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£20m funding boost for Swansea’s industrial heritage

A major new project that will preserve Swansea’s industrial heritage, breathe more life into the River Tawe corridor and create jobs and investment has been given a £20m funding boost.

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The UK Government has approved a levelling-up bid from Swansea Council for the project, which is aimed at further regenerating the Lower Swansea Valley.

The project is made up of three elements:

  • The restoration of even more heritage features at the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks site, following-on from all the work that’s been carried out there so far. Several listed buildings would be regenerated, releasing them for business use and new private sector investment. The site would also become better connected with local communities, to help tell the story of Swansea’s rich industrial legacy to new generations
  • Improving links between the River Tawe and the copperworks site, while also developing better links between the site and the city centre. Victorian era railway arches would be re-used to enable access to public transport by bus, rail and river
  • The upgrade and enhancement of Swansea Museum, improving access and the visitor experience with increased and new exhibition and learning spaces. The investment will protect the museum and enable important elements of its collections currently stored at the former rolling mill of the Copperworks to be brought to this city centre heritage attraction – widely celebrated as the oldest museum in Wales. This will then release the rolling mill building at the copperworks for further mixed-use regeneration.
The Hafod-Morfa River Corridor
(Image: Swansea Council)

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “This project will build on all the work that’s taken place in recent years to help further preserve the city’s historic Hafod-Morfa Copperworks site, while creating innovative new spaces for local businesses, new job opportunities for local people and better links between the site and the city centre.

“Helping breathe new life into the River Tawe corridor, the project will boost Swansea’s status as a heritage destination, ensure our rich industrial history continues to be celebrated for years to come and improve our cultural offer for the benefit of local residents and visitors to the city.

“It will combine with all the significant investment that’s already under way across Swansea to transform our city into the UK’s best places to live, work, study and visit.”

The council also bid for levelling-up funding for projects aimed at further regenerating the city centre, improving Fabian Way infrastructure and boosting Port Eynon as a visitor destination. Those bids were unsuccessful.

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Cllr Stewart said: “While we welcome the approval of the Lower Swansea Valley project bid, we’re disappointed that our other project bids were unsuccessful and we’ll be making contact with the UK Government as soon as possible for feedback. We will also be pursuing other bids and hope to be successful on those in future bidding rounds  

“Over £1bn of investment is currently on-going into the rebuilding, reshaping and restoration of our city.”

Among the work on-going is revamping of the Hafod Morfa Copperworks site by Swansea firm John Weaver contractors on behalf of the council. The work has been made possible thanks to a £4m grant from

The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, and £500,000 from Welsh Government. A Penderyn whisky distillery and visitor centre form part of that project.

Other projects include emerging Skyline proposals for Kilvey Hill that could, subject to approval, include a cable car system, luge runs and other facilities.

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(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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