A NEW campaign has been launched to support Swansea city centre by encouraging more people to visit its shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs, cultural venues, activity providers and other businesses.
Backed by city centre traders, the #EnjoyYourCityCentre campaign is being led by Swansea Council.
Traders, shoppers and workers will be at the heart of the campaign, with regular posts, photos and videos to be included every week on the council’s Facebook and Instagram pages to help raise awareness of everything the city centre offers.
Recent statistics show the city centre has hundreds of businesses, ranging from retailers and hospitality businesses to entertainment venues and professional service providers.
For most council-run car parks in the city centre, you’ll pay no more than £5 for a full day – and only £1 an hour for up to five hours.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said:
“Swansea city centre is very important. It plays a key role in helping drive the local economy and is home to hundreds of businesses who employ local people.
“The more visits these businesses get, the better the chance there is of protecting local people’s jobs and attracting even more investment, businesses and jobs to the city centre in future.
“Like many other city and town centres across the UK, Swansea city centre has been affected by people’s changing retail habits with more and more people now shopping online, but the city centre has so much to offer.
“As well as the award-winning indoor market, the city centre has large national stores, plenty of independent shops, locally run cafes and bars, big restaurants, leisure and activity providers, cultural venues, live music venues, cinemas, and essential and professional services. They all provide a sociable face-to-face experience that you just can’t get by shopping online.
“We’ll be showcasing these fantastic businesses and their local staff as part of our #EnjoyYourCityCentre campaign, while also highlighting city centre events and activities for all the family.
“We’d encourage local people to get behind the campaign, show their support and discover everything that’s available in the city centre.”
Louise Luporini runs the Kardomah Café in the city centre with her husband, Marcus.
She said: “All city centre businesses including ours need more bums on seats, so I very much welcome this campaign.
“There’s a vibrant business community in Swansea city centre and you can do everything within a short distance – from buying fruit and vegetables and other groceries to having a coffee or a meal and a night out.
“We have lots of locals here and they enjoy coming into town because it’s a social experience.
“We’re also excited about the all the redevelopment work happening in the city centre. The only way is up.”
Christos Stylianou, owner of Derricks Records on Oxford Street, said: “The campaign is an excellent idea because it will highlight the positive side of the city centre.
“There’s a lot to see, do and visit in the city centre, so it’s important that local people get behind us and come to see everything that’s available.
“All city centres have similar challenges to Swansea, but we’re doing very well here in keeping the dynamic of the city centre going.”
A £1bn regeneration of the city centre is also ongoing to help support city centre businesses and attract more visitors there.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “We’re doing all we can to get far more people living, working, learning and enjoying in the city centre.
“To tackle challenges like online shopping, this is key if we’re to support our city centre’s fantastic businesses by creating more footfall and spending there and encouraging the private sector to invest.
“Swansea Arena and the new coastal park have now been open for over a year, construction is continuing on the new office development at the former Oceana nightclub and a transformation of the historic Palace Theatre is well under way, but our plans don’t stop there.
“Castle Square Gardens will soon be revamped, the former BHS unit on Oxford Street will become a community hub and regeneration specialists Urban Splash are on board to transform sites including the Civic Centre and the area of the former St David’s Shopping Centre.”