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£50m Project Will Help Regenerate the High Street Area of Swansea City Centre


The article was submitted by Swansea Council

The Icon 21 development planned for the Mariner Street car park site opposite the railway station will include purpose-built accommodation for 725 students above a number of shops and other businesses on the ground floor.

RDE Silex and their development partner, Varsity Halls, are behind the scheme, with support from Swansea Council.

Site investigation works taking place this summer will pave the way for the start of construction in the late autumn.

Standing 72 metres high and accommodating a mix of studio, cluster and accessible student rooms, the Icon 21 tower, with a sloped roof design, will be Swansea's second tallest building and among the tallest in Wales.

Trees will also be planted around the new building, a new public space will be introduced and pavements will be widened.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said:

“This project, supported by the Design Commission for Wales and funded by private sector money, will build on the urban village and other recent success stories in the area to further regenerate High Street.

“We recognise High Street's role as a key gateway in and out of the city centre, so this scheme is vitally important as part of our plans to transform the city centre's retail, leisure and recreational offer by significantly increasing the number of people who live and work there.

“Having more people living and working in the city centre will generate more spending in city centre businesses, create more vibrancy and help attract more investment in future.

“This development will further improve the look and feel of High Street, which is also now benefitting from the fantastic work being done by a number of innovative pop-up ventures and independent businesses.”

The Icon 21 development is expected to open in time for the start of the 2019 academic year, following a 20-month construction phase.

Andrew Robinson, of Varsity Halls, said:

“We are very proud to be working with Swansea Council to develop this iconic scheme. It will provide the students of Swansea with a new, vibrant community encompassing high-quality purpose-built accommodation supported by a strong retail offering with excellent access to High Street, the campuses of the city's universities and the city's transportation network.”

Outline planning consent has also been recently awarded to the multi-million pound Swansea Central regeneration scheme that will see a digital indoor arena, new shops, restaurants and other attractions opening on a development site made up of the former St David's shopping centre and the LC car park.

Demolition of the former Oceana nightclub building on Kingsway, scheduled for completion this summer, is now about 50% complete. A new office development accommodating tech businesses will be constructed on site as part of plans to transform Kingsway into an employment district, which will create thousands of jobs.