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Global Investors Being Lured by £70m Swansea Regeneration Opportunity

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Investors attending one of the world’s biggest property events this week (note: Mar 12-15) are learning about a £70m opportunity to play a key role in the future of Swansea.

The expansive Swansea Central Phase Two regeneration plan is being showcased on the Cote d’Azur at MIPIM 2019.

The four-day real estate event, in Cannes, attracts high-worth investors and their representatives from around the world. It includes an exhibition, conference and networking for around 24,000 international property professionals.

The opening keynote speech was given by former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (note: on Tuesday 12 March).

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart and cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism Robert Francis-Davies are at the event to promote the city.

Cllr Stewart said:

“Swansea’s presence at MIPIM shows the scale of our ambition.

“The world’s biggest investors are here and it’s them who we want as partners in developing our world-class future city centre.

“Swansea Central illustrates our vision to regenerate and create a vibrant city centre, combining best in class public realm with a commercial hub, higher brand retail, apartment living and major new leisure attractions.”

He and Cllr Francis-Davies are focusing on Swansea Central Phase Two which they say will be a vibrant new destination at the heart of the city centre.

Covering an area approximately from St Mary’s Church to the St David’s multi-story car park, it will aim to mix the best existing buildings with new developments.

This could include a 200,000 sq m public sector office hub, almost 150 apartments, a cinema, restaurants and retail units.

It has outline planning permission and, when built, would complement the neighbouring £120m Swansea Central Phase One – including 3,500-capacity arena – which is due to be built in the next two years.

The project was selected by the UK Government to be part of the Department for International Trade’s Invest in Great Britain and Northern Ireland activity at MIPIM.

The UK Government presence is being led by the DIT’s Capital Investment Directorate. They are supported by other Government departments and agencies. Together, they are demonstrating the UK’s offer to the global property and real estate industry.

The programme presents the whole of the UK as the prime location for capital investment of foreign real estate capital. The programme partner is the British Property Federation.

A session on Wednesday, March 13 was focusing on the launch of a capital investment portfolio for Wales and opportunities and potential for growth here, in Scotland and in Northern Ireland.

Cllr Francis-Davies said:

“MIPIM is the premier real estate event, gathering the most influential players from all sectors of the international property industry for four days of networking, learning and transaction. It’s crucial that Swansea is represented.

“Building work on our digital arena will begin this summer; it will be a catalyst for much more to come in an exciting future for Swansea.”

Swansea Central Phase One will deliver the arena, to be operated by Ambassador Theatre Group, a coastal parkland, a digital plaza, two multi-storey car parks, some residential and commercial use along with a new pedestrian bridge over the main Oystermouth Road.

The project is being managed by Rivington Land and constructed by specialist leisure contractor Buckingham.

The digital indoor arena and digital plaza elements of Phase One are due to be part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal.

The project owner for Swansea Central Phase Two is the council which owns all the land required for the development.

The council plans to be an anchor tenant for about a third of the commercial space and is in negotiation with other public bodies for the remainder.

Swansea is the city focus of the City Deal, a major capital investment programme jointly supported by the Welsh Government and UK Government.

Swansea Council is being advised by real estate specialists Cushman and Wakefield.