Toggle mobile menu visibility

The £100m investment that's transforming High Street

New commercial units, bringing empty properties back into use and the restoration of an historic theatre are among the schemes set to breathe more life into Swansea's High Street.

Freya Church (R & M Williams)

Freya Church (R & M Williams)

An investment worth over £100m is ongoing to transform the street for the benefit of businesses, residents and visitors to the city.

Schemes either ongoing or planned will follow on from the completion of other major projects on High Street in recent years including the first phase of Coastal Housing's Urban Village development and improvements in and around Swansea Railway Station. Swansea University has also opened the Oriel Science venue on the corner of Castle Street.

Led by Swansea Council, the Palace Theatre on High Street is being sensitively restored and transformed into a shared workspace environment. Due to be managed by Welsh business Tramshed Tech, construction work there is anticipated for completion by the end of 2024.

Elsewhere on High Street, Coastal Housing has recently acquired the former H Phillips Electrical store, which had stood empty for over a decade. The purchase will help Coastal potentially expand the scope and size of its Urban Village development, which already includes a range of office, retail and hospitality businesses.

Among its plans are a new, two-storey commercial building featuring shipping container-style units and a six-storey housing development at the corner of Kings Lane, which links High Street with The Strand.

Urban Village Swansea phase two CGI

Major improvements are also planned to better link The Strand with High Street, thanks to a Swansea Council project being part-funded by the UK Government's levelling-up programme.

Properties including Jack's Kitchen on the corner of High Street and College Street have benefitted from business improvement grants through the council to improve their appearance, and Coastal Housing is looking to bring High Street's former Kings Arms Tavern building back into commercial use.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "High Street is a key gateway in and out of the city centre, which is why the council and our partners are doing all we can to improve its look and feel.

"A lot more work is also planned in future to continue to improve the area for the benefit of local people, local businesses and visitors to the city as part of a £1bn overall city centre regeneration programme.

"High Street and its arcades have a fantastic mix of independent businesses - from coffee, vinyl and clothes shops to restaurants, bars and specialist stores.

"All the work that's planned will boost these businesses, while also helping attract even more investment in future.

"We don't own the former Argos or Elysium cinema buildings, but we're doing all we can to work with the owners to help bring these buildings back into use too."

Kelly Thomas, Executive Director of Development and Regeneration at Coastal Housing, said: "We have a longstanding commitment to regenerating this area of the city centre, having invested over £30 million in High Street over the last decade or so and basing our office here within the Urban Village complex. 

"Our future plans include more phases of Urban Village, adding more social housing and commercial units to help meet demand. Beyond our building activity, we are also keen to explore opportunities with the Council for improving the pedestrian environment, continuing the excellent progress that has been made in this regard along The Kingsway, Castle Street and elsewhere in the city centre."

Grand Hotel improvement plans include a living wall with plants added to the High Street side of the building and a rooftop area that's sown with greenery.

A number of student developments have also opened in the High Street area in recent years.

Cllr Stewart said: "There's a misconception out there that the council builds student developments. It doesn't, but these developments do mean far more people are living in the city centre, which is important because of their spending in city centre businesses. This safeguards local people's jobs and will help create more jobs in future."

Close Choose Language