Heritage Christmas event set to provide a boost for Morriston

Heritage Christmas event set to provide a boost for Morriston

The people of an historic Swansea area are to take a big step forward this weekend – by taking a colourful step back.

Morriston Tabernacle – a Victorian gem at the heart of the community

Residents and businesses of Morriston are being encouraged to take part in a Victorian-themed Christmas event.

Shops are being invited to dress their windows in period style, entertainment is planned for Woodfield Street, the main shopping street – and residents will be asked to shop locally.

Business staff are being urged to dress like the Victorians – anything from the landed gentry to miners and copper workers.

The Christmas event – this Saturday, November 27 – is being organised by Swansea Council which already has a regeneration project focused on the celebrated Victorian landmark Morriston Tabernacle.

Peter Taunton – a town crier set to appear at Morriston Victorian Day

Those playing part in the fun will include Peter Taunton – a town crier, Ceri Phillips – a storyteller, Susan – a vintage barrel organ, and Pontarddulais Town Band.

Other attractions will include a circus skills workshop hosted by Swansea-based Circus Eruption, an appearance by the Mari Lwyd figure – and 11am and 3pm screenings of Morriston Tabernacle short film Towards the Light at the chapel.

Susan the barrel organ – set to appear at Morriston Victorian Day

Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: “Morriston has great heritage and we all want it to have a great future.

“The Victorian Christmas event – the day after Morriston’s annual Christmas lights switch-on and parade – will help focus attention on shopping locally. It will bring more people to town – and more business.

“We hope that local businesses, groups and individuals will throw their support behind the initiative. It should be a fun and colourful day!”

Pontarddulais Town Band – set to appear at Morriston Victorian Day

Fliers have been distributed to shops on Woodfield Street – and businesses are being encouraged to run special offers on the day.

The plans include food and drink stalls, children’s entertainment, music and heritage exhibitions.

Roads will remain open as activities and performances take place. The Glantawe Lions will sponsor a competition for the best shop window displays.

Funding for the event is from the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Town Centre Business Fund.

Morriston Victorian Day 10am-6pm, Saturday November 27

Ceri Phillips – a storyteller set to appear at Morriston Victorian Day

Swansea Council

Road rainbows will add colour to city’s inclusive Wind Street

Road rainbows will add colour to city’s inclusive Wind Street

Three eye-catching road rainbows will add colour and further vibrancy to Wind Street, Swansea’s emerging new all-day destination.

Wind Street’s first road rainbow

The multi-coloured designs will span a newly-laid road being installed as part of the street’s Swansea Council-driven regeneration.

One has already been installed – two more will follow.

The 20mph one-way road – which will be accessible only to business traffic (and only then from 7-11am every day) – will also feature three informal pedestrian crossings complete with tactile kerbsides for those with a disability.

Wind Street’s first road rainbow

Elliott King, the council’s LGBTQ+ champion, said: “Swansea is a welcoming and diverse city. Wind Street will further add to its appeal – and our colourful areas of rainbow road will strengthen this message.

“They will reflect the positive messages associated with designs used by those celebrating LGBTQ+ life.”

Wind Street’s first road rainbow

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “Businesses are eager for the ‘new’ Wind Street to open; we’ve already been working with them to make it a welcoming day-time destination with restaurants opening out onto the street for families and visitors.

“The main work is on track to be practically completed by the end of this month so that the Christmas season should be a good one for Wind Street businesses.

“Our rainbow-coloured artworks will celebrate and promote Swansea’s diversity. Wind Street will be an inclusive environment; we want everybody to be free to enjoy it with friends and family without fear of intimidation, intolerance or hatred.”

Wind Street’s first road rainbow

Wind Street will play a key role in the city centre’s wider £1bn regeneration story.

Work on the street’s £3m upgrade began early this year after businesses and residents had given their views on the area’s future. Council engagement with local groups, traders and residents continues.

The street will be at one level so that is disability- and pedestrian-friendly.

The upgrade will help bring new enjoyment for the public and more business for those trading there.

Currently at the heart of the city’s night-time economy, Wind Street will become an all-day destination with more opportunities for family fun, eating and meeting for coffee.

Restaurants, bars and cafes have already started offering opportunities to meet and socialise on outside areas as well as inside.

Lighting is being improved, there will be new trees and planted areas, more places to sit and relax, and more natural light allowed into the street so people can better enjoy this conservation area’s special buildings. Biodiversity will be improved.

Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: “The ultimate aim is a welcoming, safe and enjoyable family destination for visitors and businesses while also recognising the needs and wishes of residents of all abilities.

“There’ll be more emphasis on pedestrian priority, more footway space all at one level, new public lighting and street furniture and more seated areas to create a more family-friendly environment.”

Wind Street regeneration www.swansea.gov.uk/windstreet


Swansea Council


UWTSD re launches their #Whereisyourmate campaign

UWTSD re launches their #Whereisyourmate campaign

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is proud to relaunch their #WhereisyourMate campaign, which aims to reduce the numbers of young people finding themselves in a vulnerable position on a night out in Swansea.

UWTSD Academic Director Bronwen Williams set up the campaign to encourage students to look out for each other when out and about in the city. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and to encourage the students and young people of Swansea to have a buddy system so that they go home with the people that they came out with, and also encourage them to have a specific meeting point if somebody goes missing and to keep a friend’s contact number on paper just in case their mobile phone runs out of charge.

The campaign is also supported by Swansea University and transport company First Cymru.

Bronwen Williams said: “We want people to feel confident and safe in the night-time economy of Swansea, and all agencies involved in the delivery of this are working hard to make sure that anyone coming into the city at night is safe and can enjoy everything that the city has to offer.”

Bronwen added: “ one of the reasons that the university set up this campaign was because it had been noticed that from 10 pm until 4 am a number of young people who are intoxicated find themselves on their own, as they get separated from friends and as a result are often vulnerable. Therefore it is also important to raise the profile of the Swansea Help Point.”

The Swansea Help Point was set up by the Police and Crime Commissioner in 2014 with Home Office Innovation funding as an initiative to reduce the strain on emergency services in the night-time economy. The Help Point runs on Wednesday and Saturday evenings at Wind Street, Swansea between 10 pm and 4 am, looking after injured, intoxicated and vulnerable people. So far it has helped over 5,000 people. The Help Point is a multi-agency initiative with South Wales Police, St John’s Ambulance, UWTSD, Welsh Ambulance Trust and ABMU Health Board working together and based in the Strand behind Wind Street. When the Help Point is open, a Nurse, Paramedic, Rapid Responder, a Police Officer, St Johns first aiders and student police volunteers, from the universities in Swansea, all operate the scheme.

Quite often, the individuals attending the Help point are students that aren’t local, therefore calling a family member to come and collect them is impossible. The Help Point won’t release the individuals until they are able to look after themselves, or if a friend can collect them.

“This campaign is about getting young people to look out for each other while out and to make sure that no one goes home alone. The messages are clear, a night out in Swansea is safe, there are people there to help you, and if you are with your mates remember ‘if you go out together, come home together’. Think #Whereisyourmate.”

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

First Look at Spectacular New Hotel Revealed

First Look at Spectacular New Hotel Revealed

New computer-generated images have been unveiled giving the first look inside a new 100-bedroom hotel being built as part of the Milford Waterfront development in Milford Haven.

View from the Restaurant at the new Tŷ Hotel at
Milford Waterfront, Pembrokeshire

Set to launch in Spring 2022, the new hotel will be managed and operated by the team responsible for the iconic Celtic Manor Resort. This exciting destination is the latest addition to the expanding portfolio in The Celtic Collection and the Tŷ Hotels family, in partnership with the Port of Milford Haven.

The CGIs released today show the spectacular views that will be enjoyed right on the water’s edge by guests at the hotel’s brasserie restaurant and bar. Other images reveal the fresh contemporary design of the bedrooms, again showing off the views over Milford Marina that will be such a feature of the new destination.

The Celtic Manor Resort made global headlines when it staged the 2010 Ryder Cup and the 2014 NATO Summit, and The Celtic Collection will be bringing its knowledge and expertise to operating the new hotel.

The 46,000 sq ft property will be located at the entrance to Milford Waterfront on the Pembrokeshire Coast and will provide a perfect base to stay and explore the area. It will feature four floors of bedroom accommodation and benefit from picture-postcard views across Milford Marina.

With a wide range of rooms available, including family rooms, the hotel will be suitable for all types of business and leisure travellers, and provide the perfect base to explore the stunning West Wales coastline. The largest rooms will feature waterfront views, balconies, and a seating area.

The restaurant will offer wide ranging views across the waterfront and will feature a brasserie menu with crowd-pleasing dishes using the very best of local Pembrokeshire produce, from the land and the sea.

Construction work commenced in January 2021 and has been ongoing throughout the year, with the hotel expected to be completed in time for opening in the Spring of 2022.

Superior Family Room with marina view and balcony

The Tŷ Hotel will provide a significant draw for new tourists to Milford Haven and Pembrokeshire, as part of a major redevelopment of the waterfront. Around 50 permanent jobs will be created in the hotel’s operations, with many more supported in the supply chain.

Chief Executive at the Port of Milford Haven, Andy Jones, said:

“This is a brilliant step towards the opening of this substantial investment in Milford Haven. We are proud to be working to deliver this quality hotel with The Celtic Collection, who share our vision for Milford Waterfront as a unique and exciting place to visit, stay and enjoy.”

The Celtic Collection Chief Executive Ian Edwards said:

“We are incredibly excited to launch in Pembrokeshire, in partnership with the Port of Milford Haven. Milford Haven is the ideal home for our latest Tŷ Hotel. The area is world-renowned thanks to its spectacular coastline and landscape, and its welcoming people.

“We’re particularly looking forward to working with local suppliers and the community to bring more visitors and a welcome boost to the local economy.”

Standard King Room with marina view

For more information visit www.celtic-manor.com/hotels-lodges/ty-hotel

IRONMAN announces Swansea as new host city for IRONMAN 70.3 TRIATHLON

IRONMAN announces Swansea as new host city for IRONMAN 70.3 TRIATHLON

Inaugural edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea race to take place on August 7, 2022 with general registration opening on November 16, 2021 at www.ironman.com/im703-swansea

IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea joins series of events that will celebrate para sport in the UK

Qualifying slots available for the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Lahti, Finland

Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire 2019

IRONMAN has announced that it will add a brand-new event to its 2022 global race calendar with the IRONMAN® 70.3® Swansea triathlon in Wales. The inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea triathlon will take place on Sunday, August 7, 2022 with general registration opening on November 16, 2021 at 2pm GMT.

Athletes and spectators can expect a fantastic route in a race destination offering scenic beauty with the historic dockside, Gower Peninsula and the rolling green hills, pastures and rich agriculture of Rural Swansea. Athletes and their family and friends can also enjoy the views along the sweeping waterfront of Swansea Bay, Mumbles, and the beautiful Gower Peninsula.

“We are really excited about the addition of an IRONMAN 70.3 race in Swansea as our athletes have been eagerly anticipating the establishment of such an event in Wales for some time. Swansea was an obvious choice with its outstanding natural beauty and a thriving tourist destination, catering to both internationals and locals alike,” said Declan Byrne, Regional Director of the UK and Ireland for The IRONMAN Group. “Our hope is that IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea has the same positive impact on the region as IRONMAN Wales has had on Pembrokeshire.”

The success of IRONMAN Wales is significant as the event has been a huge catalyst for the growth of triathlon in the region. The event led to a significant growth in fitness and tourism in Pembrokeshire, including a major increase in triathlon clubs. The Welsh government noted this impact and worked with Swansea Council and The IRONMAN Group to bring the IRONMAN 70.3 event to Swansea.

Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire 2019

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said, “I’m delighted that the Welsh Government has been able to support IRONMAN 70.3 and that Swansea has been announced as one of the new events in Europe. Wales has a long relationship with IRONMAN, with the success of IRONMAN Wales being a catalyst for the growth of the sport in the area. This event will further raise Wales’ profile as an events host and provide an economic boost to the region. I am also pleased with the collaborative work that is taking place with British Triathlon and Disability Sport Wales and in relation to other events that are happening at the same time in Swansea.”

The IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea event on Sunday, August 7, is part of a series of events that will celebrate para sport in the UK. A World Triathlon Para Series event will be held in Swansea the day before on Saturday, August 6, utilising some of the same courses that IRONMAN athletes will experience. A wider para sports festival will be held in Swansea throughout the week of the August 1, with several para sports events taking place at various locations around the city. Further details on the World Triathlon Para Series event is available from the British Triathlon Federation and on the Para Sport Festival from Disability Sport Wales.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said, “Competitors, friends and supporters will be assured of a warm welcome in Swansea. It will be the perfect match of a sport that’s booming and a city that’s going places thanks to its people, culture, location and its £1bn city centre regeneration.”

Ironman action

Athletes participating in IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea will take on a 1.2-mile (1.9km) swim at the Prince of Wales Dock before cycling a one-loop 56-mile (90km) bike course. Athletes will cycle through the Mumbles along roads that hug the Gower’s coastal clifftops before cycling out cycling out through Rural Swansea and heading back along Swansea Bay into the city. From here, they will return to Swansea as they prepare for transition in the Maritime Quarter beside the Rive Tawe. Lastly, athletes will take on a 13.1-mile (21.1km) two loop run course which takes them from the city centre , out past the new eye-catching gold-coloured Swansea Arena, towards Mumbles before heading back towards the finish line at the Marina.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration, and tourism, added: “IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea adds to the city’s growing portfolio of high-quality events, including the annual Wales Airshow, Singleton Park concerts, and the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k. It’ll draw thousands of spectators, many Welsh athletes among those coming from many other places, and it will bring a welcome uplift for our fantastic tourism and hospitality sectors. The IRONMAN 70.3 event will help make that weekend a very special one for Swansea sport, with Britain’s first-ever standalone World Triathlon Para Series event taking place here on Saturday, August 6.”

IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea will be an age-group race and will offer qualifying slots to the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship taking place in Lahti, Finland on August 26 – 27, 2023.

For more information on IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea, please visit www.ironman.com/im703-swansea. Media inquiries can be directed to sarah.malone@ironman.com.

Swansea event logo

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com.

Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro: what you need to know

Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro: what you need to know

Plans are afoot to revolutionise our region’s bus and rail network. We caught up with Transport for Wales Strategic Development Programme Manager Ben George to find out what’s in store.

Imagine a future in which the South West Wales rail network is integrated with bus routes, ticketing and timetables, making it possible to seamlessly switch between train and bus to get to your destination. On top of that, picture an enhanced rail network with new stations serving Swansea’s outlying communities and a significantly increased number of trains stopping at stations every hour.

This is the vision for the Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro – a project that is already making headway and will deliver visible results within the coming year. It’s an extension of the much-publicised South Wales Metro, which is being developed for Cardiff and its surrounding communities.

The South Wales Metro will benefit our network by cutting the travel time for trains arriving here from places such as Bristol and London; the Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro will build on this advantage, easing travel across the whole of the South West Wales region.

Ben George, our region’s Transport for Wales Strategic Development Programme Manager, expects the improved bus and train network to have multiple benefits, including linking up communities, reducing road congestion and cutting carbon emissions.

“We’re making frequency and line speed enhancements on the South Wales Main Line, and we’re testing the business case for utilising the Swansea District line, which is really only used for freight at the moment, to enable some trains to get to West Wales quickly,” he says.

“We’re also looking at the business case for getting more trains west to stations such as Fishguard and Pembroke Dock, and we’re examining how to get more trains to people on lesser travelled lines including the Heart of Wales line, which goes up from Ammanford to Shrewsbury.”

On top of this, TFW is reviewing the whole travel experience – for example, examining how people get from a train station to the nearest bus stop.

“TFW is looking at integrated ticketing and aligning timetables so that when you get off your train the bus is really waiting for you,” says Ben. “These are quite complex endeavours, but if you’re going to really make a crack at this and expect people to use this service as a convenient part of daily life, those are the sorts of things that we need to be addressing.”

In the Swansea Bay Area, new stations and new services are set to massively improve rail connectivity.

“There are some really big urban or suburban areas on the line that currently don’t have stations – and so we’re a fair way through examining the business case to establish new stations along that line,” says Ben.

The sites of the possible new stations are Cockett, Landore, Winch Wen, Llandarcy, Morriston, Felindre and Penllergaer. While it’s unlikely that all of these will become a reality, it will certainly become possible to travel by rail between communities that currently have no rail service.

For pre-existing stations, TFW is planning to increase services with an additional two trains per hour, and in some cases possibly three.

The First Minister recently announced another key component of the Metro: the plan to introduce hydrogen buses as a pilot scheme in Swansea Bay and Pembrokeshire. Hydrogen buses may not be the only clean solution to road travel in the region. Plans are already underway to introduce electric bus services running to Carmarthen on TrawsCymru, Wales’ long distance bus network; and in Pembrokeshire and Swansea Bay, TFW is looking to work in partnership with local government to improve journey speed and the reliability of the service.

“This can include putting in bus lanes and advance signals – whatever it takes to get that bus down the road more quickly and reliably,” says Ben. “We’re also in the very early stages of establishing what work needs to be done to introduce hydrogen bus operations in Swansea Bay and Pembrokeshire. We’re doing that to not just to benefit those areas, but to learn lessons for the whole of Wales.

“The Welsh Government has set targets to decarbonise the entirety of Wales’ public transport fleet, getting rid of all our diesel buses and replacing them with something cleaner by the end of the current decade. Hydrogen won’t be the absolute answer in every circumstance, and it’s not well understood in terms of its market dynamics at the moment – so we’re looking to start doing that in Swansea Bay and Pembrokeshire and discover what it takes to run hydrogen buses at scale, in terms of not just purchasing the vehicles and running them, but also how to get enough hydrogen to run a significant bus fleet on a day to day basis.”

Over the next few years, expect to see an improvement to the main major bus corridors in those areas, and then for the buses that run on them to be significantly cleaner than the buses of today.

“The lessons learned will be implemented across Wales, with probably a mix of electric and hydrogen buses, depending on the particular topography and service patterns of each urban centre,” says Ben.

From December this year, the rail frequencies in the region will start to increase, and these will increase again next May. By the end of 2022, TFW expects to have exceeded pre COVID levels of rail service in the region.

“What is less clear at the minute is a firm commitment from Welsh Government and UK Government for the Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro project – and that’s partly because we’re still working through that business case,” says Ben. “Over the next few months, we will be able to articulate that better.”

He adds that the Welsh Government is looking to implement the decarbonisation of Wales’ bus services in a way that benefits the Welsh economy.

“They don’t want to outsource all of that economic investment to other European or world countries, so the deputy minister and his officers are looking at how to retain as much of that investment within the Welsh economy as possible,” says Ben.

“In terms of impact on the average person on the street, there are a currently lot of communities that are centered around railway stations, particularly in the smaller suburbs, that barely realise their railway stations are there. We need to change that perception of the level of service that’s available – and if we can really crack the nut on integrating bus and rail timetables and introduce integrated ticketing, that will make more of an impact than any single railway station or service that we can install. The public needs to see some tangible outcomes from this, and we’re working hard to deliver them.”