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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September, 2003, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
City vision becoming reality
Lawrence Bailey
Lawrence Bailey says SA1 will transform Swansea's eastside
Swansea will ditch its tag as "a city of artists' impressions" long before the end of the decade, business leaders have been told.

A 200m waterfront development at the Prince of Wales dock is on track, and the vision of creating a lavish seafront piazza modelled on Barcelona's Las Ramblas is also shaping up.

Council leader Lawrence Bailey and the Welsh Development Agency's (WDA) regional director Mike King said schemes to transform the eastside docklands and city centre are progressing at pace.

Speaking to members of the Institute of Welsh Affairs they said after years of decline the city was at last attracting the public and private investment that will make it one of the most vibrant in Europe.

The 200m SA1 scheme will be completed within five to eight years, said Mr King.

Swansea has got a lot of spectators - the doers and makers are now coming to Swansea
Council leader Lawrence Bailey

The piazza will see a long stretch of the busy Oystermouth Road dual carriageway sunk underground, creating a pedestrian link between the city centre and waterfront area.

"A lot of things are happening in Swansea and continue to happen," said Mr Bailey.

He said since 1999 around 1bn had been invested in the south west Wales region.

"Under the old Welsh Office the investment rarely trickled beyond Bridgend," he added.

"Swansea has got a lot of spectators - the doers and makers are now coming to Swansea."


Mr King said in the past grand schemes had been planned for Swansea but never delivered.

But using a series of drawings and artist's impressions, he illustrated developments that he said would be completed as part of the regeneration of the Prince of Wales Dock.

Last week the council gave permission for the change of use of the old dock into a commercial marina, forming part of the SA1 development.

Construction of a second Technium centre to nurture and develop hi-tech industry was already underway, he said.

Mike King
Swansea cannot forget its history - Mike King

The new Sail Bridge linking the waterfront east and west of the river Tawe was already an iconic image for the city.

Bellway Homes have been appointed to build the first phase of residential housing while a first bid for European Objective One funding for infrastructure had been successful with another three pending.

Office accommodation would be blended in with residential and leisure uses while there were also plans for an island-style visitor centre in the centre of the marina.

Historically important buildings would be retained, said Mr King, with one of the first the J Shed which will be used for restaurants, bars and living and working.

He said taxpayers would not have to foot the bill as revenue from land sales and rents would pay for the schemes.

"The days of the WDA building sheds with WDA money are over," he said.

"The power of devolved government and the speed which devolved government works is allowing us to develop SA1.

"This development has got national profile as well as local input."

200m docks development unveiled
13 Jun 02  |  Wales
Barcelona vision for Swansea
30 Apr 03  |  Wales
Weather window for bridge build
03 Apr 03  |  Wales
Cafe quarter gets go-ahead
21 Feb 03  |  Wales

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