a destination for the best live entertainment is closer than ever.”


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Tesco shoppers in Swansea help to provide £1million boost to health




People in Swansea have been thanked for contributing towards the £1million raised for
three life-saving charities as part of Tesco’s ‘Helping you to live healthier’ initiative.

Tesco customers reached the landmark total for Cancer Research UK, the British Heart
Foundation and Diabetes UK from 13-26 September by rounding up their shop in store to
the nearest £1.

The funds raised will now help the three charities continue their vital work to save and
improve lives.

In addition to the £1million donated, the campaign raised awareness in Swansea about
the importance of people making sustainable lifestyle changes that can help lower their
risk of cancer, heart and circulatory diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

This was done with the help of trusted health information and advice, which was shared
to empower Tesco customers to take small steps to help improve their health.

Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health Campaigns at Tesco, thanked Tesco shoppers in
Swansea for their generosity, which will make a significant difference to many people’s


She added: “It has been inspiring to see our customers really engage with the work we
are doing together, and we hope that we have played a part in raising awareness for
these conditions, as well as life-saving funds.”

The campaign was part of the Health Charity Partnership between Tesco, Cancer
Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK, which aims to inspire and
support Tesco colleagues, customers and their families to make healthier food choices
and live healthier lives.

On behalf of the charity partners , Claire Sadler, Executive Director of Marketing,
Fundraising and Engagement at the British Heart Foundation, said
: “We have been amazed by the incredible generosity of Tesco customers and colleagues
and would like to thank everyone who donated during September.

“Your donations will help to empower millions of people to make healthier choices that
lower their risk of heart and circulatory diseases, cancer, and diabetes. It will also help
our charities provide vital support to millions of people at a time it’s never been more
needed, and it will fund research with the potential to save lives.”

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City clock to be back in action soon




Specialist engineers plan to work on Swansea’s historic Guildhall clock from next week.

They aim to undertake essential maintenance to ensure the timepiece – on the historic building’s prominent tower – is back in action in the coming months.

Swansea Council has been waiting for a number of months for engineers to become available.

Cabinet member and joint deputy council leader David Hopkins said: “We thank people for being patient as we’ve made pandemic actions our priority.

“We’ve also waited for specialists to free up the necessary time to do this important work. It’s important we got the right team in to do the job. There are few of these specialists available and, like all businesses, they’ve been affected by the pandemic.

“The clock means a lot to the people of Swansea – and they’ll be glad to see it once again providing its invaluable service.”


It is planned that the Cumbria Clock Company will begin work next week. They will first remove hands from clock face; its internal mechanism will also go for factory maintenance.

It’s planned that the clock will be back up and running in good time for Christmas. Access to the Guildhall will not be affected during the work.

The Guildhall opened in 1934. Its innovative design and unique features were widely copied in other municipal buildings during the two decades following its completion and the building has proved to be functional as well as architecturally celebrated.

It has functioned as a focal point of local government and justice, is the focus for civic ceremony and is one of Swansea’s principal centres of social and cultural life.

Lead image: Swansea’s Guildhall and its clock tower. (Image: Swansea Council)


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Historic canal route set to welcome more cyclists and walkers




black and blue bicycle handle bar

An historic canal route in Swansea, already popular with walkers and cyclists, is set to be upgraded.

Swansea Council has secured funding to upgrade a 1.4km section of towpath along Swansea Canal.

The route between Clydach and Pontardawe is already part of the national cycle network (NCN 43) and sees many people using it to walk and travel by bicycle. Overgrown vegetation and an ageing surface under foot has prompted the council to seek further funding to make it more user-friendly.

A £250,000 investment via the Welsh Government Active Travel programme has now been secured and will result in a major upgrade to the route.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Management, said: “Our aim will be to widen the existing path along the canal and provide an improved surface for walkers and cyclists.

“We will be working with the Canal and River Trust to make this route a safer and an even more popular walking and cycling route. We also want to continue the improvements already completed by the neighbouring local authority along their section, link up with it and maximise the regional benefits.”

The latest funding features as part of a report to the Council’s Cabinet, recommending approval of the scheme along with further investment in walking and cycling infrastructure, totalling £696,000.


Part of the funding (£245,000) will also help create a new 1.4 km link between the communities of Clydach and Craig Cefn Parc.

Additional investment will be spent on the introduction of locally produced artwork along existing sections of the city’s network.

Cllr Thomas, added: “We’re extremely grateful for the support from the Welsh Government in enabling us to expand and improve our current walking and cycling infrastructure.

“We want more people to consider the options of walking and cycling to travel around Swansea and to use a car less often. Making sure we have good quality routes which link up communities and give people confidence to travel safely is key to achieving this.”

Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: “We know that getting people out of cars for short journeys to cycle or walk is an ambitious agenda, but if we’re to meet our net zero carbon emission target by 2050 we need to take action now.

“Having the right infrastructure in place is key to encouraging more people to feel safe to walk and cycle and that’s why we’ve committed to investing significant funding in active travel this year.”


(Lead image: Markus Spiske /

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