Flying high above UWTSD’s £300million SA1 Swansea Waterfront development


Drone footage, courtesy of Pembrokeshire-basedcompany Images at Altitude, shows the University’s £300million SA1 Swansea Waterfront development, being constructed by Kier, taking shape. 

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Just 6 months into the exciting project, the bird’s eye view of the prime waterfront development clearly demonstrates how it istransforming the face of SA1, in the heart of the city centre.

Kier is currently installing the last of the structural steelwork at the site, which will provide a new home forthe Faculties of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, Education and Communities, as well as housing a new library.

Even in ithe first few months of construction, SA1 Swansea Waterfront has contributed significantly to the regeneration of the area, providing opportunities for local jobs, with Kier Construction Wales, recently opening a new office in SA1. As part of the projects' legacy, Kier Construction has made a number of commitments to work with the University to ensure that the project generates wider economic benefits in the region during the construction phase of the development. Such commitments include a pledge to support the economy through the use of local suppliers and sub-contractors, including the Neath-based Cuddy Group and Swansea companies Donal Hayes & Sons and AB Glass.


SA1 Project Manager Mike Bessell said : “The stunning footage captured by Images Altitude showcases the incredible progress made by Kier Construction over the last 6 months, and also the impact of the University’s investment into SA1. The character of the buildings willbe hugely complementary to the existing developments in SA1, and will contribute towards the outstanding built and natural environment students will experience from 2018.”


New job opportunities have also been created for three local students from UWTSD; Zoe Morgan, Rhys Williams and Neil James, who have been employed by Kier to work on SA1 Swansea Waterfront, with further job opportunities to be created through the supply chain in the coming months.   

Zoe, from Briton Ferry, who is studying for a BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying, has been employed asan Assistant Quantity Surveyor role. Zoe will be on day release whilst completing her final year of university and Rhys Williams, who is in the final year of a BSc (Hons) in Project and Construction Management, has been employed as a Graduate Design/Planner. He will also be on day release until he completes his final year of university. UWTSD student Neil James also commenced a Facilities Management position with Newport based subcontractor Whitehead Building Servicesin November 2016.

The site at SA1 Swansea Waterfront is also a learning hub, drawing students from local schools, the university and surrounding colleges to experience real challenges and rewards of working in the construction industry.

The University’s vision for SA1 Swansea Waterfront is to create a neighbourhood with academic activity at its core to attract companies to collocate with the University to exploit knowledge, develop skills, support existing companies and attract new investment into the region.   

The innovative development will include purpose-built facilities for learning, teaching and applied research, as well as social and recreational spaces for use by the University and wider community in the heart of the city centre.  

New enterprise hubs will be created together with high skill accelerator schemes, to grow new businesses linked to the universities portfolio, to further develop the skills of current businesses and attract new investment into the region.

The development will provide a base for the £6.5million Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), a unique CITB funded all-Wales training centre with its hub forming part of SA1 Swansea Waterfront.

Offering state-of-the-art facilities and world-class training for individuals and companies, CWIC will also have sites at colleges across Wales including Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion, which are part of the UWTSD group, and Coleg Cambria in North Wales and Coleg Y Cymoedd in South East Wales.

Construction is due to begin in the Summer 2017, with CWC’s opening, scheduled for September 2018.

Over the past 5 years, UWTSD has, and continues to invest over £100 million of its own resources into the heart of Swansea to provide opportunities for local people and companies to access high skills development in key priority areas for the region; and to utilise those skills for the benefit of the region. The University’s strategy links with the ambitions for the region by providing the support system and skills pipeline to deliver economic impact that will lead ultimately to jobs. 

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SA1 Video

Suppliers and Sub-Contractors working on SA1 Swansea Waterfront

  • Neath company Cuddy Group are the groundworks subcontractor
  • Swansea Company Donal Hayes & Sons are the concrete floor/frame subcontractor 
  • Swansea Company AB Glass are the curtain walling / external windows subcontractor 
  • Welsh company Morgans of Usk Ltd are the steel frame subcontractor
  • Welsh company Studwelders are the metal decking subcontractor 
  • Welsh company Whitehead Building Services are the Mechanical and Electrical Subcontractor
  • Welsh company Richard Kemble Contracts Ltd are the Steel Frame System Subcontractor
  • British company Green Piling Ltd are the piling subcontractor
  • British company Churngold are the enabling works subcontractor
  • British company Fast Fence are the fencing subcontractor
  • British company Otis are the lift subcontractor 
  • British company Britannia are the external cladding subcontractor

Facts and Figures 

  • 463 days of construction work
  • 12,813 sq. m of new facilities 
  • 740 sq. m of solar panels 
  • Over 747 tonnes of steel
  • Over 1,300 weeks of training 
  • Over 500 hours of in-kind community and educational contributions 
  • Over 85% of subcontracts will be to Welsh businesses 

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Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Corporate Communications and PR
Mobile: 07496 385 597