Two respected services today announced that they plan to make their future homes in Swansea city centre’s emerging community hub Y Storfa.
They are the Swansea office of Careers Wales and the main base of Citizens Advice Swansea Neath Port Talbot.
They’re the first non-council services to be named as tenants in Oxford Street’s former BHS store. Council services due to be part of the public-friendly hub – just a short distance from bus stops, cycle routes and car parks – include a main public library and the West Glamorgan Archive Service.
Y Storfa, whose name was announced last week, is due to open in the second half of next year. It’ll help people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy their city centre.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “It’ll be great to have these fantastic services as part of Y Storfa.
“They’re both well regarded by the public and will be a perfect fit for this exciting new city centre location.
“As with other key schemes – such as The Kingsway, Wind Street and Swansea Arena – we want this community hub to offer as much work as possible to the people of Swansea.”
Careers Wales provides careers guidance and coaching to help people to plan their career – and to find and apply for the right opportunities.
The Swansea Working Wales service will move from its current base in Grove Place to Y Storfa when the hub opens next year.
Working Wales careers advisers can provide a range of support including sourcing job opportunities, preparing for interviews, researching training and apprenticeships, CV and application support, redundancy support and changing careers.
Careers Wales chief executive Nikki Lawrence said: “We’re delighted to be a part of the new Y Storfa in Swansea; it’ll give customers access to vital public services, all in one place.
“This development reflects our commitment to providing an inclusive local service alongside our online and phone support.
“In the meantime, we’d like to encourage people to visit our careers centre in Grove Place for careers advice and guidance and support with their next steps.”
Citizens Advice Swansea Neath Port Talbot offers free independent, confidential, impartial advice. The UK-wide service campaigns on big issues affecting people’s lives.
They plan to move to Y Storfa from their current offices when the hub opens.
The service’s goal is to help everyone find a way forward. They give advice on people’s rights and responsibilities and – to achieve change – they campaign on big issues affecting lives throughout Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.
They aim to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives, including concerns with benefits and worries about finances.
Caroline Newman, of Citizens Advice Swansea Neath Port Talbot, said: “We’re delighted to be part of creating this Swansea city centre development. The move to Y Storfa will improve accessibility to our services in a modern facility, designed to meet the needs of our clients and staff. The new space is set to help us provide a service really focused on our clients’ needs.”
The community hub – being developed now – will offer a range of public services and useful resources. Other services planning to move there will be named in due course.
Due to open late next year, Y Storfa will be a key regeneration project for Swansea city centre, standing between Castle Square Gardens – which is due to receive a greener new look – and the new-look people-friendly Kingsway.
It will offer people convenient access to key services from across the council and other organisations.
It will reinvigorate an existing building, bring together key support services into a single accessible location and will boost footfall for city centre businesses.
Some council services to move there will relocate from the Civic Centre that’s in line to be redeveloped as a new city seafront district in a partnership between the council and world-renowned developers Urban Splash. New homes and leisure and hospitality uses could feature there, along with greenery, public spaces and a new walkway to the beach.
The changes are part of the council’s £1bn regeneration programme that continues to forge ahead.