UWTSD hosts visit by Mr Ajay Sharma, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Qatar to share plans for Swansea SA1 Waterfront


University of Wales Trinity Saint David was honoured to host a visit by Mr Ajay Sharma, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Qatar, to share plans for the University’s £300 million SA1Swansea Waterfront development.

The vibrant city centre development will create a new learning neighbourhood in Swansea, connecting education with business, innovation and enterprise. Phase one, which includes buildings to house the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering and a new library, will open in time for the 2018 academic year. 

His Excellency, Mr Ajay Sharma, was accompanied by Mr Andrew Gwatkin, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Director for International Trade and Investment, during the visit to the University’s Technium 2 building in SA1 Swansea Waterfront. They were welcomed by Mr Ray Selby, UWTSD’s SA1 Swansea Waterfront Executive Project Director, Mr Gwyndaf Tobias, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor Mike R. Phillips, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation, Enterprise and Commercialisation).

A presentation was made to the delegation by SA1 Swansea Waterfront Project Director Ray Selby to provide an overview of the University’s ambition for SA1.  The vision is to create a neighbourhood with the University at its core to support economic regeneration in the region.

Ray Selby said: “We were both delighted and honoured to welcome His Excellency to the University and to share with him our exciting plans for SA1Swansea Waterfront. It was a fantastic opportunity to engage with His Excellency and acquire an insight and understanding of potential partnerships. We are now keen to explore this further.

“The development of the SA1 Swansea Waterfront is part of the University’s 10 year transformational agenda to develop its campuses and locations as impact hubs, working closely with business and industry to exploit knowledge, develop skills and attract investment to the region.  The University has signed a unique partnership with the Welsh Government on the development of SA1; it is also working closely with the City and County of Swansea and is a key partner in the Swansea Bay City Region.”

Mr Ajay Sharma said: “It was great to meet the team at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. We had good discussions on working with Qatar, including how the University can work together on Qatar/National Vision 2030.”

Mr Ajay Sharma was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the State of Qatar in November 2015. He succeeded Mr Nicholas Hopton. Mr Ajay Sharma earlier served as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Head of Iran department and non-resident Chargé d’affaires to Iran. He played a role in the recent Iran nuclear negotiations and was involved in the reopening of the British Embassy in Tehran in August 2015. He has had previous diplomatic postings in Paris, Ankara and Moscow.



Note to Editor

As a major part of the University’s multi-million pound investment in the heart of Swansea, UWTSD has acquired sizable areas of the remaining development land in the SA1 Waterfront area. The master plan includes proposals to develop purpose-built facilities for learning, teaching and applied research as well as social, leisure and wider recreational spaces. 

SA1Swansea Waterfront is an ambitious city development that will introduce a new innovative, inclusive and inspiring learning environment while connecting education with innovation and enterprise. It will enable core student services, including student support and a Students’ Union, along with a library, sports and leisure facilities to sit alongside community and commercial amenities.  In the second phase, it is anticipated that up to a further 18,000 square metres will be delivered from 2021 for academic and business uses. 

The University has already secured £50 million worth of funding from HSBC, to enable construction of phase one ready for the start of September 2018. 

The University has established academic links with Qatar via the Wales Qatar Archaeology project:  http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/research/environment-archaeology-history-and-anthropology/wales-qatar-archaeological-project/