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Community Swansea West Wales

Park landmark set for new lease of life

AN historic Swansea building has a bright new future thanks to its new leaseholder.

Swansea Council has just leased Singleton Park’s Swiss Cottage to city centre-based Tifa Properties. It had been vacant.

Swansea-born Michael Border, a Tifa director, plans to transform the location into a focal point for park users, somewhere to relax and meet others.

He’s eager for more people to enjoy the grade two listed building and its spectacular parkland surroundings.

He plans a café plus separate food and drink units – and plenty of undercover seating.

To help him do that he’ll be seeking heritage funding and planning approvals. Agencies he’ll be liaising with include the council and Welsh historic monuments body Cadw.

Mr Border, a season ticket holder at Swansea City, said: “I see it becoming a day-time hub for the community, with seating which’ll be a pleasant whatever the weather.

“It’ll become a cafe, and we’ll have two separate units outside for food and drink, possibly ice cream and street food.

“We want to know what local people would like and we’re talking to groups who use the park; the cottage could be a base for them when they meet.

“There’ll be opportunities for local businesses to get on board.

“I want to bring something truly special to the area, and I can’t wait to see the positive impact it’ll have on the local residents.”

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “We’re delighted that a local business has taken on this exceptional property.

“It has a bright future, especially as it’s right next to the park’s exceptional botanical gardens that’s visited by tens of thousands of people every year.

“We’ve given Tifa contact details for volunteer groups Friends of Singleton Park and Friends of Swansea Botanical Gardens so they can discuss local needs, wishes and opportunities.”

The landmark 19th Century Swiss Cottage has been vacant in recent years; the council, its owner, has maintained it.

Mr Border has agreed a 15-year lease. He plans to tidy up the exterior and fit out the interior. The cottage’s look won’t change.