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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 April, 2003, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
City's £50m action plan
Salubrious Place
An artist's impression of Salubrious Place at Wind Street.
Swansea will take major strides towards becoming an "unique waterfront city" during the next 12 months.

Around £50m is set to be invested in improving several key sites in the city centre, it was announced on Tuesday.

High Street Station and the nearby Grand Hotel, the Wind Street cafe quarter, the marina, the Quadrant Bus Station and both banks of the River Tawe will see major projects begun or completed in the next year.

With the National Pool for Wales and Waterfront Museum, Swansea is competing with Cardiff for flagship developments.

The City Centre Partnership said Swansea was becoming "a vibrant and dynamic place to shop, live, work and visit", as it launched its new action plan.

Work has begun on both the new National Waterfront Museum and the hotel and leisure complex, known as Salubrious Place
Felicity Workman

"Our key priorities are to create a prosperous and competitive city centre, improve access into and within Swansea and provide residents, visitors and workers with a safe, clean and attractive environment," said partnership chairman Richard Smith.

"During the past 12 months we have achieved a great deal, however, there is still much to be done.

"Our next step is critical - we must not be afraid to be ambitious as we continue the momentum and build upon what we have already achieved."

Penthouse apartments

High Street Station will have a £1.8 million facelift, creating a tree-lined plaza and integrated transport system with new taxi ranks, bus stops and drop off points for passengers.

The £2 million refurbishment of the Grand Hotel will include a health suite, penthouse apartments and revamped accommodation.

Other projects include improving the bus station, installing new footbridges across the Tawe, marketing key development sites and launching new "Proud to Serve" awards.

The partnership has also urged businesses to take advantage of the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) pilot scheme - the first in Wales.

An idea borrowed from the US, BIDs makes businesses club together to vote on and finance a five-year development plan.

Unlike established schemes, the BIDs will include all businesses within their catchment and be funded by an obligatory levy on the rates.

Sports Village

City centre manager Felicity Workman said: ¿We are especially proud of a number of our achievements over the past 12 months"

She said among these were the Safer Shopping Award - the first to be awarded in Wales, Secure by Design status for a further four car parks serving the city centre and the launch of TASSC - to reduce alcohol and substance related street crime.

Increase in floral displays in the city centre had won Swansea second place in Wales in Bloom, there had been a significant reduction in fly-posting and visitor information points had been set-up.

"It has also been an excellent year for development projects," added Ms Workman.

"Work has begun on both the new National Waterfront Museum and the hotel and leisure complex, known as Salubrious Place.

"The new National Pool is open, to be followed shortly by the Sports Village."

Work is also underway on SA1 Swansea Waterfront, previously known as Port Tawe, east of the city centre, with installation of the new footbridges due to be completed next month.

"The key element is the establishment of a high quality city centre, closely integrated with the seafront and River Tawe, creating a unique waterfront city," said Ms Workman.

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