Swansea Council has purchased the site thanks to a £1.8 million grant from the Welsh Government’s Regeneration Area programme. The Council is also providing £1.8 million to secure the site.
The purchase is part of a major scheme that will see part of the site demolished and construction of new temporary 160-space surface car park to boost city centre footfall and respond to the needs of city centre traders.
The section of the site earmarked for the car park is predominantly empty and all traders and residents in the area will be kept updated about the plans. Proposals for retail development of the site will be considered in the longer term.
Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Minister Huw Lewis said:
“Regenerating our city centres and seaside towns is a key commitment for this Welsh Government. Swansea fits the bill on both counts and I am delighted that Welsh Government funds can support the plans and help transform this part of the city.
“Swansea is our second largest city so has a major role to play in promoting Wales both within the UK and further afield, especially with the city’s football club now on the world stage. Developing the centre is vital to achieving this and our £5 million Regeneration Area programme is already making a positive impact.
“I hope this latest move to demolish St David’s and make way for improved city centre developments will continue to promote the long-term regeneration prospects for Swansea.”
Cllr Chris Holley, Swansea Council Leader, said:
“We’re doing all we can to improve Swansea city centre and this investment alongside the Welsh Government will help boost the area and safeguard jobs during difficult economic times across the UK and beyond.
“It’s also clear that the city centre can’t be regenerated without public sector intervention and that purchasing a site like this will help our plans to regenerate the city centre in the long-term alongside Hammerson, our partners in the private sector.
“The St David’s site has failed and has become an eyesore that’s detrimental to our city centre but we have to consider what can be done in the best interests of city centre traders in the short-term until market conditions improve. This is why the plan is to demolish part of the site and construct a car park that will meet the needs of city centre traders and shoppers.
“We’ll continue to keep people informed as the plans progress.”
Welsh Government’s Swansea Regeneration Area programme objective is to build on the city’s unique character and heritage, strengthen communities, tackle deprivation and create employment opportunities.
The programme is currently in its third year. The £5 million budget over 2011-12 has already supported prime developments such as High Street Station, the Urban Village, the former Copperworks site at Hafod, the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Tawe Bridges, the Boulevard, Lower Oxford Street and the Vetch.