As the curtain falls on 2023, Swansea prepares to embrace a dynamic and eventful 2024, marked by ambitious projects, eagerly awaited openings, and star-studded performances. From multimillion-pound developments to the resurfacing of key roads and the launch of novel festivals, the coming year promises a diverse array of exciting prospects.
- Completion of Landmark Developments: One of the most awaited projects is the finalization of the £32.6 million office development at 71/72 The Kingsway in Swansea city centre. This multi-million-pound development is expected to significantly alter the city’s skyline, providing workspace for 600 employees and making a substantial economic contribution to Swansea. With innovative public spaces, including retail units and an events hall, it aims to establish itself as a landmark office building for Wales. Additionally, the completion of a new “biophilic” residential and educational building on the former Woolworths shop site, featuring eco-friendly elements like living walls and solar panels, is on the horizon, introducing a touch of sustainability to the city. Meanwhile, the opening of ‘Y Storfa,’ Swansea’s new community hub, is scheduled for the second half of 2024, housing the primary public library, West Glamorgan Archive Service, and various council and public services.
- Revamping Castle Square: Excitement also surrounds plans to revitalize Swansea’s Castle Square, with a vision for a more verdant appearance incorporating additional trees, lawns, and greenery. The introduction of two new food, drink, or retail units is expected to enhance the overall allure of this iconic square.
- Diverse Culinary Experiences: Despite delays affecting businesses at Cupid Way, Swansea’s culinary scene has much to offer. Anticipated openings include a dessert cafe, a Korean fried chicken restaurant, and several other eateries, promising a diverse range of culinary experiences. ‘Grandad Needs His Medicine,’ initially slated to open in the autumn, is now set to serve substantial burgers and coffee in 2024. Additionally, the eagerly awaited opening of ‘Bella,’ a cocktail and karaoke bar on Swansea’s Wind Street, is on the horizon. Renowned chef Jonathan Woolway, with 16 years of experience in one of London’s premier restaurants, is poised to contribute to Swansea’s food scene with the establishment of ‘The Shed’ in SA1, aiming to nurture local talent and elevate the city’s culinary offerings.
- Spectacular Performances: Following a hiatus in live performances due to the pandemic, 2023 witnessed the revival of concerts, and 2024 promises even more entertainment. Chart-toppers like Taylor Swift, P!nk, Avril Lavigne, Manic Street Preachers, and Billy Joel are set to captivate Cardiff, while Swansea prepares for acts including Status Quo, Take That, James Arthur, and Paloma Faith. Adding to Swansea’s cultural calendar is the inaugural “Tunes in the Bay” festival, scheduled to debut on Swansea beach in early May. Additionally, the return of Wales’ largest music festival, In It Together Festival, features headline acts like Rag ‘n Bone Man, Sugababes, and Dizzee Rascal.
- Infrastructure Upgrades: Swansea Council remains committed to enhancing the city’s infrastructure, with five major highways resurfacing schemes planned for early 2024. These include the gyratory at Junction 47 of the M4, Pentrepoeth Road in Morriston, Gorwydd Road in Gowerton, Ysgubor Fach Road in Waun Wen, and St Peter’s Road in Newton. The council’s ongoing investment in the road network, with over £3 million approved in early 2023 and an additional £2 million in June, reflects a dedication to maintaining and enhancing transportation routes.
- Enhanced Bus Services: Bus operator First Cymru recently announced changes to its network in 2024 aimed at improving service reliability. With additional buses introduced as part of the alterations, improvements include better late-night buses to Swansea Railway Station and True Student accommodation, changes to park and ride services, and a new city centre service during peak times in the mornings and afternoons. These changes respond to funding adjustments from the Welsh Government, highlighting efforts to adapt and enhance public transportation services.
As Swansea embraces the challenges and opportunities that 2024 brings, the city is poised for growth, cultural enrichment, and economic development. From landmark developments to culinary delights and electrifying performances, Swansea’s future is shaping up to be vibrant and full of promise. As we bid farewell to 2023, the anticipation for the year ahead is palpable, and Swansea residents can look forward to a year filled with excitement and positive transformations.