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Construction

New figures show more than 2,800 workers built city arena complex – with hundreds more jobs to come

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New figures from Swansea Council show that more than 2,800 workers have helped build the Copr Bay phase one development so far since construction began back in 2019.

Together, they’ve clocked up over 722,000 hours of work, with figures showing 77% of the workers are from Wales.

The £135m Copr Bay phase one district includes the 3,500-capacity Swansea Arena, the 1.1-acre coastal park, the new bridge over Oystermouth Road, new spaces for leisure and hospitality businesses, and new car parking facilities.

Swansea Council is developing the district, supported by development manager RivingtonHark. Construction of the district – being led by Buckingham Group Contracting – will be complete later this year, with the arena opening its doors in early 2022.

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), who will operate the arena, have already appointed a venue management team. They’re among 21 full-time jobs the arena will generate, with approximately 120 further casual jobs to be created at the arena.

It’s estimated the arena, once up and running, will generate 467 full-time jobs in Swansea when indirect jobs created in sectors like building services and food and drink are also included.

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Swansea-based business The Secret Hospitality Group have signed-up to run a restaurant and café in Copr Bay’s coastal park, which is set to generate even more jobs for local people. The business will also join the other restaurants in its group by sourcing all of its produce within 10 miles of Swansea.

Swansea Council will also be taking on extra city centre rangers to cover the coastal park area.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “Benefitting local people through job creation and more footfall and spending for our existing businesses is at the heart of our Copr Bay scheme.

“The thousands of construction workers on site throughout the pandemic has been a very helpful boost to local businesses at an extremely challenging time because of the money they’ve been spending on food, drink and accommodation, but hundreds more full-time jobs will follow at Copr Bay. As well as the arena jobs, these will also include jobs to be created by scheme tenants who are yet to be announced.

“The Copr Bay phase one development will be worth £17.1m a year to Swansea’s economy. By attracting thousands more people into the city centre, it will further support our local businesses while also creating further investment and jobs.”

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Cllr Stewart also says thousands more jobs are on the way to Swansea, in addition to those being generated by Copr Bay phase one.

He said: “Although the scheme is yet to be finished, we’re already seeing evidence of private sector investment being catalysed by the work, which has considerably raised Swansea’s profile across the UK and beyond.

“Just a few weeks ago, we announced our preferred private sector development partner – Urban Splash – for a £750m transformation of several key sites in Swansea, including the Swansea Central North site just across the road from the arena where we have plans for a public sector hub. These schemes will combine to create and secure 10,000 more jobs in Swansea, and construction work is also soon starting on the new office development at 71/72 The Kingsway that will provide space for 600 other jobs.”

The arena element of Copr Bay phase one is being part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal as part of the Swansea City & Waterfront Digital District project, along with the office development planned for 71/72 The Kingsway.

The landmark bridge forming part of the scheme is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s Active Travel fund.

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(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Carmarthenshire

New £1.1m council house development completed in Amman Valley

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A NEW £1.1million council housing development has been built in the Amman Valley as part of Carmarthenshire Council’s plan to deliver more affordable homes.

The eight two-bed semi-detached houses in Maespiode in Llandybie are the first to be delivered under the county council’s £150million new build programme.

The homes have modern kitchens and bathrooms, exceptionally high levels of insulation and are fitted with solar panels that will generate electricity and help provide lower energy bills for tenants.

A tree has also been planted in every garden to off-set carbon emissions, part of the council’s commitment to become net zero carbon by 2030.

The houses are available to applicants on the housing register and were delivered on behalf of the council by local building contractors TRJ Ltd.

Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Linda Evans said: “Providing more affordable homes is a key priority for the council and I am delighted to see this new development – the first of many – has been completed in Llandybie for the benefit of local residents on the housing register.

“We are committed to delivering more than 900 new builds by 2029 which will be the biggest increase in council housing stock in Carmarthenshire since the 1970s.

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“As well as providing much needed homes in the county, the investment will also boost the local economy creating jobs, training opportunities and apprenticeships in the construction industry.”

New council houses are also under construction in Dylan, Llanelli; Glanmor Terrace, Burry Port; Garreglwyd, Pembrey and Gwynfryn in Ammanford and are due for completion in the next 12 to 18 months.

Council Leader Emlyn Dole said: “We are proud to lead the way in Carmarthenshire and are committed to delivering an ambitious affordable housing programme to build much-needed high-quality homes for local people, create more jobs, stimulate economic growth and help wider-scale regeneration in our communities.

“This is even now more critical as we recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Lead image: Cabinet Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans, Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole and Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Linda Evans. (Image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Construction

New pathway will link city centre with arena

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Visitors to Swansea city centre may have recently noticed a new gold-coloured pathway taking shape in the area of the former St David’s Shopping Centre.

Forming part of the £135m Copr Bay phase one district, the pathway will lead from close to the New Look store down to the new bridge over Oystermouth Road that connects the city centre with the Swansea Arena and coastal park development.

Currently under construction, the gold-coloured pathway will pass through a new temporary area being introduced at the former St David’s Shopping Centre site to introduce more vibrancy there, pending its longer-term regeneration.

A temporary pop-up park is also soon being put in place there, along with temporary units for local food and drink start-up businesses. 

Swansea Council is developing the Copr Bay district, which is being advised by development managers RivingtonHark. Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd is leading on the district’s construction.

The new pathway under construction between St Mary’s Church and the new arena (Image: Swansea Council)

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “The new gold-coloured pathway being constructed will give local residents and visitors to Swansea a clear link between the city centre and our emerging £135m Copr Bay phase one district, benefitting businesses and facilities in both areas.

“It’s being deliberately set in a gold colouring to match not just the new bridge over Oystermouth Road, but the stunning panels around Swansea Arena too.

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“It’s part of a plan to develop better connections than ever before between the city centre and our seafront, which will soon make even more progress when early proposals for both the Swansea Central North and Civic Centre sites gather more pace.  

“We now have an award-winning preferred development partner on board – Urban Splash – to lead a £750m regeneration of those sites and others, but a temporary scheme will also be introduced at the former St David’s Shopping Centre site in the meantime.

“As well a new temporary pop-up park and new temporary units for local start-up food and drink businesses, play facilities for children are also planned there, along with events to generate even more vibrancy pending the site’s major long-term regeneration.”

Also forming part of a temporary plan for the surrounding area is the demolition of the Llys Dewi Sant building and the St David’s multi-storey car park.

Demolition materials will be re-used as part of a new temporary surface on site. New car parking is soon being introduced nearby as part of the Copr Bay phase one district.

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New lighting will also be introduced on site, along with information to show how the area will look in future.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Construction

Swansea can lead UK’s green agenda charge says city developer

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Swansea has a real chance to become a UK flagbearer for decarbonisation and well-being, according to a city developer.

Carwyn Davies, Managing Director of Hacer Developments, says the combination of on-going schemes with future plans means Swansea can be ahead of the curve in reaching green agenda ambitions.

Swansea-based Hacer Developments are behind the ‘living building’ plans for the former Woolworth’s unit in the city centre. Due for completion towards the end of 2023, the new development will feature an urban farm-style greenhouse over four floors, residential apartments, shops and offices.

Living walls and living roofs will also feature, as well as rooftop solar panels, battery storage and gardens.

Carwyn says Swansea Council’s £12m transformation of The Kingsway helped spark these development plans, with schemes like the £135m Copr Bay phase one district also giving the private sector more and more confidence to invest in Swansea.

Carwyn said: “Led by the council, which is working in close partnership with the private sector and other organisations, Swansea is on a hugely positive regeneration journey that we want to be part of as a local company with a local ethos that’s focused on benefiting local supply chain businesses.

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“The Copr Bay development including the arena will attract far more people into the city centre, with the greener Kingsway now looking a far better prospect for business and urban living.

“The greenery there is great, but it can’t just be aesthetic. The combination of our biophilic building with other green roofs, living walls and zero-carbon schemes planned in Swansea means the city can punch above its weight in terms of the green agenda because of our size and scale. We have a real chance to get ahead of the curve.”

Other zero carbon schemes planned in Swansea include the new office development being planned for 71/72 The Kingsway. Led by Swansea Council and being part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal, this development will feature a green roof, solar panels and rainwater capture.

Construction work is soon due to start on that development, with the council having appointed Bouygues UK as its main contractor.

Artists impression of 71/72 Kingsway (Image: Swansea Council)

Carwyn says the introduction of greener, more flexible workspaces of this kind will help meet people’s needs, as the city emerges from the pandemic.

He said: “The working from home trend during the pandemic means office environments will no doubt change. Rows of desks are perhaps not the way forward now, with workspaces set to become more flexible and greener.

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“That will be the case at our development too, with analysis to be carried out on how these environments benefit the well-being of people living and working there.”

(Lead image: Hacer / Swansea Council)

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