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New images show plans for greener Castle Square Gardens

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A greener, more welcoming future for a major Swansea focal point could move a big step closer next week

Swansea Council’s cabinet is set to discuss a smart new concept for the city centre Castle Square Gardens – one that introduces more greenery, fun and reasons to visit.

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Public consultation this year saw 95% of people back a council concept for a space with more trees, grass and other greenery.

A detailed design has since been drawn up – and this will be presented to the cabinet on December 16.

Members will be asked to commit capital finance funds to support the development over the next two years.

If members agree to funding, the plans will go through a formal planning process next summer. This will be another chance for the public to have their say.

An artist’s impression of the new greener Castle Square Gardens (Image: Swansea Council / iCreate)

If plans are approved, the new gardens could be in use by late 2023. The upgrade forms part of Swansea’ £1bn regeneration, linking in with the new-look Kingsway and Wind Street, with Copr Bay and with other forthcoming multi-million pound schemes in locations such as the Civic Centre site.

Together, they will see thousands of jobs retained and created in the city centre and Swansea become a place where more people want to live, work, study and spend quality free time.

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The city centre will also benefit from the newly launch PSPO (public space protection order) which helps to tackle antisocial behaviour.

An artist’s impression of the new greener Castle Square Gardens (Image: Swansea Council / iCreate)

The latest plans for Castle Square Gardens show more greenery, with a planting scheme developed to incorporate new trees, green roofs, raingardens, and more accessible landscaped areas. It will reflect the council’s green infrastructure strategy. Biodiversity would increase and existing trees would remain, with new trees planted.

There would be two café-restaurant pavilions, with one in the current stepped area and the other near the Zara shop.

The current water feature will go. Instead, there will be water jet features at ground level.

The council say that central to the design is a highly patterned floor using existing stone plus new granite insets. Modern lighting and digital art features are also planned.

New seating and outdoor dining areas could also be introduced in Temple Street and Princess Way.

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The vision, which the council say takes into account public opinions expressed over the past few years, has been drawn up by respected architects ACME and development managers Spider.

An artist’s impression of the new greener Castle Square Gardens (Image: Swansea Council / iCreate)

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “Our greener, more welcoming Castle Square Gardens will play a key role in Swansea’s big future. This 21st Century concept has a keen eye on the location’s green past.

“People will want to spend more time in Castle Square Gardens, host events there and enjoy its more active, distinctive look.

“It will be much more family friendly – a Castle Square Gardens for the 21st Century.”

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Castle Square Gardens will be accessible to all, a pivotal focal point for gatherings.

“The extra greenery will have multi-functional benefits for residents and contribute positively to creating an attractive destination space for visitors.

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“The new water features will mean a new visual attraction and play feature.”

The work would be funded in a number of ways, including from the council budget. Revenue would include income from leases on the food and drink units. The big screen would remain.

(Lead image: Swansea Council / iCreate)

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