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New contractor appointed to finish £135 million Copr Bay project

31 May 2024 3 minute read
The unfinished multi-storey car park at Swanseas Copr Bay scheme. Photo by Richard Youle

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

A company has been appointed to finish the £135 million Copr Bay project in Swansea after the original contractor – Buckingham Group – went into administration.

Council chiefs have appointed Swansea building firm Andrew Scott Ltd to complete the multi-storey car park and commercial units on the city centre side of Oystermouth Road.

The council, which has led the Copr Bay development, had hoped the multi-storey car park would be completed this spring but the target now is the end of the year.

Andrew Scott Ltd’s involvement follows surveys of the car park by another company, Willmott Dixon, which had been appointed early last autumn following the collapse of Buckingham Group. Councillors had previously been told that paintwork which coated the steel was found to be defective and needed blasting off and reapplying.

Financial arrangements

The council said the work to be undertaken by Andrew Scott, which includes any remaining unfinished elements of Copr Bay as well as the car park, was not envisaged to lead to additional costs because of financial arrangements that had been put in place.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “The council acted quickly following Buckingham Group going into administration to protect our position and appoint Willmott Dixon to establish the scale and scope of the works needed on site to complete the Copr Bay development.

“We’d like to thank Willmott Dixon for their guidance and survey work, which will now inform the work that Andrew Scott Ltd will be carrying out.”

Wet winter

The council said it was Willmott Dixon which had recommended engaging a local contractor. It is believed the delayed completion timescale is due in part to the very wet winter and early spring. Opposition leader, Cllr Chris Holley, said: “It’s a shame it’s taking so long.”

Copr Bay comprises Swansea Arena and the adjacent park and car park underneath, plus the yellow pedestrian bridge across Oystermouth Road which leads to a new block of flats and the multi-storey car park and commercial units. The council said the arena has clocked more than 350,000 visits between its opening in March 2022 and the end of last year.

Soul singer Gladys Knight, rock bands Status Quo and The Cult, and comedian Katherine Ryan are among the acts performing there in the coming months.

Back across Oystermouth Road the council and another development partner – Urban Splash – are working on plans for a new public sector hub and “office quarter” where St David’s Shopping Centre once stood.

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