07 February 2012

Secretary of State for Wales visits Swansea regeneration project

Cheryl Gillan the Secretary of State for Wales visited the Urban Village project in the centre of Swansea last week as part of her tour of South-Wales, visiting companies, projects and initiatives that are bucking the economic trend. As part of her tour the Secretary of State spoke at length to representatives of the Midas Construction team, who are delivering this high profile scheme, Coastal Housing Group and a range of apprentices and trainees who are involved on the scheme.

The Secretary of State for Wales visits Swansea's Urban VillageThe purpose of the visit focused on promoting an agenda of innovation, job creation, collaboration and lateral thinking that is helping to sustain the local Economy and return it to growth.

Coastal Housing's £25 million Urban Village is being developed in phases with a series of new courtyard spaces linking off street parking, flexible ground floor retail and commercial space, shops and offices with food and drink outlets and 76 new apartments for rent.

At the centre of the village, The Hub, Wales' first "creative cluster,"  - is a purpose built office block for creative commercial businesses  - architects, artists, fashion designers, musicians, media professionals and leisure software designers - allowing the creative supply chain to be situated in one place in a dedicated commercial and supportive environment. These creative industries will help create a vibrant place to work, shop and live. Many of the apartments will be let to people working in the hub industries

Coastal Housing is working alongside the City and County of Swansea and the Welsh Assembly Government, with the latter providing financial help from their Strategic Regeneration Area funding programme.

Development director at Coastal, Gerraint Oakley, said: "There is already strong demand for commercial space at the creative cluster. We have got people signed up, and we can be really flexible about space and welcome enquiries from the creative and retail sectors. We also aim to create some destination shopping outlets at The Village that people will want to travel to including clothing and delicatessens etc. Gerraint added: "On the development front the scheme will have generated around 320 construction jobs and a number of apprenticeship positions over its five years duration, plus around 426 full and part-time jobs once completed."

Alan Hope the Chief Executive of the Midas Group said: "We are delighted that the Secretary of State for Wales chose to visit the Urban Village scheme. It is a highly progressive mixed use regeneration scheme that clearly shows that Affordable Housing providers like Costal Housing are alive to the idea that the future for the sector is about diversification and sustainable live work communities".

The scheme is due to be completed in Summer 2012 and the Secretary of State expressed a desire to return to the Urban Village to see it opened and fulfilling its role in the revival of the city centre community. 


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