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£3m investment planned by Swansea Council to transform Wind Street into family-friendly all-day café quarter

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Plans for family-friendly Wind Street set to take big step forward as Swansea Council’s cabinet is set to approve an investment of almost £3m to improve the city centre street.

The cabinet is due to meet on December 17 to discuss the plan to make the venue more accessible to pedestrians and more attractive to businesses wishing to trade outdoors.

The aim is for Wind Street to be a family-friendly all-day café quarter with traffic restricted to business loading only from 7-11am.

Emergency vehicles will have access at all times but the street will be largely free of vehicles during the daytime and evening trading periods.

Work, to be carried out over the next year will include green-landscaped new entrances to the street.

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Existing natural stone paving and kerbs will be taken up and re-used. They will be laid in a way that reduces future maintenance costs.

The re-use of existing footway material will also reduce the need to bring in new materials, making the project more sustainable and reducing the scheme’s carbon footprint.

The road will be brought up to the same level as the pavement to improve accessibility for all and to provide a flexible space for events and other activities. There will be new greenery along the street, with integrated informal seating.

The main work is due to start in the new year. Advance work already undertaken includes tree management which makes the area’s historic architecture more visible. More light now reaches pedestrians and people in the buildings. New street lights have been installed and new coloured pea-lights on trees now provide a vibrant backdrop to the street’s seasonal activities and activity through the year.

To help those with mobility issues, there will be a clear 2m-wide accessible route between the building frontages and new outdoor trading areas.

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A new blue badge parking/dropping area will be created in Salubrious Passage, which will also benefit from new lighting.

Funding sources will include the council’s capital budget and the Welsh Government’s Targeted Regeneration Initiative.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “We want Wind Street to be a family-friendly, high quality hospitality environment and we’ve been working on plans for some time.

“Work has continued through the pandemic; this has included consultation with traders and with environmental, disability and residents’ representatives.

“We also started preparatory work on site to pave the way for the main works in the new year.

“This included tree management and the installation of new public lighting and replacement pea-lighting in the trees.

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“Our reimagining of Wind Street is another key element as we move forward with our £1bn transformation of the city centre. Work already well advanced on locations such as Copr Bay and The Kingsway – and our plans for other significant city centre locations – means that Swansea will have momentum to move forward in the months and years after the pandemic.

“Swansea has an exciting future – and Wind Street will have a big part to play.”

Cabinet report online – www.bit.ly/Cabinet171220


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Charity

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

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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
lives.

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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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Swansea

City clock to be back in action soon

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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.”

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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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Clydach

Historic canal route set to welcome more cyclists and walkers

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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.

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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.”

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(Lead image: Markus Spiske / Pexels.com)

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