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Latest designs for multi-million pound sports and medical tech hub unveiled

13 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Image of a proposed new sports and medical technology hub, off Sketty Lane, Swansea. Image courtesy of Swansea University

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

New designs for a sports and medical technology hub have been unveiled ahead of an event where people can find out more about the project.

Swansea University wants the building, off Sketty Lane, to replace the existing pavilion overlooking the athletics track, which is 92 years old and no longer in the best condition.

Set over four floors the hub will comprise laboratories and research, innovation and teaching space. It is hoped that occupiers will include private companies and sporting bodies as well as academics and the health sector.

The idea is that products which boost sporting performance, rehabilitation and injury prevention – plus wearable technology benefiting public health more widely – will be developed there, creating new jobs.

The university is holding a drop-in session between 8am and 6.30pm on Thursday June 13 at the reception of the nearby Wales National Pool, where the public can learn more about the plans.

City deal

The Sketty Lane hub is one element of a campuses health project being delivered as part of the £1.26 billion city deal for the Swansea Bay City Region.

Swansea University’s Richard Lancaster, business development manager for the campuses project, said: “The development at Sketty Lane will provide substantial benefits to the region, including attracting and retaining leading industries, talent and investment, positioning the area as an international centre of excellence. We look forward to engaging with the public, sharing the exciting details of our plans, and hearing their feedback.”

The proposed building features ceramic and anodised cladding, solar panels, new greenery, and a balcony and ground floor terrace overlooking the athletics track and sports pitches beyond. One of those pitches has recently been converted to an all-weather surface, and there are wider plans to upgrade the sports park in the coming years.

Design Commission for Wales

The designs for the new hub, which would be close to the university’s Singleton Campus and Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Singleton Hospital, have been discussed with Design Commission for Wales.

The aim is for the building to be completed in the first quarter of 2026. The project has gone out to tender, and a planning application will be submitted to Swansea Council in due course.

The cost of the proposed hub isn’t clear yet, although a report going before the Swansea Bay City Region joint committee – the group overseeing the delivery of the nine constituent projects – has mentioned an estimate of £17.2 million.

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