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New hostel owner praises Swansea’s redevelopment

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Major developments in the city centre helped influence a businessman’s decision to set up a new venture in Swansea.

Llyr Roberts, the owner of Cwtsh Hostel on Castle Street, says projects like the emerging £135m Copr Bay phase one district are making Swansea an attractive proposition for private sector investment.

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Llyr, who is also behind the Breakout Swansea business on The Kingsway, opened up the Cwtch Hostel in November last year. It’s made up of both pod and private accommodation, a communal area and other facilities including a communal kitchen, a small coffee shop, games and a projector for a cinema-style movie experience.

Swansea Council is behind developments like the Copr Bay district which includes Swansea Arena. The council also recently completed a £12m upgrade of The Kingsway’s look and feel.

Llyr said: “You can see that positive things are happening in Swansea – there’s a lot of money going into the area, and that was definitely a factor behind opening up the Cwtsh Hostel. The construction industry hasn’t stopped during the pandemic, and Copr Bay progress has been very impressive.

“We have a great view of the development – we can see the LED screens on the arena from our location on Castle Square, which are fantastic. The nearest arena currently would be Cardiff, so we need something like Swansea Arena in the area to hold huge live music concerts and other events. If there’s a 3,500-capacity arena then hopefully the hostel will be full.”

Beds at the Cwtsh Hostel range from £20 a night for a single bed pod to £50 a night for a private room. Mood lighting has been installed in each room, allowing customers to change the colours of their surroundings while they relax.

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Llyr said: “We are a budget hotel that’s here for everyone: back-packers, families and party-goers. Everyone is welcome to stay here.

“Swansea is certainly going places. There’s a good mixture now of big developments with small independent businesses, so by working together the city is getting it right.

“We’re going to try our best to further help make Swansea a destination where people from all over the world visit. If all goes well, then maybe we’ll then set up a second location in another Welsh city or town in future.”

As well as Swansea Arena, the Copr Bay phase one district also includes a 1.1-acre coastal park, new apartments, new car parking, new spaces for leisure and hospitality businesses, and the new bridge over Oystermouth Road.

The scheme – worth £17.1m a year to Swansea’s economy – is being developed by Swansea Council and advised by development managers RivingtonHark, with Buckingham Group Contracting as main contractor. The arena, which will be run by Ambassador Theatre Group, is being part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal, which is an investment of up to £1.3bn in nine major programmes and projects across South West Wales.

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(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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