Swansea Labour’s ambitious vision for the city moves a step closer as work on the 3,500-capacity Digital Arena is about to begin.
Contractors are set to arrive on site on May 15 to prepare for construction work that will see the top class facility built on part of the existing Oystermouth Road car park, by LC2.
The works will resulting in a partial loss of spaces at the car park, but Swansea Council is confident that plenty of parking provision is still available near the LC, with around 1,800 parking spaces still available within walking distance of the LC.
Labour Cllr Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management, said: “We thank motorists for their understanding as we move ahead with this major regeneration scheme.
“As the earliest work is carried out we see minimal disruption to those looking to park next to the LC. The initial loss of the first 95 spaces should not cause too much difficulty for motorists as there’s usually a good deal of spare space in the LC car park.
“At this time, people can still park at the LC – and all disability spaces remain. Buckingham Group Contracting will try to reduce their footprint over the Whitsun bank holiday weekend to temporarily accommodate more car parting.
“As work progresses later this year we will fully close the LC car park – although a similar number of parking spaces will return once the arena opens in 2021.
“It will still be easy to visit the LC, the museum and other attractions because there’s parking space just across the road at the St David’s multi-storey, in the St Mary’s ground level car park and in the Quadrant multi-storey. Paxton Street car park is also very close by as is East Burrows car park, by the sail bridge. Park and Ride continues to operate in Fabian Way and Landore.
“We will make it simple for visitors and regulars to park in city centre and be guided to attractions and local businesses.
“This is the start of a truly transformational project for Swansea and we know that thousands of Swansea residents and visitors share our excitement at the opportunities and benefits it will bring.”
The £120m arena scheme – known as Swansea Central Phase One – will also see the creation of homes, commercial units, a Digital Square, coastal-themed parkland, a broad pedestrian bridge over Oystermouth Road and hundreds of new parking spaces.
Swansea Council is behind the scheme, with principal contractor Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd undertaking the construction work.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “This is a significant moment as we deliver a project that will be a catalyst for the transformation and success of Swansea city centre for future generations.
“Buckingham Group Contracting moving on site shows that the arena project is gathering pace. This is a big deal for Swansea, an end to the artist impressions and a beginning for new landmarks.”
Their initial work over the coming 10 weeks will include putting up safety hoardings around this part of the car park, and – from early June – the testing of the long earth bank alongside the old railway wall which separates the site from the Marina. \
In due course, the bank will go but the historic stone wall will remain and will help future generations understand the importance of the rail line to Swansea in past times.
Main contract works on Swansea Central Phase One are due to complete in early 2021.