The Swansea Digital Waterfront project is lead by Swansea Council and is a City Deal supported project. It comprises:-
- A 28,000 sq. ft. Box Village and 64,600sq ft. Innovation Precinct at University of Wales Trinity Saint David Swansea Waterfront development to provide incubation space and co-working areas for start-ups and small businesses;
- A new Digital Village on the Kingsway in Swansea City Centre that will provide 100,000 sq. ft. of new office accommodation for growing technology based businesses;
- A 3,500 capacity Digital Arena in Swansea City Centre with podium level public realm, commercial units in the public realm, , a cutting edge Digital Square around the arena, and a new hotel, to revitalise the environment, leisure and lifestyle offer in the city centre and provide events space for tech businesses.
Location of the Digital District schemes:
Box Village & Innovation Precinct
Delivered by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, as part of its new 23 acre campus at SA1 Swansea Waterfront. The Box Village is an incubator hub offering workspaces with shared services that will provide a nurturing environment for start-ups, with access to university expertise, mentors and investors. Once a business has exceeded the space requirements provided by the Box Village it could then be accommodated in the Innovation Precinct, which will be a fully integrated shared space that brings together the academic support of the University with the business innovation of SMEs. This project is at planning stage.
The Digital Village, located on the Kingsway in Swansea City Centre, is being delivered by Swansea Council to provide 115,000sq ft of low cost, flexible offices within a high quality commercial environment with high-speed digital connectivity. It will accommodate Swansea’s growing technology businesses and ICT focused businesses expanding from Swansea University and UWTSD incubation facilities, and will be actively managed to support the businesses located within it. It addresses the lack of grow-on space currently available for technology businesses in Swansea city centre. The project has a detailed planning consent and is currently out to construction tender.
Digital Square & Arena
The Digital Arena will provide a 3,500 capacity high tech facility that would be capable of holding major digital events, including worldwide computer gaming competitions and other digital and data driven events, alongside more traditional conference, live theatre and concert events. The arena will be located within a new cutting edge Digital Square on the South side of Oystermouth Road in Swansea City Centre to create a distinctive and unique destination. The Digital Arena will provide the digitally enabled conference and events space required by Swansea’s tech businesses and Universities, and help revitalise the environment and leisure offer of Swansea city centre to attract and retain people and businesses in the City Centre. A hotel will also form part of the development, to meet the requirements of business and entertainment tourism linked to the Arena.
The Arena will be capable of hosting small, medium and large-scale events through its combination of meeting rooms, ancillary spaces, exhibition areas and auditorium options. It will also be capable of accommodating both formal and informal meetings and networking usage, which will be particularly suitable for local tech companies, for example through the use of the foyer café.
A critical and attractive feature for local tech companies will be the digital capabilities of the Arena spaces, including dense WIFI coverage and innovative digital features. The digital infrastructure will make it a natural home for digital innovation and creative thinking. The Arena will have a digitalised façade – the first of its kind in the UK, which will advertise shows, concerts, exhibitions and other events.
The Digital Square & Arena sits within the wider Swansea Central Phase 1 scheme which comprises in total:
- Digital Square & Arena – part of the City Deal Digital District project and will be delivered by Swansea Council
- Hotel development to support the Arena – forms part of the city deal project and will be delivered by the private sector
- 354 space multi storey car park on the South side of Oystermouth Road with a coastal park on the roof – excluded from the city deal project, will be funded and delivered by Swansea Council
- Wide attractive pedestrian bridge over Oystermouth Road - excluded from the city deal project, will be funded and delivered by Swansea Council.
- 640 space multi storey car park with 33 residential units with a retail unit on the Ground floor on the North side of Oystermouth Road, this is excluded from the city deal project and will be funded and delivered by Swansea Council.
A single construction contract has been awarded for the whole of the Swansea Central Phase 1 scheme which is progressing well on site. And will be complete Q4 2021