Swansea Council has officially launched its search for an experienced and committed partner to help it deliver its vision for a vibrant and distinctive city in which to live, work and spend quality time.
The Council adopted a comprehensive development strategy in 2015 to help achieve its socio-economic objectives, and is already leading on the delivery of a circa £130m investment into the city centre, which includes a 3,500-capacity arena, a hotel, restaurants, new homes, two new city centre car parks and an elevated coastal park. The development is on site and due to complete in 2021. ATG is contracted as the end operator of the arena.
The Council is also delivering a bespoke city centre building of circa 10,000 sq m focused on high-quality flexible workspace for its rapidly growing creative and tech businesses, and this project is due to start on site by the end of the year.
Through the ‘Shaping Swansea’ project, the Council will form a strategic partnership to build on this initial success and commitment to deliver further strategic Council-owned development sites in and around the city centre over the short, medium and long-term. Real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield is providing the Council with strategic development advice on a city-wide basis and is acting on its behalf to appoint a strategic development partner through a formal competitive procurement process.
The initial selection of seven key sites, totaling 24-hectares (60 acres), range in scale from compact sites in the core city centre to strategic sites in gateway locations, and will deliver a wide mix of schemes including destination, residential and employment uses. More than half of the sites benefit from either river or sea frontage. The Council will also work with their strategic partner to identify additional sites within their ownership, or in third party ownership, that are suitable for development over the life of the partnership.
The Shaping Swansea project has been considered carefully in the context of the economic impact of COVID- 19 and it recognises the need for flexibility and ongoing public sector support, at least initially. In the short-term, it is taking steps to de-risk the sites where it can, and will continue to do so throughout the procurement process.
The Council is working in a strategic capacity with Welsh Government, and the projects will also benefit from a City Deal which Swansea now has.
Rob Stewart, Swansea Council leader, said: “Investors around the world are looking for new opportunities – and Swansea can provide them. We have a compelling once-in-a-generation chance for a top-class partner to help us deliver major regeneration.
“We’re looking forward with optimism and energy towards a post-pandemic world when Swansea will lead the way in offering and delivering on opportunity.
“As we build on the great regeneration work already underway here there will be many more new openings for existing and new business to thrive.
He added: “Swansea is fast becoming a place where people want to live, work and enjoy quality free time. I urge developers to get involved in our competitive procurement process.”
Paul Ellis, Partner at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Swansea Council not only has a clear vision for its future, but also an associated delivery strategy, and moreover one that it has been implementing for some years already. Hence, the selected strategic Partner will be introduced into a development strategy already well advanced and delivering material results. COVID-19 is clearly revising those key ingredients that make a place a successful one to invest in, and Swansea has the right credentials, and associated Public Sector support, that means it is now receiving strong interest from the marketplace.”
The procurement process has now formally commenced and interested parties should express interest with the Council’s procurement portal (www.sell2wales.com) to participate. The procurement process is expected to conclude with the selection of a partner in Summer 2021. Further information can be found on https://shapingswansea.com/