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Major expansion of Swansea’s Grand Hotel gets the green light

20 Dec 2022 3 minute read
Artist’s impression of how the expanded Grand Hotel in Swansea will look. Photo courtesy of the Grand Hotel

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

A major expansion of Swansea’s Grand Hotel will get under way next year.

A four-storey rear extension will add 42 rooms to the current 53, and there will be an expanded rooftop bar area on the fifth floor with conference rooms, a new gym for guests, a new residents’ lounge and a reconfigured banquet room.

The actual roof of the rooftop area will be sown with greenery, while a ‘living’ wall featuring more plants will be added to the High Street-facing side of the hotel.

The scheme was unanimously approved by Swansea Council’s planning committee after councillors had asked where the works’ compound would be, and whether an archaeological brief – given the site’s proximity to an old burial ground – would be submitted before the project began.

Hotel owner and managing director Michelle Thomas said after the meeting that getting the go-ahead was a dream come true.

“We thought it was a lost project when the pandemic hit in 2020, but we have rebuilt as an organisation quickly, learnt new things about the industry along the way and have an amazing team who are going to deliver something special for Swansea,” she said.

“This is going to be a local project using local trade and we hope to have real support from the Swansea community. We really have developed so much over the years but this will be a new playing field for us.”

She added: “Swansea needs better for a developing High Street and a better quality accommodation overall and we plan to deliver on that.”

Four-star rating

Work is expected to start next spring or summer and take 18-24 months to complete, and result in a four-star hotel rating – one higher than currently.

The project is the latest in a series of investments in the High Street area after a lengthy period of decline.

Diagonally opposite the Grand Hotel is new accommodation for hundreds of students – one of three purpose-built student blocks built or under way in the vicinity – while further up High Street, past the railway station, Swansea Council is transforming the derelict Palace Theatre into new office space.

Council planning officers had recommended the Grand Hotel’s expansion plans for approval.

Their report to the committee said: “The proposed development is considered to contribute towards the revitalisation and regeneration of the retail centre by supporting the retail and leisure offer, and help provide a wider range and choice of visitor attractions and facilities.”

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