The 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, outline planning permission was granted for the multi-million pound project and the Committee’s members praised the comprehensive nature of the master plan and UWTSD’s engagement and collaboration with key stakeholders.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: ‘Projects of this nature will help raise economic prosperity across the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole and develop spin-off benefits for local residents and visitors through the introduction of new facilities and improved infrastructure.’
Professor Medwin Hughes, UWTSD Vice-Chancellor, said: “The Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter 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.
‘Projects of this nature will help raise economic prosperity across the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole and develop spin-off benefits for local residents and visitors through the introduction of new facilities and improved infrastructure’
“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 sizable areas of the remaining development land in the SA1 Waterfront area. The master plan 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 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.
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
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.