New wellness centre planned for Swansea
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
The seven-storey building would house a range of services, including two GP practices, dentistry, podiatry, sexual health and mental health. It would also feature a pharmacy, a district nursing hub, and offer homeless and asylum seeker support services.
Under the plans, which are being brought forward by Swansea Bay University Health Board and Coastal Housing, the current Elysium studios building in Orchard Street would be demolished to make way for it.
Sian Harrop-Griffiths, the health board’s director of strategy, said: “The Swansea Wellness Centre has been designed not only to provide a fantastic environment for users and staff, but to support wellbeing and ill-health prevention in the widest sense.
“It will pull together a range of health and wellbeing services under one roof, making it easier for people to access the care and support they need in a joined-up way.”
The new building would also improve the look and feel of Kings Street – the narrow lane between the Elysium studios and The Kings Arms Tavern pub. The area outside the entrance would be well lit and have CCTV coverage.
A pre-application consultation on the proposal ends on November 11, after which a planning application will be submitted to Swansea Council.
A design and access statement submitted in support of the proposal said there were high deprivation rates in the city centre and that the vision for the wellness centre was to be a focus for healthy living. If it gets the go-ahead in due course, the services within it would replace those currently provided in Orchard Street’s Central Clinic.
The fabric of Orchard Street and adjacent High Street has been upgraded in recent years. New student accommodation, office space and commercial units have sprung up, and a pre-application enquiry for a new block of flats on land close to the proposed wellness centre was lodged with the council in March.
Coastal Housing has been behind some of these upgrades, and said it had invested £30 million in the area.
Its chief executive, Debbie Green, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Swansea Bay University Health Board to bring this flagship healthcare development right into the heart of Swansea city centre.
“It demonstrates a more holistic approach to wellbeing and we’re confident will have huge benefits for the local community.”
A spokesman for Elyisum Gallery and Studios said it had use of the current building, which has 67 studio spaces, until 2024 and that it would look to relocate after that. The gallery side of the venture operates from a building on High Street and would not be affected by the wellness centre proposal.
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