January 17, 2018 9:31 am
Innovative plans to transform parts of Swansea’s waterfront and city centre into cutting-edge digital districts have taken a major step forward, with the advanced draft of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District business plan having been sent to the Welsh Government and UK Government for their consideration.
To be funded by the £1.3bn City Deal investment that the Swansea Bay City Region secured from the UK Government, the project is one of 11 across Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Neath Port Talbot which will boost the regional economy by £1.8bn, create 10,000 jobs and generate skills and opportunities for local people.
The Swansea project is made up of a digital village and tech quarter on Kingsway in Swansea city centre, which would provide flexible and affordable office space for new and growing technology businesses, as well as a ‘box village’ on the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s SA1 waterfront development that would create incubation spaces and co-working areas for start-ups and small businesses.
City Deal money would also be used to digitise the indoor arena planned for the LC car park site, so the attraction could accommodate state-of-the-art conferences and event spaces for tech industries and universities, thanks to the availability of world class internet speeds.
Councillor Rob Stewart, Leader of the Swansea Bay City Region, is quoted as saying: “Considerable progress has been made on the City Deal since the Swansea Bay City Region secured this unprecedented investment for South West Wales from the UK Government about 10 months ago.
“Over 50 percent of the business plans have now been submitted to both the UK and Welsh Governments for their consideration, which shows how determined we are to deliver on our promise to benefit people across South West Wales as soon as possible.
“We also soon expect a joint working agreement for the City Deal to be approved by all four Swansea Bay City Region councils, along with the setting-up of a joint committee that will allow us to access the first part of the City Deal investment from April this year.
“Other imminent progress includes the expected appointment later this month of a chairperson for the City Deal’s economic strategy board, with this funding sure to act as a catalyst for even more investment in coming years.
“No part of the Swansea Bay City Region will be left behind by our plans, which will revolutionise the way sectors like energy, healthcare, life sciences and manufacturing are delivered across South West Wales through investment in world-class digital infrastructure and next generation wireless networks.”