1. ITV Report

Building work underway for digital indoor arena in Swansea

An artist's impression of the finished digital arena. Credit: Swansea Council Pictures

Early construction work has started for Swansea’s digital indoor arena.

Contractors are on site preparing for main construction work that will see the 3,500-capacity attraction built on part of the car park adjacent to the LC leisure centre.

The arena is due to be part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal as part of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project that’s now been approved by the UK Government and Welsh Government, subject to final terms and conditions being agreed.

Other features of the City Deal project in Swansea include a digital village development for tech and digitally focussed businesses on Kingsway, and a box village and innovation precinct facility for start-up companies at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David SA1 Waterfront.

Early construction work has started but the arena is not expected to open until 2021. Credit: ITV News

This is the start of a transformational project for Swansea. Thousands of residents and visitors share our excitement at the opportunities and benefits it will bring.

Whilst it's not the biggest arena in the UK it will certainly be one of the most advanced. It will have not just a digital skin around it which is dynamic and there isn't anything like that around the UK, but its the technology in the arena that will support things like gaming conventions and other events that we'll be able to hold here in Swansea which will be a challenge for people to host elsewhere'. This follows on from a major announcement earlier this week that the UK and Welsh Governments are soon releasing £19 million of City Deal funding, based on the approval of projects including the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District.

– Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader and Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee

The arena scheme also forms part of an overall £120 million scheme known as Swansea Central phase one that will include new homes, commercial units, a digital square, a coastal themed park, a broad pedestrian bridge over Oystermouth Road, and hundreds of new parking spaces too. Swansea Council is behind the scheme, with principal contractor Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd undertaking the preparatory work on site.

The main contract works on Swansea Central phase one are due to be complete in early 2021.