Posted: Mon 1st Feb 2016

Survey says new arena would meet people’s aspirations /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 1st, 2016

Proposals for a new indoor arena in Swansea city centre have been welcomed by the Purple Flag team. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A 3,500-seat arena was among the winning ideas Swansea Council unveiled last week for the St David’s development site that’s made up of the former St David’s shopping centre, the St David’s multi-storey car park and the LC car park. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The news follows on from Swansea being awarded Purple Flag status this time last year in recognition of the city’s major progress in raising the standards of its night-time economy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

When a survey was carried out at a Purple Flag event in Castle Square last April, the majority of respondents, when asked what they’d like the city centre to have, mentioned live music and a venue to host top quality bands. There was a call for indoor ice-skating, too, that the proposed arena could also potentially accommodate, building on the success of the annual outdoor Waterfront Winterland attraction in Museum Park. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Mark Child, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Healthy City and Wellbeing, said: “It’s great to hear that the new indoor arena proposal would meet the aspirations of local residents. A new venue for music, comedy and shows in Swansea would be a great addition to the variety on offer in the city centre. It will fill a gap in the market, give people in Swansea and the local area the opportunity to see well-known acts on their doorsteps and further boost Swansea’s evening and night-time economies. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Swansea already has a thriving live music scene in the city’s halls, clubs and pubs, but the arena proposed would add an extra dimension. I hope it will encourage even more people to take up an instrument and follow in the footsteps of all those who continue to make Swansea’s reputation for music so strong.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Something similar to Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena is what’s being called for. In the next few months, acts including Dynamo, Ellie Goulding, X Factor Live and Bryan Adams will all be accommodated there. Events including snooker, darts and the Cardiff Film and Comic Con will also be held. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of Swansea BID (Business Improvement District), said: “It’s well-known that we love our music in Swansea, but whenever a major artist announces a tour, if they come to Wales, the only enclosed arena they are likely to play is the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. We’ve been missing a trick for some time in Swansea with the lack of such a facility. Not only would it attract big acts, but it would also the benefit the city centre as a whole because of increased footfall, spending and overnight stays. It would be great to have this type of destination attraction in Swansea city centre.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rivington Land, the company that will manage the regeneration of the St David’s site, also announced proposals for a new café and restaurant quarter, a state-of-the-art cinema and a new retail street, stretching from Whitewalls to Oystermouth Road. The proposed arena on the current LC car park site would be constructed above a new, under-cover car park. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration, said: “This is yet more endorsement for the new arena idea just days after Bonnie Tyler voiced her support for the proposal. This isn’t just about working alongside the development companies and partners like the Welsh Government to deliver a city centre that meets people’s needs. It’s also about generating a thriving, family-friendly visiting experience at the heart of the Swansea Bay City Region economy that residents can be proud of.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The council has also announced that Trebor Developments will manage the regeneration of the Civic Centre development site. Plans are in place to develop better links between the city centre and the seafront as well. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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