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Multi-million pound project set to celebrate Swansea’s heritage

(source: Swansea Council)

MAJOR plans to breathe new life into the Lower Swansea Valley while celebrating its rich industrial history are set to take another step forward.

Cabinet at Swansea Council is being asked to approve the acceptance of a UK Government levelling-up grant worth £20m for a project that will include further preservation works at the Hafod Morfa Copperworks and improvements to The Strand and Swansea Museum.

It’s also being recommended the council contributes £8.76m of match-funding to the project, which is estimated at being worth £5.7m a year to Swansea’s economy.

Key Lower Swansea Valley Improvement project highlights include:

  • Preserving several listed buildings at the copperworks site and releasing them for business use including restaurants and a potential marketplace.
  • The installation of two pontoons along the River Tawe, bringing the historic Victorian arches on The Strand back into use and the introduction of retail pods and improved lighting at The Strand’s tunnels.
  • A new-build addition to Swansea Museum that will enable additional exhibition and gallery space, as well as new conservation and storage areas, and a new café.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Investment and Tourism, said: “A £1bn regeneration programme is on-going in Swansea to transform our city’s economy and create more jobs and opportunities for local people, but we’re also very determined to preserve and celebrate Swansea’s rich history.

“The Lower Swansea Valley project will help us further reach both those goals by breathing new life into The Strand and introducing more improvements at the copperworks site and Swansea Museum, while creating innovative new spaces for local businesses and more facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“It will also create better links between High Street, the railway station and The Strand with the copperworks for pedestrians and cyclists, with two new river pontoons forming part of the plans too.

“This project will follow-on from all the work the council is already doing to conserve our heritage. This includes the on-going transformation of The Palace Theatre on High Street and the recent handing over of part of the copperworks site to Penderyn for a visitor centre and operational distillery set to open in the coming months. These schemes will combine to create a new heritage-led visitor destination for employment and enjoyment.”

It’s estimated the Lower Swansea Valley improvement project will support 106 jobs while creating 69 new jobs.

Design work will start once a multi-disciplinary project team is in place, with overall project completion earmarked for March 2026.

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