Contractors working on behalf of Swansea Council are about to start important ground condition tests as the project to transform Castle Square moves forward.
They’re due to undertake tests on the city centre location to better understand what’s beneath the site’s surface, looking at elements such as services, soil and water conditions.
The results will help the council put in place a regeneration scheme that’s been informed by much public consultation.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “Our much improved Castle Square Gardens will be a vital element in our ongoing £1bn regeneration programme for Swansea.
“Work on site over a small number of days from November 20 will help future design and construction teams understand the challenges presented by areas hidden from view.
“During this test work they aim to keep disturbance to the public to a minimum.”
The council’s contractors will work in a small number of small fenced off areas. Castle Square will remain open and there’ll be no disturbance to forthcoming Christmas activity.
They’ll use boreholes, small trenches and small test pits to understand exactly what’s beneath the surface. They’ll reinstate the elements they temporarily remove.
The subsequent main work will see today’s tired-looking Castle Square become greener and more welcoming to all.
It also aims to improve Swansea city centre as a destination, complementing other regeneration schemes such as The Kingsway, Wind Street and Copr Bay.
The council’s plans were influenced by feedback from several rounds of public consultation.
The scheme includes:
- The addition of two pavilion buildings for food, drink or retail businesses – one with an accessible green roof
- An increase in the amount of other greenery, including new lawns, ornamental and biodiverse planting to provide an area with 40% green space
- A new water feature for interactive play
- New giant TV screen above a bandstand-style facility
- New outdoor seating areas
- The retention of public use space
The scheme includes new planters, steps, seating, lighting and paving. The aim is to remove the existing leaf boat feature to another suitable Swansea location in consultation with the original artist.
The plans were drawn up in partnership with development manager Spider Management, architects Acme, structural specialists Civic Engineers and planning consultants Savills.
Cllr Stewart said: “The new-look Castle Square Gardens will continue to be
a focal point and an important civic place. We want to enhance it, raise its quality and make it more active, distinctive and vibrant in line with other investment in the city, including the Y Storfa community hub being developed in the former BHS.
“It’ll be a modern, functional and well maintained public space that can accommodate a range of events and cultural experiences.
“The inclusion of food and drink units will increase the location’s vitality and encourage people to stay longer.”
The Castle Square plans can be seen online – www.bit.ly/3BOriTC