Plans to create a £100m waterside campus for University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) have taken a major step forward with the exchange of contracts with the Welsh Government.
With its close proximity to the City Centre, SA1 Swansea Waterfront was identified by UWTSD as the ideal location for the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter, a new purpose-built campus combining education and research opportunities with sporting and social facilities and student accommodation.
Work on the new 19-acre campus could, subject to planning, begin towards the end of 2016.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “This is an important next step for the University’s proposals to create a modern, purpose-built campus to provide a great environment for their staff and students.
“It is also encouraging that the University has a strong business focus with plans to collaborate with the private sector for their mutual benefit and to make a significant long-term contribution to the Welsh economy.”
Professor Medwin Hughes, UWTSD Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are grateful to the Welsh Government for its support in enabling the University to realise its vision for a new city university campus.
“Our aim is to establish an economic and cultural model which facilitates integration and drives economic growth. Swansea will further enhance its reputation as a modern and vibrant city as a result of this development, which will bridge academic, commercial and civic facilities within one social context.
“This development also has the potential to become a project enabler, which will complement the drive towards implementing the Swansea Bay City Region Economic Regeneration Strategy.
“Our plans will reinforce the role of Swansea as a proud and ambitious city where people want to live, work, study, invest, and visit.”
Following its merger with UWTSD and change of name from Swansea Metropolitan University last year, the institution identified the need for a new, more central and vibrant campus in Swansea. The aim is to create a 21st century learning and research environment and attract investment to the city, while helping to develop successful businesses, jobs and wealth.
The University intends to further develop strong business and industry links with the private sector through a range of initiatives from applied research through to business incubation units to sponsoring spin off business enterprises.
The proposed campus will enable UWTSD to develop its academic portfolio through closer engagement with those businesses that can offer synergies and services that it considers vitally important for its success.
It will complement the University’s existing £30m pound investment in the city centre for a Cultural Quarter on Alexandra Road, between the Dynevor Centre for Art, Design and Media and the soon-to-be-opened new ALEX Design Exchange campus (former Swansea Central Library).
Rhys James, Senior Director of DTZ, the Welsh Government’s retained property advisors on the SA1 Estate, said: “The new university campus will complement the wide range of commercial and residential projects that are already well established at SA1. The remaining five acres of undeveloped land will be well placed to accommodate some exciting new private sector schemes which will have the potential to flourish with their proximity to the new campus and the wide variety of university activities.’
Photo: Minister Edwina Hart visits the SA1 site with Co-Chair of UWTSD Council Dr Gerald Lewis (far left), UWTSD Vice-Chancellor Professor Medwin Hughes and UWTSD Council Member Pam Berry.