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HEALTH board chiefs want to create a £15m wellness centre in the heart of Swansea.

It would take shape at Central Clinic, Orchard Street, and include a GP and dental surgery, plus pharmacy, physiotherapy and podiatry services.

It would also have a cafe and spaces for talks and get-togethers about managing health problems.

The idea is that people who go there will learn more about keeping healthy and improving their wellbeing.

The newly-named Swansea Bay University Health Board, which covers Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, has approved a strategic outline case for the wellness centre.

But other locations haven’t been ruled out entirely.

Simon Davies, the health board’s assistant director of strategy, said: “We have identified Central Clinic as our preferred site, and will continue to review this and other potential site options, once the project commences design stage.”

If all goes to plan the Welsh Government will fund the development, with work on site potentially starting in a year.

The GP surgery element of the Swansea Wellness Centre would be created by merging practices on High Street and St Helen’s Road.

Health board chiefs said the wider “city cluster” in which the wellness centre would be located has a 50,000-strong population, with half of those living in the most deprived 20% of areas in Wales.

They said the city cluster also has low levels of uptake for various screenings, such as cervical and bowel, and high levels of emergency hospital admissions.

Referring to the spaces for talks and meetings, a report which went before the health board said: “This could be about a presentation on managing anxiety or stress, or a group for managing self-care in diabetes, or a class on using apps for managing medication.”

Health board chiefs are keen to help the population help itself, with “resilience” the buzzword, as well as providing healthcare in the community and in hospitals.

Orchard Street, meanwhile, is being upgraded by Swansea Council as part of a £12m city centre infrastructure project, although the brakes have temporarily been put on this with the demise of contractor Dawnus.

And 556 student flats at the Oldway Centre, at the top of Orchard Street, will be ready for occupation in September.

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