COUNCIL staff based at Swansea’s Civic Centre could move to a new hub in the city centre rather than a building by the Grand Theatre.
Swansea’s Labour administration is keen to redevelop the Civic Centre site in the coming years and had planned to move staff to a new venue at the Oxford Street car park, opposite the theatre.
But staff are now more likely to log on at a public sector hub at what is now the St David’s site, between St Mary’s Church and Oystermouth Road.
Council leader Rob Stewart told the Local Democracy Reporter Service: “We have received interest from major private sector bodies in the car park site opposite the Grand.”
Any development there, he said, would need to include replacement parking.
The hub, meanwhile, could be part of a much bigger public sector presence in a redeveloped St David’s site, which could also feature new shops, restaurants, a cinema and 100-plus flats.
“It would be bigger than Central Square in Cardiff,” said Cllr Stewart, addressing a council scrutiny panel on November 18.
The area – known as Swansea Central phase two – is one of seven sites in the city which the Labour administration wants to develop with a joint venture partner.
The other six sites are the Oxford Street car park and Civic Centre; the Sail Bridge site on East Burrows Road, Swansea Marina; the St Thomas Station site opposite Pentreguinea Road, St Thomas; land behind the former Swansea Observatory, Swansea Marina; and the Hafod Morfa Copperworks site.
Fourteen companies have expressed an interest in working with the council on developing these sites, and cabinet will be asked to formally seek a joint venture partner at a meeting on November 21.
This process would involve a formal tendering exercise next March, prior to a preferred partner being appointed in March, 2021.
Council chiefs felt this joint approach was better than just selling the sites and then having little control over their future.
Cllr Stewart also said the central library would move to the public sector hub – and gave a reassurance that the Grand Theatre would work in tandem with the new indoor arena at what is now the LC car park.
He said the council, which raised some eyebrows last month when it pulled a Roy Chubby Brown comedy gig, was looking to strengthen the theatre’s events programme.
“I would think it absurd if we could only have one cultural venue in Swansea,” he added.