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Creative Agency Set to Re-imagine Key Swansea Market Zone

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A team of award-winning design specialists is to re-model a key area of Swansea Market.

The experienced Tangent Partnership Ltd will work with Swansea Council, traders and the public to transform the venue’s central casual area into a new destination for people to meet, greet, eat and enjoy events.

It’s part of a £439,000 improvement project at the city centre hub, named Britain's best large indoor market this year in the Great British Market Awards.

The project is being funded by the Welsh Government’s Targeted Regeneration Investment programme and the council.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said:

“We welcome Tangent on board as the market continues to improve its offer for the Swansea public and visitors.

“We want to keep the market’s great appeal and make it even more attractive for future generations.

“By enhancing the large area that now hosts casual trading tables we’ll see more people want to visit and spend time there.

“This will be a wonderful improvement and I thank members of the Swansea Market Traders’ Federation for their support. They’re a driving force in the development of the market.

“These are exciting times for Swansea city centre as its regeneration creates a place for people to live, work and enjoy. Hundreds of millions of pounds is being invested here by the council, its partners and private business.”

The casual area upgrade is mainly about creating a multi-use communal area for seating, meeting, greeting, eating and events. There will still be opportunities for casual traders within the market.

The design will be functional, attractive and will create a landmark feature with a green theme. The public and traders will be engaged in the design process.

Tangent Partnership Ltd is a design and branding agency working in Swansea, Cardiff and across Europe. It has bases in Brecon and London.

Design successes for the food and drink sector have included the overhaul of the hospitality and events areas at Surrey’s Brooklands Museum, the design of a Canary Wharf staff restaurant for investment bank Credit Suisse and the refurb of artist and staff facilities at London’s world-famous Abbey Road Studios.

The company was founded 20 years ago.  Company director and lead interior designer Mary Kerfoot has fond memories of Swansea Market from when she attended the nearby former Oxford Street School.

Tangent, who won the market contract in a competitive tender process, will take into account government guidelines and restrictions as they are updated in light of the pandemic.

Part of the design and branding process will be to decide on a name for the area.

Tangent’s Mary Kerfoot said:

“We’re delighted to have this opportunity to help the market and city on their amazing regeneration journey. There’s a lot happening in Swansea city centre to be excited about!

“I’m passionate about the market and – together with my co-director David – I’m excited to help it transform and ensure that it continues to be loved by future visitors.”

The wider work at the venue will bring public toilets, free public Wi-Fi, new interactive LED signs and improved entrances.

Work began this summer and the free-to-use accessible toilets, close to the market’s Quadrant entrance, are due to open soon.

The plan is to maximise the market’s future trading potential and to ensure it continues to play a pivotal role in the promotion of Swansea city centre as a retailing and leisure destination.

This scheme, and Swansea’s wider £1bn regeneration programme, will support the local economy’s recovery in the post-pandemic years.

The market, managed by the council, is the permanent home to more than 100 businesses. It hosts casual traders and events such as the popular vegan mini-market.

It is open to the public six days a week and a number of traders offered delivery services to help the local community through the coronavirus crisis.

The cost of the Tangent Partnership work is £70,000. The new area is due to open in the first half of next year.