SA1 Swansea Waterfront, will provide a home for the faculties of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, Education and Communities, as well as a new library. It will welcome its first students in August.
It will also be home to the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), due to open this autumn. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a consortium led by UWTSD, are working in partnership to deliver state-of-the-art facilities and training for individuals and construction companies, with CITB investing £6.5m. A minimum of 1,100 students will be trained at the SA1 hub each year.
Julie James AM was given a tour of the development by Dr Jane Davidson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Sustainability and Engagement at UWTSD.
Dr Jane Davidson said:
“UWTSD has made a real commitment to the city of Swansea by investing millions of pounds in upgrading our facilities for the benefit of current and future students and to consolidate our partnership with employers. Our new waterfront facilities will offer students a state of the art experience within walking distance of the city centre. It was a real pleasure hosting the minister as she was clearly enthusiastic about the project and the new opportunities being created. We are grateful to her for giving us so much time out of her busy schedule.”
Julie James, AM said:
“I was delighted to visit and see the innovative development first-hand and I was blown away with the progress that has been made – I have no doubt that this will not only be an amazing facility for UWTSD, but also a great asset to the city of Swansea.
“It is certainly an exciting time for Swansea with the game-changing Swansea Bay city region deal moving forward. It is great to see UWTSD playing their part in putting Swansea on the map as a world leading city of innovation and technology.”
Thirty one new jobs have been created at the new SA1 development, alongside opportunities for 25 apprentices and 27 work experience placements. With a total of 28 welsh subcontractors working on the project, to date around £21million worth of contracts have been secured by Wales-based businesses, representing 90% of the project spend to date.
A total of 60 University educational engagements have been held at the SA1 site, with recent events organised by Kier Construction, CWIC and the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, aimed at teaching construction skills in a live working environment to pupils at local comprehensives.
UWTSD is dedicated to creating a community of staff and students across all its campuses who support sustainability through social, economic, cultural and environmental responsibility. The SA1 buildings will be BREEAM Excellent, featuring renewable technologies such as Solar Photovoltaics and taking a green approach to water conservation, through use of rainwater harvesting and waterless urinals.
Landscaping will utilise local tree species and there will be exemplar quality cycle storage provision.
Howard Monsen, Senior Project Manager at Kier Construction said:
“Kier is delighted to be contributing towards this vital project that is having such a positive impact on employment and education in the region.
“Kier has a long-standing record of commitment of recruitment and training in the industry, with a bespoke training classroom, designed for students from local schools, universities and surrounding colleges to experience real challenges and rewards of working within the construction industry
“It’s vital that we continue to exceed our community targets, we will be working closely with our supply chain and local community to provide upskilling and recruitment opportunities for now and the future.”
Other developments planned for the SA1 site include an exciting box village initiative, which will covert shipping containers to provide flexible, affordable space for start-up companies. It will be enhanced through the City Deal and will further contribute to the other innovative schemes planned across Swansea.