Landmark Projects Near Completion in Swansea’s ‘Major Transformation’

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Three flagship schemes which play a part in Swansea’s ‘major transformation’ are nearing completion.

The Albert Hall is due to reopen next month, construction work is due for completion at 71/72 Kingsway in the coming months, and a sensitive overhaul of the Palace Theatre is expected to lead to its reopening this year.

The 136-year-old Palace Theatre is being brought back to life thanks to funding from Swansea Council and the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme.

Specialist businesses involved include R&M Williams Ltd and GWP Architecture. Innovation hub Tramshed Tech is due to manage the building once construction work is complete, with the building due to become a shared workspace.

Meanwhile the former Oceana nightclub site on The Kingsway is being transformed into a high-quality office space for 600 workers, in a development by the council part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal. Bouygues UK is leading on its construction, and positive discussions with potential tenants are ongoing. Some of these discussions are at an advanced pre-let stage.

Cardiff-based LoftCo Ltd are behind the transformation of the Albert Hall. The scheme at the building, which dates back to 1864, will include a food hall, a performance area and stage, private dining rooms, karaoke, and a children’s play centre. There will also be offices, units geared towards health and lifestyle services, a rooftop garden, a workspace area, a gym, and serviced accommodation for visitors.

Cabinet Members at Swansea Council have now visited all three sites to see the progress being made for themselves.

Councillor Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said:

“We’re committed to improving Swansea’s economy through major regeneration schemes because this creates jobs for local people and better facilities for local residents and local businesses, helping attract even more investment in future.

“The Palace Theatre, Albert Hall and 71/72 Kingsway schemes are three of many projects either complete, ongoing or planned in Swansea as the city’s major transformation continues at pace.

“It was great to go behind the scenes at these projects to see for ourselves the tremendous progress that’s being made ahead of their completion and opening.

“Combined with other schemes, these projects will help contribute to our vision for Swansea to become a leading city to work, live, study, enjoy and visit.”

Stephen Davies, Bouygues UK’s Operations Director for Wales and the South West, said,

“We were honoured to welcome the Cabinet Members from Swansea Council to 71/72 Kingsway to showcase the progress we’ve made in transforming this important part of Swansea into a modern and vibrant office and commercial space.

“Our positive collaboration with the council continues to drive us forward as we work towards completing this innovative and sustainable development that we are so proud to be part of.”

Simon Baston, Director of Loft Co, said:

“Loft Co are delighted to be reaching completion of Albert Hall, working with the Welsh Government and Swansea Council all the way.

“The Albert Hall is a magnificent restoration of an 18th Century palladium which would not have been completed without the tripartite efforts of all parties concerned including backing from the Development Bank of Wales.

“It’s been very encouraging to see how the private and public sector has met in the middle here to produce a scheme that has been worthy of the community in Swansea and will provide a long-term sustainable future for mixed-used and commercial events.”

Other schemes making considerable progress in Swansea include the Princess Quarter and the biophilic building projects being delivered by the private sector.

Led by Kartay, Princess Quarter on Princess Way will include 15,000 square feet of office space and high-end retail units.

Led by Hacer Developments, the biophilic building is made up of the former Woolworths unit and a new adjoining 12-storey tower. It will include features like an aquaponics centre, exhibition space, offices and residential space. Also to be included are green walls and green roofs, an urban farm-style greenhouse set over four floors, an educational facility, retail, a landscaped courtyard, rooftop solar panels and battery storage.

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