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Swansea signs indoor arena deal with world-leading venue operator

A MAJOR company with a worldwide portfolio of entertainment venues from London to Manhattan will run Swansea's planned digital indoor arena.

Arena proposal

ATG (Ambassador Theatre Group), which operates more than 50 venues worldwide from Piccadilly, London to Broadway New York, has now signed a long-term commitment to Swansea.

The decision means that the 3,500-capacity arena is on schedule to throw open its doors to the public in 2020 to world-class entertainment attracting tens of thousands of visitors to Swansea throughout the year.

The digital indoor arena is due to be part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal secured by the Swansea Bay City Region. Made up of funding from the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector, the City Deal will invest in 11 major projects across Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire.

The new multifunctional digital Arena and Conference Centre is being delivered as part of the first phase of Swansea Central on the LC car park site in Swansea city centre.

It will be able to accommodate major theatrical productions, host big name artists and accommodate international conferences and exhibitions that will firmly put Swansea on the national live entertainment circuit.

Construction of Phase 1, which along with the venue and conference centre, is scheduled to commence later this year. It incorporates two new multi-storey car parks, a new hotel and city centre apartments together with an urban park that will improve the links between the city centre and the city's unique waterfront.

ATG's portfolio of theatres in London's West End includes the Apollo Victoria, the Piccadilly and the Savoy, which are among close to 50 venues it runs across the UK. In Manhattan, ATG runs Broadway's biggest theatre, The Lyric, which is home to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II, premiering on 22 April 2018

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "I am delighted that we have secured ATG to operate our state-of-the-art digital indoor arena. It is testimony to the potential of Swansea that we have attracted such a high quality company that clearly shares our vision for the future of the city.

"Their track record speaks for itself. They are not just an operator of some of the world's most famous entertainment venues, but they are also an award-winning producer of performances that regularly feature the biggest stars of stage and screen.
"We are determined to enhance the city centre for the benefit of both the people of Swansea and our visitors, and this deal represents another major milestone along that journey."

Mark Cornell, CEO of ATG, said: "ATG is very excited to be moving forward as operator for the Swansea Arena.  Our aim is to ensure that the Swansea Arena becomes a market leading venue with our strong focus on customer service and, high quality and diverse content.  With Swansea Council's significant investment into the arena and regeneration of the wider Swansea Arena, ATG is delighted to be part of this project.

David Lewis, CEO of Rivington Land, said: "The ATG commitment is a significant milestone in the process to deliver regeneration. The Swansea Central Phase 1 project is now well placed to move forward and will be a catalyst for further phases. 

Nick Russell, Director of IPW, venue advisors to Swansea Council and Rivington Land, added: "With an international operator for the new venue we can be assured of great content both in terms of entertainment, conferencing and exhibitions.  This multi-use venue will be a major new attraction for the region encouraging new business, and a cultural beacon for the City." 

Other Swansea projects due to be part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal include a digital square outside the arena, a digital village for tech businesses on Kingsway, and a box village development for start-up companies at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David's SA1 Swansea Waterfront campus.

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