Artist’s impressions have revealed a “smart new concept” for one of the focal points of Swansea city centre.
Swansea Council’s cabinet is set to discuss a complete new look for Castle Square – which would include significantly more green space, along with places to eat and drink.
The designs would see the existing water feature removed and replaced with water jets and mini fountains rising from a new, upgraded paved area. Permanent food and drink units would be created with room for four businesses.
The authority said biodiversity would increase and most existing trees would remain, with new trees planted.
Green space there would grow from the current 25% to more than 40%. The plans also feature improvements to make Caer Street and Castle Bailey Street more pedestrian-friendly.
The total cost of the scheme would be between £6 million and £9 million. The work would be funded in a number of ways, including from the council budget. Revenue would include income from leases on the food and drink units, and the big screen would remain.
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Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “We want Castle Square to play a key role in the city’s £1bn regeneration programme that’s already making Swansea a place where people want to live, work, study and spend quality free time.
“We want to increase the time that visitors spend in Castle Square, make it suitable for a range of events and make it more active, distinctive and vibrant.
“It will be greener, more welcoming and much more family friendly – a Castle Gardens for the 21 Century.
“If cabinet approves the concept next week, I would urge everybody to make their views known in the subsequent few weeks.”
We once had the water tested in the Castle Square fountain and this is what we found.
The public, businesses and special interest groups will be asked for their views to help shape Castle Square’s detailed design.
Before any final decision is taken, with the public’s views on board, there will have to be a planning application, including further public consultation.
The vision, which the council said took into account public opinions expressed to the council over the past few years, has been drawn up by architects ACME.
A new-look Castle Square could open as early as late next year.
Its new water feature would be at ground level with the square and could be turned off when not in use to accommodate events.
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The council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, Robert Francis-Davies said: “Our new design concept shows that the future Castle Square would be accessible to all. It would remain a pivotal focal point for events and gatherings such as those held there before the pandemic.
“There are good examples in other towns and cities, where public squares with food, drink and fun are very successful indeed. They offer people what they want – a convivial atmosphere with modern comfort.
“We think the Swansea public will enjoy the thought of relaxing in this space which will have playful features and a large amount of greenery.”