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Attracting retailers to join city centre's transformation

Big name retailers could be attracted to Swansea city centre because of high-level talks taking place this week.

St David's plan

Representatives of Swansea Council and Rivington Land, development managers for the Swansea Central site, will be on hand at the Revo 2017 exhibition in Liverpool that's bringing together around 2,500 of the most senior decision-makers from the UK's retail and property industries.

Joined by Cushman and Wakefield, the council's property advisors, the Swansea team will raise awareness of Swansea city centre's forthcoming transformation to generate interest in the mixed-use development proposed for the former St David's shopping centre site.

New shops, restaurants, cafés, a boutique cinema, new public spaces, car parking spaces and both leisure and educational uses are among the facilities planned for the north side of Oystermouth Road forming part of the Swansea Central development. A digital indoor arena, a hotel and plenty of new car parking spaces are planned for the south side of the road where the LC car park is now located. To link the sites, a broad pedestrian bridge is planned over Oystermouth Road.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "Huge progress has been made on the Swansea Central development. Outline planning consent has been awarded, City Deal funding has been secured, Ambassador Theatre Group have been selected as our digital indoor arena operator and the search for a hotel operator has begun as we look to start construction on the south side of Oystermouth Road towards the end of 2018.

"The Swansea Central development was always going to be phased, but that doesn't mean plans for the site north of Oystermouth Road are on hold. In fact, we're in Liverpool this week at the Revo 2017 exhibition, which will give the council and our development managers the chance to raise the profile of the Swansea Central development and attract interest from some of the key decision-makers in the UK's retail industry. With outline planning consent, an arena operator and City Deal funding in place, we can now approach the retail marketplace with confidence and a well-rounded proposition as we step up the search for tenants who will make up the north site."

Other on-going work includes detailed designs for the digital indoor arena, pedestrian bridge and car park helping make up the south site's development.

"We expect the new digital indoor arena to be up and running by 2020, well in advance of the UK City of Culture 2021 title that Swansea has been shortlisted for," said Cllr Stewart. "Following on from our discussions in Liverpool this week, we anticipate formal talks with retailers to start in coming months."

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