Page last updated at 18:49 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 19:49 UK

Development plans for historic Swansea copperworks site

Copper works
Swansea was known as "Copperopolis"

An historic copperworks site could be given a 21st Century facelift under plans by Swansea Council.

A waterfront hotel, restaurant and homes could be developed on the site of Hafod Copperworks, which is central to the city's industrial history.

Under the plans, listed buildings would be preserved and new uses would be given to heritage buildings.

Swansea Council has put the site onto the marketplace and is seeking interest by the middle of August.

The site, which this year celebrates its 200th anniversary, is made up of more than 12 acres of land close to the River Tawe, the Liberty Stadium and the Parc Morfa retail park.

Waterside area

Swansea Council wants to hear from developers with a vision for a vibrant and attractive development celebrating the unique contribution the area made to the Industrial Revolution.

There is scope for a sympathetic developer to come in
Regeneration officer Richard Porch

Phil Holmes, Swansea Council's head of economic and strategic development, said: "This is an important site both strategically and historically and it's vital any development proposals we receive look to the future while commemorating the area's rich heritage.

"The development of the site would boost broader plans to regenerate the riverfront in Swansea and create a waterside area where people can live, work or visit.

"We're now anticipating the submission of adventurous and contemporary proposals by the end of the summer that would then be carefully whittled down to a shortlist."

Swansea regeneration officer Richard Porch said the site was of vital importance to the city.

"The copper industry was very important as it was by far and away the biggest source of industrial work and activity in Swansea between 1750 and about 1880," he said.

"Hafod was the largest of its kind. There are a lot of sub works beneath the surface and a lot of buildings and features.

"There is scope for a sympathetic developer to come in and enhance the site."

Listed features

Development proposals are expected to be sustainable, to include affordable housing and to prioritise local workers and materials in any construction process.

Hafod Copperworks
Proposed developments would include waterfront areas

The Lime Kiln, the Morfa silverworks site stack and the Hafod Copperworks river quay are among the features that would be retained as heritage or listed features and incorporated positively in development proposals.

The two large engine houses, their chimneys and the boundary wall would also be brought back into beneficial use or treated accordingly as part of the development.

The Hafod Copperworks was owned by the Vivian family and continued rolling copper until its closure in 1980.

By 1886, Vivian and Sons was employing 3,000 people, 1,000 of whom worked at the Hafod site.

The family built a community known as "Trevivian" for its workforce, incorporating a school, church and terraced houses, which are still in use today.

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