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New conceptual images show £20m copperworks, Strand and museum proposals

New conceptual images show how parts of Hafod-Morfa Copperworks, The Strand and Swansea Museum could look once a multi-million pound project to celebrate Swansea's industrial heritage is complete.

Further preservation work at the copperworks and better links between the site and the city centre are among the features of a Lower Swansea Valley improvement project being led by Swansea Council.

An upgrade and enhancement of Swansea Museum to protect the venue and improve the visitor experience and access there also forms part of the overall project, which is being made possible thanks to the council successfully bidding for £20m from the UK Government as part of its levelling-up programme.

More information has also now been released on all three elements of the project, which include:

  • Restoration of the former laboratory building at the copperworks to create restaurant and food and beverage spaces. Investment in the Musgrave and Vivian engine houses will see a new enclosure built to create a heritage visitor attraction and café. The track and locomotive at the V & S shed will also be reinstated, a marketplace will be created at the former Rolling Mill building, and landscaped public spaces will be introduced on site for visitors.

  • The installation of two pontoons along the River Tawe, and the creation of small retail units for local traders at the Victorian arches on The Strand. An elevator from The Strand to High Street will also be introduced and work will be carried out to significantly improve the look and feel of The Strand close to its arches and tunnels. Retail pods and better lighting will be put in place in the tunnels.

  • A new-build extension at Swansea Museum - widely celebrated as the oldest museum in Wales - to create more exhibition, learning and gallery spaces and bring parts of the collections stored at the Rolling Mill on the copperworks site to a public venue for display. Outline plans include ideas for new conservation and collection store areas along with education, learning and café spaces which could also create improved links with the open space to the rear of Swansea Museum and the nearby National Waterfront Museum.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: "Swansea has such a rich industrial heritage but more funding was needed to better preserve and celebrate it, following-on from the huge amount of conservation work that's already taking place at sites like the copperworks.

"The Lower Swansea Valley project will further bring the copperworks site back into use and significantly improve the look and feel of The Strand, while also creating jobs for local people and growth opportunities for local businesses.

"Links between the copperworks site and the city centre and River Tawe will also be created to benefit pedestrians and cyclists, and the upgrade and enhancement of Swansea Museum will combine with work at the copperworks to boost our heritage tourism offer and better tell the story of our proud industrial history.

"This major new investment adds to a regeneration programme already worth over £1bn that's transforming Swansea into one of the UK's best places to live, work, study and visit."

The overall regeneration programme includes on-going work to revamp the copperworks site. This is being carried out by Swansea firm John Weavers contractors on Swansea Council's behalf, and will include a new Penderyn whisky distillery and visitor centre.

That project, due for completion this year, is being made possible thanks to a £4m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, and £500,000 from the Welsh Government.

Other plans for the area include emerging Skyline proposals for Kilvey Hill that could, subject to approval, include a cable car system, luge runs and other facilities.


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