A formal worldwide search for a developer to help power Swansea city centre into a confident post-Covid future starts this week.
The specialist high-quality investor or developer will work with Swansea Council to regenerate a number of major sites as part of the city’s £1bn regeneration story.
The Shaping Swansea initiative is expected to trigger new business opportunities for those already in the city or looking to play a part in the city’s bright future.
It could include projects such as a public sector hub in Swansea Central North, a mixed-use development on the existing Civic Centre site overlooking Swansea Bay and a major leisure destination on the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks site.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “Investors around the world are looking for new opportunities – and Swansea can provide them. We have a compelling once-in-a-generation chance for a top-class partner to help us deliver major regeneration.
“We’re looking forward with optimism and energy towards a post-pandemic world when Swansea will lead the way in offering and delivering on the opportunity.
“As we build on the great regeneration work already underway here there will be many more new openings for existing and new business to thrive.
“Swansea is fast becoming a place where people want to live, work and enjoy quality free time. I urge developers to get involved in our competitive procurement process.”
Shaping Swansea’s formal launch is due to take place on Wednesday, September 9. It will coincide with an online event – open to all – that will see Cllr Stewart and other key local figures talk about the council’s vision for the city and the Shaping Swansea opportunity.
To participate, interested parties must register with Welsh Government procurement portal Sell2Wales. Documents will be available to view on eTender Wales within 48 hours of the issuing of the Official Journal of the European Union notice.
The preferred partner is expected to be selected next summer.
The partner’s work will be in addition to major transformation schemes already underway in Swansea. These include the £135m Swansea Central Phase One, with 3,500-capacity indoor arena, the £12m Kingsway overhaul and the planned £30m city centre hub for tech and creative business.
The private sector is ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds into new city centre accommodation and commercial space.
The city is pivotal to the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal which is re-energising the wider region with a mix of private and public sector funding.
The council’s vision for Swansea is for it to be a desirable, sought after place to live, work and visit that capitalises on the distinctive relationship between its vibrant urban areas and outstanding rural and coastal environments; has sustainable, distinct communities, in both urban and rural locations, that benefit from quality homes supporting infrastructure, community facilities and a wide range of opportunities for recreation; is a thriving city centre destination that offers excellent shopping facilities and supporting leisure and business opportunities, capitalising on its proximity to the waterfront and celebrates and conserves its unique natural heritage and cultural and historic environments
Supporting the Shaping Swansea initiative the Welsh Government comments:
“The Welsh Government has worked in a strategic capacity with Swansea Council since the inception of the Swansea Regeneration Area in 2009. This involvement has continued and been strengthened through the Regeneration investment programmes since this time. The Welsh Government will continue to focus its regeneration activity on Town Centres across Wales to ensure that Government, local authorities, the wider public sector, businesses and communities put the health and vibrancy of town centres at the heart of their location strategies and investment decisions.
“The Welsh Government will continue to work with the Swansea Council to further its ambitious regeneration and economic development agenda for the City. As such any relevant requests will be considered as appropriate in line with available funding and budgetary allocations. Welsh Government will also engage with the Council to endeavour to ensure any future decisions on our land ownerships in the city centre and any potential occupational requirements support the Council’s regeneration plans.”