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When a plan comes together

CAMPUS SPOTLIGHT: As UWTSD's innovation quarter plans are approved, UB finds out what else it has in store over the months ahead

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | January 12, 2016 | Facilities

University of Wales Trinity Saint David's (UWTSD) ambitious plan to develop a Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter in the city’s SA1 development has taken a major step forward following outline planning permission approval from the City and County of Swansea. 

During a meeting of Swansea Council’s Planning Committee, members praised the comprehensive nature of the masterplan and UWTSD’s engagement and collaboration with key stakeholders.

ABOVE: The masterplan includes proposals to develop purpose-built facilities for learning, teaching and applied research as well as social, leisure and wider recreational spaces

Professor Medwin Hughes, UWTSD Vice-Chancellor, said: “The Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter (SWIQ) offers UWTSD a unique opportunity to create a new city university for Wales. Our development will not simply be another new University campus but will be an integrated neighbourhood where people can live, learn, work and play.

 “Working in partnership with the Welsh Government and the City and County of Swansea, the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter will contribute to the ambition of developing a ‘Creative City Region’ strategy and will enhance Swansea’s credentials as a ‘City of Innovation’ serving the Swansea Bay City Region and beyond.” 

As a major part of the University’s multi-million pound investment in Swansea, UWTSD has acquired sizeable areas of the remaining development land in the SA1 Waterfront area. The masterplan includes proposals to develop purpose-built facilities for learning, teaching and applied research as well as social, leisure and wider recreational spaces.

The Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter (SWIQ) offers UWTSD a unique opportunity to create a new city university for Wales. Our development will not simply be another new University campus but will be an integrated neighbourhood where people can live, learn, work and play

The Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter is an ambitious city development that will introduce a new innovative, inclusive and inspiring learning environment while connecting education with innovation and enterprise.

The Quarter will allow core student services, including student support and a students’ union, along with a library, sports and leisure facilities which will sit alongside community and commercial amenities.

The University’s vision for this development will create a new beginning for SA1, grounded in the city’s heritage and driven by innovation. It will be made possible through collaboration and partnership with local communities, business and industry, the University’s staff and students, as well as the Welsh Government and the City and County of Swansea.

Following the City and County of Swansea’s outline approval for the use of the SA1 site, UWTSD will now start its detailed design of the first phase of the project that will be delivered by 2018. These designs will be submitted to the City and County of Swansea in spring 2016 with the aim of construction work commencing in autumn 2016. 

One to watch: Future developments at UWTSD

  • NHS Wales Informatics Service

The NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) has announced that its South West Wales Regional Office will relocate to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Technium 2 building in the SA1 area of the city. The move will signal a new working relationship between both organisations and will facilitate the development of a number of initiatives.

In partnership with NHS Wales’ organisations, the Informatics Service delivers the national information and technology needed for modern patient care, providing over 70 digital services to users across NHS Wales and to other parts of the United Kingdom.

In addition, the collaboration will enable the Informatics Service to contribute to the design and delivery of relevant academic programmes within the UWTSD Group, which includes Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion, as part of the University’s expanding portfolio linked to industry. The initiative will also offer potential opportunities for informatics staff to access continuing professional development through the University’s award-winning Wales Institute for Work-based Learning (WIWBL). 

The Informatics Service’s new home in the Technium 2 building is located next to the site of the University’s proposed Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter. 

  • CITB Wales Scheme

In May 2015 the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) announced that a consortium led by UWTSD had been chosen to develop a new approach to training for the construction industry in Wales.

CITB Cymru Wales published plans in March to invest up to £5m in a new scheme. A number of quality bids were received with the UWTSD-led consortium achieving the highest score in the bidding process.

UWTSD will now work with CITB on the details of the initiative, which will deliver training to meet construction employer needs throughout Wales. A new facility will be created within the University’s Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter to deliver this scheme. Supporting partners of the UWTSD consortium include, Building Research Establishment (BRE), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), City & County of Swansea Council, Coleg Cambria, Coleg Ceredigion, Coleg Sir Gâr, Coleg y Cymoedd, Cyfle Building Skills and Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd.

  • UWTSD Carmarthen Campus

While developing the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter, UWTSD is also undertaking another major project on its campus in Carmarthen, West Wales, with Welsh language broadcaster S4C. In March 2014, the Channel’s Authority decided to relocate its headquarters from Cardiff to the University’s campus in Carmarthen.

The multi-million pound centre, called Canolfan S4C yr Egin, will not only become the new home of S4C but also a range of creative industries and community groups who will be co-locating with the Channel, within an iconic and sustainable building. It will bring together a range of skills and talents to exchange information, to innovate and to create employment. Canolfan S4C Yr Egin, which is expected to open in 2018, will be a lead institution for the creative industries in Wales.

The long-term goal is to create a Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter that will be situated in a vibrant, modern waterfront location with easy access to the city centre. Its key aims will be to:

  • Support and enhance the student experience
  • Contribute to the viability and ongoing sustainability of the University
  • Stimulate investment and economic benefits to Swansea, the Swansea Bay City Region and beyond
  • Provide opportunities for diversifying income streams as the University maximises its engagement with the private sector
  • Establish a substantial University presence in the SA1 Waterfront area by 2018

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