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1. Why is Swansea University expanding?
2. What will the development involve?
3. Where is the site?
The site is situated on the old BP transit site on Fabian Way, straddling the boundary between Neath Port Talbot and Swansea.
4. Has the site and developer been confirmed?
St Modwen has been confirmed as the developer and has begun work on the site.
5. How much will the development cost?
The capital cost for the redevelopment of Singleton park is circa £50m and the capital cost for the Science and Innovation Campus is currently estimated at circa £200m, which includes the cost of student residences which will be funded separately.
6. What will the Science and Innovation Campus include?
7. How will the Singleton Campus be redeveloped?
8. What is the economic impact of the development?
Please see the information on this web page
9. How will local residents benefit from your plans?
Residents local to the Science and Innovation Campus will benefit from:
• The location of a prestigious, world-class, international and research-led university on its doorstep
• Presence of increased MNE (Multinational Enterprise) and SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) activity in the area and the associated employment opportunities
• Student spend in city shops, restaurants and businesses
• Improved access to the coastal area and safeguarding of the Crymlyn Burrows Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
10. Hasn’t the land been previously used? What implications does this have for the project?
Following on from the Environmental Impact Assessment undertaken by URS and submitted to the Environment Agency Wales and Countryside Council for Wales, remediation of the site has been completed in line with Environment Agency legislation requirements for the use of land as a university campus with student residences.
An Environmental Management Plan will also be drawn up for the campus which will stipulate the management, monitoring, auditing and training procedures that will be implemented to ensure compliance with any applicable regulations and minimise or neutralise any potential negative impacts.
11. How are you expecting to address the transport and traffic concerns?
The campus proposals actively promote sustainable transport measures which include safe and accessible cycling, walking or public transport links. The University has produced a Travel Plan and a Travel Coordinator will be appointed to manage the Plan and ensure the environmental impacts are minimised.
The University will undertake a number of measures to reduce any potential traffic disruption:
• Reducing student journeys through effective timetabling;
• Implementation of a controlled parking zone in Elba Crescent and Baldwin’s Crescent to avoid overspill parking;
• Provision of a frequent shuttle bus service between the Singleton Park Campus, the city centre, and the Science and Innovation Campus;
• The provision of suitable facilities for cyclists at both campuses to encourage alternative means of travel;
• Incentivising car sharing and off peak travel.
12. The bulk of the new campus site is currently mapped by the Environment Agency as being liable to flooding from rivers or the sea. How do you intend to avoid the risk of flooding?
A Flood Consequences Assessment (FCA) was undertaken as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment, in accordance with Technical Advice Note (TAN) 15: Development and Flood Risk. Extreme tide level data was also obtained from Environment Agency Wales (EAW).
The risk of flooding is being mitigated by raising the entire site by approximately 600mm and by reinforcing the sea defences along the foreshore adjacent to the proposed development.
13. What will the development look like?
Swansea University worked with internationally renowned architects, Porphyrios Associates, on the development of a Masterplan. A gallery and fly-though of the development are now available on the University’s website for the Science and Innovation Campus and Singleton Park Redevelopment.
The University has consulted with a number of organisations including potential business users, the City and County of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and the Design Council for Wales to achieve a sustainable, future-proof design, which builds on its existing student experience and has high standards of environmental performance.
The buildings on the campus have been designed by both the Hopkins Architects and Porphyrios Associates.
14. How are you looking to attract small and medium businesses (SMEs) to the new campus?
Swansea University has been in talks with a number of multi-national enterprises over recent months. We’re in the process of finalising a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and agreements with these companies similar to the current arrangement with Rolls Royce relating to materials research.
This business-facing approach is one of the key unique selling points of the proposed Science and Innovation Campus and we expect our open-innovation model to generate a sizeable level of interest from SMEs. Swansea University has already been in discussions with several local SMEs regarding their involvement in the project.
15. How does this development fit with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (NPTCBC) and City and County of Swansea’s development plans?
The recent recommendations of the Welsh Government task and finish group that a city region should be set up for Swansea Bay, highlights the importance of the region in driving growth within Wales as a whole.
The Science and Innovation Campus directly addresses many of the key aims set out in the Welsh Government Programme for Government, For Our Futures and the Science for Wales Strategy.
At present the local authorities in South West Wales are working to develop a joint economic regeneration strategy for the region, building on the excellent joint working already undertaken in this field and bringing together the key strengths and priorities of each area.
At the local level, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council cites education and lifelong learning as a key objective within the Community Plan. These objectives are supported by the Single Education Plan and Education Strategic Plan. The Proposed Development will deliver the first Higher Education facility within the County Borough Council.
Ambitions for the local economy in Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council are that it will be strong and diverse, retaining a core manufacturing sector supported by a growing knowledge-based sector, built upon better skills and local research and development activity. As well as providing new employment and learning opportunities within the county borough, the Science and Innovation Campus development will also help to attract investment, by increasing the attractiveness of Baglan Bay/Baglan Energy Park as a location for spin out companies and existing company expansion. This is already being demonstrated in the SPECIFIC project, which is based here prior to the campus development commencing, and is linked to future employment at one of the region’s largest employers – Tata.
For Swansea, the development of the Science and Innovation Campus has been considered a priority project under the Swansea 2020 Economic Regeneration Strategy since it first emerged. As well as being a specific focus for the strategy, the development will also help deliver other priority projects under the Swansea 2020 banner, namely, the Beyond Bricks & Mortar programme which looks at local benefit from physical developments, Workways – which operates across the region and is focused on helping the long term unemployed and economically inactive, and the development of an Innovation Zone, based on the strengths of the city’s universities, which is seen as a key route for increasing private sector activity, creating high quality jobs and generating wealth both locally and regionally.
16. What do you mean by ‘building a sustainable Knowledge Economy’?
Swansea University’s Knowledge Economy Strategy involves the University becoming more proactive in supporting economic development in the region. Specifically, the Strategy involves the University building upon its substantial track record of working with large companies to help drive the creation and growth of high-technology clusters in the region.
Swansea University will be developing three high-tech clusters as part of its expansion strategy including Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing, Digital Economy and Health and Biosciences. These are estimated to make up 75% of industrial Research and Development in the UK.
17. A 21st Century vision for HE provision sounds great, but haven’t we heard this all before?
Swansea University’s vision for the Science and Innovation Campus is different because the design offers a new perspective, focussing on a design which promotes the active integration of business research and development, academic research, teaching and learning on a single site.
The open innovation model progresses the traditional Science Park model by removing the geographical barriers to collaboration by co-locating industry and academia not only on the same site but in the same buildings.
• A new, flexible way for industry to work with academia;
• World-class education, innovation and knowledge-transfer providing right-fit skills to help drive the modern knowledge economy;
• Increased numbers of multi-national companies within the region such as Rolls Royce;
• High-technology clusters (ICT, Medicine, Engineering);
• Sustainable wealth creation; and
• An excellent quality of life and environment in the Swansea Bay area and South West Wales.
18. How long do you expect construction to last?
This is a long term project. The initial construction is expected to last around 30 months with Phase 1 being completed by September 2015
19. What are you doing to minimise disruption during construction?
A Construction Management Plan has been produced for the proposed development to outline construction, mitigation and management measures.
20. What will you do to ensure the development is sustainable?
The proposed development has been assessed against a number of sustainability criteria and expects to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of 11.2% above the building regulations compliant target emission rate.
The proposed the Science and Innovation Campus will:
• re-use a previous Brownfield site;
• favour practical environmentally conscious design including good daylight, natural ventilation and acoustics;
• use sustainable, energy efficient building techniques and renewable energy technology,
• provide a sustainable drainage system (SUDS); and
• achieve a minimum of BREEAM ‘Very good’, rising to BREEAM ’Excellent’ where possible throughout the development.