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Construction tips for pupils at Copr Bay visit

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Pupils from Swansea’s Pentrehafod Comprehensive School have visited the city’s Copr Bay phase one development to see progress on site with their own eyes.

The year ten and 11 pupils, who are ambassadors for a business class that Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd runs with the school, saw how features of the scheme including Swansea Arena and the new coastal park are coming along.

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Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd leads on the construction of the £135m Copr Bay phase one project, which is being developed by Swansea Council and advised by development managers RivingtonHark.

The business class visit was the latest of a number to the site, where pupils take photos of changes, learn more about the construction industry and report back to their classmates on latest developments.

Representatives from Swansea Council, Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd and Careers Wales were also present at the visit.

Young people from Pentrehafod School with representatives from Swansea Council, Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd and Careers Wales (Image: Swansea Council)

A spokesperson for the Pentrehafod School business class said: “It was incredible to experience what it would be like to work on a building site. 

 “It was also amazing to get to see how much progress has been made since the first visit.”

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “The Copr Bay phase one district is for the people of Swansea, so it was a pleasure to welcome these local schoolchildren on site where they could see up-close the huge amount of progress that’s been made in recent months.

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“It’s their generation who will benefit from facilities like the arena and coastal park for many years to come, but these visits also enable an insight into the construction industry at a time when there is so much redevelopment on-going to transform our city into one of the UK’s best places to live, work, study and visit.

“Visits like these can inspire the next generation of construction professionals by showing how school subjects can equip our young people with the skills needed to progress into the industry.”

Young people from Pentrahafod School are shown around the new Arena site (Image: Swansea Council)

Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd was recently shortlisted for the Best Ongoing Relationship with a School Award at the Careers Wales Valued Partner Awards.

Susan Jones, Major Projects Social Value Manager at Buckingham, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Pentrehafod School over the past two years. Having applied for their positions, 14 pupils were selected to become Buckingham Ambassadors on Copr Bay phase one.  They have proven to be excellent ambassadors, working with myself and the site team, monitoring progress throughout the build of this iconic project.”

Construction of Copr Bay phase one will be complete later this year, with the arena, to be run by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), opening its doors in early 2022.

Copr Bay phase one also includes new apartments, the new bridge over Oystermouth Road, new car parking and new spaces for leisure and hospitality businesses.

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The arena feature of Copr Bay phase one is being part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal as part of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project that also includes the new office development soon being constructed at 71/72 The Kingsway.

The bridge over Oystermouth Road is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s Active Travel fund.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Construction

Foundation works start at major new Kingsway office scheme

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Foundations are now being laid for a landmark new net-zero office development that will provide space for 600 jobs at the former Oceana nightclub site in Swansea city centre.

The work will help pave the way for the start of constructing the building’s concrete frame in the coming months as The Kingsway’s transformation takes another step forward.

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Swansea Council is leading on the scheme, with Bouygues UK as main contractor.

Due for completion in the summer of 2023, the five-storey scheme will be carbon zero in operation and worth £32.6 million a year to Swansea’s economy when finished. It will include 114,000 square feet of commercial floor space with flexible co-working and office opportunities for businesses in sectors like tech, digital and the creative industries.

A roof terrace, a new link between The Kingsway and Oxford Street, public access and balconies overlooking the city centre and Swansea Bay will also feature.

The development is part of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project being part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal. It is also supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

To enable the arrival of concrete on site, traffic management will be in place on part of The Kingsway for the next fortnight or so. This will not impact on any of the environmental enhancements introduced there in recent years as part of a major improvement project.

Artist’s impression of the new office building (Image; Swansea Council)

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “This work shows yet another artist’s impression in Swansea will soon be transformed into reality, following-on from a major improvement of The Kingsway that’s created a greener, more pleasant area for business and investment.

“Despite Covid and the trend towards more home working it’s led to, we know there’s still a major demand for high-quality office space of this kind in Swansea – a working environment that’s fit for modern times by combining co-working opportunities and flexibility with the kind of digital connectivity businesses need to thrive.

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“We also know businesses in sectors like digital and tech have had to leave Swansea in the past to find the office space they need, so this development will help address that in future while also creating more footfall and spending for our city centre businesses.”

An online event was also held last month, giving local businesses the opportunity to find out more about work packages forming part of the development in areas like tiling, flooring, masonry, landscaping and specialist joinery.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “As well as further improving the city centre and retaining business talent, this new office development will also boost the local economy through benefits for supply chain businesses in the local area.

“As building work gathers pace, construction workers on site will also benefit the city centre because of the money they’ll be spending in our shops, restaurants, pubs and other businesses, with this development also acting as a catalyst for further investment, jobs and opportunities for local people.”

John Boughton, Regional Managing Director of Bouygues UK, said: “We are thrilled to be working alongside Swansea Council in the construction of Kingsway.

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“This innovative, landmark and sustainable building aligns so closely to our climate ambitions with its bold ambition to be net-zero in operation. In addition it gives us the opportunity to engage with the local community and offer social value initiatives to help regenerate Swansea city centre.

“We are so excited to be laying the foundations of what promises to be an extremely valuable addition to the city.”

Access to businesses nearby will be maintained throughout the construction works. Temporary surfacing has been deliberately laid in front of the development site, with permanent paving to be installed there once main construction work has finished.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Construction

Persimmon set to start work on new Aberavon Seafront homes as land acquired

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Work to build almost 140 houses on Aberavon seafront is set to start shortly.

Persimmon say they are breathing fresh life into the former Afan Lido Leisure Centre site by building 137-much needed new homes.

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The development, which is being marketed as Awel Afan, has reached another significant milestone after Persimmon completed the acquisition of the site.

Planning permission has already been granted by Neath Port Talbot Council and work is set to start in the coming weeks.

Sharon Bouhali, Sales Director at West Wales, said: “We’re pleased to have completed the purchase of this land. The acquisition takes another step forward to starting work on this development.”

“We have received enormous interest in this project, which is no surprise given its incredible location overlooking the seafront.”

“We expect to release the first homes for sale in early summer and I’m sure they will prove extremely popular.”

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Opened by the Queen in the 1970s, the Afan Lido was destroyed in a fire in 2009 and the site has been unused since.

Persimmon say the development will bring a massive boost to the local economy through the construction industry and its multiplier effect. According to figures from the House Builders Federation, for every £1 spent on housing, £3 goes back into the economy.

Each home built also creates 1.5 full-time direct jobs – and at least twice that number in the supply chain.

Cllr Annette Wingrave, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development, said: “This is a really exciting development in one of our most attractive locations.

“The development of the site for residential use will have the twin benefit of delivering much-needed new housing which will not only visually enhance this end of the seafront, it will also bring more people to live in the area, adding to its vitality and providing more footfall to existing businesses there.”

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Awel Afan will be made up of two, three and four-bedroom houses, as well as a range of two-bedroom apartments.

(Lead image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

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Business

Supply chain businesses offered chance to benefit from new Kingsway office build

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Businesses throughout Swansea and the City Region as a whole have the chance to benefit from work packages forming part of a major new development in the city centre.

An online Meet the Buyer event is being held on Thursday December 16, helping inform supply chain businesses about opportunities at the high-tech office scheme planned for the former Oceana nightclub site on The Kingsway.

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Organised by Swansea Council and Bouygues UK – the council’s main contractor for the scheme – the event will cover opportunities in areas including structural steel, masonry, street furniture, kitchens, waste management, road markings and signage.

Construction work will soon start on the new office development, which will include 114,000 square feet of commercial floor space with flexible co-working and office opportunities for innovative tech, digital and creative sector businesses.

Led by Swansea Council, the five-storey scheme, earmarked for completion in the summer of 2023, will be carbon zero in operation and worth £32.6 million to Swansea’s economy once complete.

The development is part of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project being part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal. It is also supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Other organisations supporting the Meet the Buyer event include Business Wales, Sell2Wales, the Construction Industry Training Board, the Swansea Bay City Deal and Cyfle.

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Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “This major new development will provide space for 600 jobs when complete, helping generate even more vibrancy and footfall in the city centre while providing the kind of flexible, high-quality office space that continues to be in high demand despite the impact of the pandemic.

“But as well as encouraging innovative local tech and digital businesses to set up, remain and flourish in Swansea instead of moving elsewhere, this scheme is also vitally important to local and regional supply chain businesses because of the opportunities it will create throughout its construction.

“The Meet the Buyer event that’s now been arranged with Bouygues UK and other partners will enable local businesses of this kind to find out more about the work packages that will be made available as we look to further boost the local economy.”

Other work packages that could form part of the new office development include flooring and tiling, specialist joinery, cleaning, fire protection, and soft and hard landscaping.

The Meet the Buyer event will be delivered via Microsoft Teams from 9am to 2pm. Businesses interested in taking part can now book 15-minute slots for one-to-one meetings.

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