Future looking bright for iconic Swiss Cottage
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
One of Swansea’s iconic buildings is set to have new tenants after years of being marketed.
The fortunes of council-owned Swiss Cottage have waxed and waned – more of the latter in recent years – but its future looks altogether brighter.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said an agreement had been reached with a tenant.
In a written response to a question about the building from Conservative councillors Will Thomas and Lyndon Jones, Cllr Francis-Davies said it had been marketed to prospective tenants who were willing to invest considerable sums in it and operate a facility that would enhance Singleton Park and the adjacent Botanical Gardens.
“We are pleased to advise that agreement has been reached with an interested party and the matter is currently in solicitors’ hands,” said the Labour cabinet member’s response.
Previously, Swansea University had been in discussions with the council about projects which included grade two-listed Swiss Cottage, but nothing was taken forward.
Built in 1826, the cottage was designed by Peter Frederick Robinson – the man who also designed nearby Sketty Hall for the Vivian family in the early 19th Century.
Mr Robinson had visited Switzerland and been impressed by the timber-built houses with balconies and external stairs.
The council carried out external refurbishment at Swiss Cottage after it was badly damaged by arson in 2010. Four years later a new roof was installed, and windows, doors and stairs were replaced.
A year later it was put up for sale but there were no buyers.
Sketty councillor James McGettrick said he and his fellow Liberal Democrat ward members were very pleased about the latest development.
“We are delighted that the building can potentially be brought back into use from its current rather dilapidated state,” he said.
Cllr McGettrick said the devil might be in the detail, but that Sketty councillors looked forward to working with the new tenant to try to make the enterprise as beneficial as possible for all users of Singleton Park.
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