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Last Updated: Monday, 17 November, 2003, 12:20 GMT
Investors sought for new centre
Swansea Leisure Centre
Shutdown: The leisure centre is to have a multi-use replacement
Advertisements have gone out for a private sector backer for a scheme to build a 35m arts and conference complex on the site of the shutdown Swansea Leisure Centre.

The council has placed adverts in a property trade magazine to find a developer prepared to invest in a replacement for one of the city's most-visited attractions.

Five firms have already expressed an interest in redeveloping the prime site, in the city's maritime quarter, to include a new hotel.

The adverts come as the leisure centre's 90 staff are considering their future after the managers warned that compulsory redundancies have not been ruled out.

We want to be an international city
Deputy council leader Robert Francis Davies

The centre's permanent closure was announced last week after the council revealed it would cost up to 14m to repair it.

Council leaders want to see a multi-purpose arts and sports venue, up to eight storeys high, replace the 27-year-old leisure centre.

The shopping list of facilities they want to see in a new centre include a concert hall which can seat up to 3,000 and enough hotel rooms to cater for a conference centre they also want on the site.

Deputy council leader Robert Francis Davies said he and his colleagues were keeping an open mind about what would eventually go up on the plot next to the National Maritime Museum due to open in 2005.

He said Swansea had lost out three decades ago when plans to provide hotel and conference facilities at the leisure centre - opened by the Queen during her 1977 Silver Jubilee - had been dropped.

It had been left with a successful leisure centre but one which did not compare with a later version - in Bournemouth - which was also able to land business from the conference market, he added.

'Imaginative schemes'

"We want to be an international city - all we know is that we want a major facility on that site.

"Lots of people have told us that we need to have a venue for touring international acts. Swansea is on that circuit but it does not have the venue.

The new leisure centre would be great opportunity to have a facility that would take Swansea through the next 30 or 40 years

"I would have thought that a fun pool which attracted 20,000 visitors a month was a requirement, and possibly a hotel.

"I expect to get a lot of interest - things are happening in Swansea, we have proved we can deliver - there is money in the private sector.

"We want people to come to us with imaginative schemes. They could come from the UK or from Europe."

Workers at the centre are to remain on full-pay during a 90-day consultation period where future options will be discussed between the council, staff and trade unions.




SEE ALSO:
Leisure centre jobs cut warning
15 Nov 03  |  South West Wales
Swansea Leisure Centre to shut
13 Nov 03  |  South West Wales
Swansea leisure centre could shut
12 Nov 03  |  South West Wales
Leisure centre's future examined
22 Oct 03  |  South West Wales
Morfa Stadium gets go-ahead
06 Jun 03  |  South West Wales
City's 50m action plan
15 Apr 03  |  South West Wales


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