blank
Connect with us

Construction

Foundation works start at major new Kingsway office scheme

Published

on

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

“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.

Advertisement

“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)

Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Construction

Housebuilder reports “exceptional demand” as Aberavon development launched

Published

on

By

“Exceptional demand” has been reported as the first homes at a new development on Aberavon seafront were released for sale.

All appointments were fully booked on Saturday as Persimmon Homes West Wales opened the doors to the sales office.

Advertisement

Two homes were purchased at the Awel Afan development and a further 10 reserved on the Early Bird scheme over a busy weekend.

A total of 137 homes are being built on the former Afan Lido Leisure Centre site on Princess Margaret Way.

Sharon Bouhali, Sales Director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “We’re pleased to have launched our Awel Afan site.

“The demand has been exceptional. Right from the moment we acquired the site and announced the plans, we have seen a phenomenal amount of interest from a wide range of people wanting to live in his amazing location.

“The housing market remains buoyant in West Wales but, even so, the buzz around Awel Afan is almost unprecedented.”

Advertisement

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.

The national house builder says that each home built also creates 1.5 full-time direct jobs – and at least twice that number in the supply chain.

The development will be made up of two, three and four-bedroom houses, as well as a range of two-bedroom flats.

Homes currently on sale include the popular two-bedroom terraced Alnwick with its modern open plan kitchen/diner and the four-bedroom detached Hornsea with ensuite and integral garage.

Advertisement

Persimmon Homes recently supported Afan Lido Girls FC with a game-changing grant of £20,000 through its Building Futures campaign.

(Lead image: Persimmon Homes)

Continue Reading

Construction

Time to raise the bar on Wales’ housing standards says Minister

Published

on

By

Welsh Government Minister Julie James has announced the upcoming launch of a consultation on proposed new social housing quality standard for Wales.

The Minister said the Welsh Housing Quality Standard 2023 (WHQS 2023) would ‘build on the excellent achievements of its predecessor’ – the standard introduced in 2002.

Advertisement

Since then, the Welsh Government has worked with social landlord delivery partners to invest billions of pounds to significantly improve and maintain the quality of social homes across Wales.

As a result, by the end of 2020, 99 per cent of social housing in Wales met the original WHQS – a standard which is more demanding than in the other home nations.

Speaking in the Senedd, the Minister said: “Reflecting on the levels of achievement of the current standard, I am sure members will agree that, after 20 years, the standard is due to be reviewed, especially to acknowledge the considerable changes to how people live, work and feel about their homes.

“The world has moved on apace in the last 20 years and our expectation of our homes has moved on too.

“The proposed standard aims to be bold but ultimately achievable. We aim with our consultation to ensure that the voice of the sector is taken into account in finalising these standards and getting them right.

Advertisement

“Setting standards is not an easy business at the best of times. It is even more challenging setting standards relating to the decarbonisation of homes – which is a developing area where we are learning what works best on an ongoing basis.

“The £220m committed over this term of government to the Optimised Retrofit Programme, our whole house, pragmatic, approach to decarbonising existing homes will help.

“It will provide some of the answers to how we effectively and efficiently reduce carbon emissions from homes in line with our Net Zero Wales plan.

“However, in the face of the climate change emergency we cannot stand still, and we must continue to push progress and set standards to address decarbonisation through a variety of measures in existing social housing.”

More than 900 tenants have been involved in the development of the new standard and technical elements have been supported by experts who have looked at what else is happening across the UK and the rest of the world.

Advertisement

The Minister added: “I make no apology for proposing what some will see as a bold approach, I am determined the standards bar should be raised again.

“Meeting our Net Zero Wales targets requires us to make determined progress and I believe these standards are fit to take us forward in that regard.

“Our social housing tenants deserve these standards to be the best we can make them.

“My firm hope is that these standards will not only be brought to bear for social housing, but that in the future other tenures may consider how they too might meet and exceed these expectations.”

The proposed WHQS 2023 standards will be published for consultation from Wednesday May 11 and will be open for stakeholders to respond to for 12 weeks.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Construction

Skills shortages and material costs continue to impact Welsh construction activity

Published

on

By

man in white and black plaid dress shirt holding white printer paper

Construction market activity continues to rise in Wales despite rising material costs and ongoing skill shortages, latest data from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests. However, the sector doesn’t expect to make a profit this year.

The Q1 2022 RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Monitor shows greater than +40% of respondents in Wales reporting a rise in workloads in the quarter, up marginally from +37% in Q4 2021.

Advertisement

The report says that infrastructure projects, alongside activity related to the development of public and private sector housing shows the strongest workload growth – with private housing up +48% and public housing up +54%.

Despite the growth in current workloads, the impact of global supply shortages, rising costs and a lack of skilled workers are impacting on activity.

When it comes to labour, 66% of survey respondents said that they were experiencing a shortage of quantity surveyors, whilst 67% reported shortages in other construction professionals and 65% pointed to a lack of labourers.

Despite the current challenges, respondents still remain relatively optimistic for the coming year ahead regarding workloads. However, they expect profit margins to be severely impacted by rising costs. Over a third (+36%) of respondents expect workloads to rise in the next 12 months. However, expectations for profit margins are now firmly negative with a net balance of –25%.

Aled Davies of VINCI Construction UK Limited in Cardiff said that material prices are increasing exponentially.

Advertisement

Peter Jenkins of Willis Construction Limited in Cardiff said that the impact of the war in Ukraine is being felt in fuel and material costs as well as their availability.

RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn, commented: “The good news in the latest report is that the industry remains positive about the outlook for activity and that the generally upbeat mood can be seen not just in regard of infrastructure and housing development but also in the commercial sector.

“However, it is clear that the sector faces significant challenges which have been reflected in recent official data showing a sharp rise in vacancies across the construction industry. RICS numbers demonstrate these shortages are pretty much across the board including quantity surveyors and project managers as well as both skilled trades and more general labour.

“This, combined with problems around accessing building materials in the current environment, is exerting significant upward pressure on construction costs at the present time.”

(Lead image: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels.com)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News