Generations of Swansea families who helped the area become an industrial powerhouse are to be recognised in the name of a vibrant new city centre district.

Copr Bay Phase One under construction.


How the parkland café-restaurant in Copr Bay will look.

Its name will reflect their Welsh heritage and the thriving industry in which hundreds of thousands of people played a key role.

The district will be known as Copr Bay, using the Welsh word for copper, an industry which saw Swansea help drive the Industrial Revolution.

It will provide entertainment, work and homes for today’s residents and future generations.

Copr Bay Phase One, complete with 3,500-capacity indoor arena, parkland, homes, commercial units, parking and a landmark bridge, has so far had the working title Swansea Central. It is being delivered by Swansea Council.

Its new place brand and logo designed by Mumbles-based Kneath Associates were unveiled today.

A second phase of the project will follow, with more homes, work spaces and commercial opportunities.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “Copr Bay links our city’s past to its future – as the scheme itself links our city centre to the sea.

“This area’s Welsh and industrial heritage is important to local people and we wanted to recognise this in the naming of the scheme.

The Copr Bay logo.

“Both have helped shape the city – and Copr Bay will be a catalyst for our future.

“The name also reflects many architectural touches throughout the district, such as the colour of the bridge and other key structures.”

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “We thank the graphic designers at Kneath Associates.

“Their logo, which will appear around the new district and in marketing materials, brings together the name, our vast city beach and Copr Bay’s landmark bridge that will span Oystermouth Road from next year.”

The team working on the regeneration project along with Swansea-born Marc Rees, the artist who helped design the bridge with architects ACME, were among those who helped devise the branding and graphics.

To help develop the name, a number of local community representatives were invited to take part in a focus group. They ranged from artists to employees at local attractions such as Swansea Museum. Swansea BID (Business Improvement District) was involved along with councillors, council officers and the project team including development manager RivingtonHark.

Swansea copperworkers who helped drive the Industrial Revolution. Image Credit: Swansea Museum

The Lower Swansea Valley played a key role in Britain’s Industrial Revolution during the 18th and 19th centuries. By the mid-1800s there were 11 major copperworks near the River Tawe, producing around half the world’s output of smelted copper.

Such was the importance of this industry that Swansea became known by the nickname Copperopolis.

That industry is now gone and largely replaced by modern development – and now the city centre is undergoing a £1bn regeneration, with hundreds of millions of pounds being invested by private and public sectors.

Copr Bay is a major part of that. Funders include the Council, the Welsh Government and the Swansea Bay City Deal which is a £1.3bn investment programme by the public and private sectors.

Copr Bay Phase One is due to open in the second half of next year.