INCOME from the large car park by the LC in Swansea has halved in one year, new figures have shown.
It’s because the area has been taken over by contractors building the new indoor arena.
The council-owned car park brought in £156,000 in 2019-20, compared to £311,000 and £334,000 in the previous two financial years.
The figures were given in writing to opposition councillors Jeff Jones, Chris Holley and Peter Black, who said they had requested them three times.
“We thought it would be a large drop, but it was a lot more than I thought,” said Cllr Holley.
He wondered how the shortfall was going to be made up.
Cllr Jones, though, said the £156,000 figure for 2019-20 was higher than he thought it would be.
He said he wanted to know what the charges would be for the new car parks the council is building in the area.
The new indoor arena and adjacent coastal park have a couple of levels of parking built into the design.
Directly across Oystermouth Road, a new multi-storey car park is also being built along with commercial units and flats.
The council-led project, which includes a new pedestrian bridge linking the two sites, is expected to cost £135 million.
Visitors to (and members of) the LC, which for several years was Wales’s most visited indoor attraction, can park at the nearby St David’s multi-storey car park.
The LC and other leisure centres in Swansea are run on behalf of the council by a not-for-profit group Freedom Leisure.
Asked by the Local Democracy Reporter Service if the council was providing financial support to Freedom Leisure given the LC car park takeover, a spokesman said: “The council has been working with Freedom Leisure throughout the closure period to ensure there is the financial sustainability of the leisure centres when little or no income is being generated.”
He added: “We anticipated a reduction in income in our budget planning while the arena is being built.”
The indoor arena is expected to open in phases from summer 2021.
Longer term, the council wants to clear the land from St Mary’s Church down to Oystermouth Road – including the demolition of St David’s multi-storey car park – and create a huge public sector hub, plus retail, leisure space and housing.
Asked what it could cost to park at the indoor arena and the new multi-storey opposite, the council spokesman said: “No decisions have been made on potential car park charging structures for the new facilities when they are open.
“We will be working closely with businesses to ensure parking tariffs are competitive and help support the city centre economy.”
The written response to the opposition councillors added that a concessionary agreement currently offered to people who park at the St David’s multi-storey to visit the LC and adjacent National Waterfront Museum will end when the new car parks open.