Plans announced for innovative aquarium in Swansea
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
An interactive aquarium could be coming to Swansea, the leader of the council has said.
Rob Stewart said the proposal was to build it between the Civic Centre and Swansea Arena coastal park, potentially at a compound area beside the Civic Centre.
The aquarium would offer an immersive experience for visitors and be a wider educational resource. The concept is based on The Cube, Brisbane – a two-storey interactive attraction featuring nearly 50 touch screen displays.
Cllr Stewart, who is standing for re-election at next month’s council elections, said the aim was to include some live exhibits as well.
He has mentioned the aquarium proposal at a conference, and it features in Swansea Labour’s manifesto ahead of the election on May 5.
“We are already talking to partners about this fantastic new attraction and the go-ahead for a new aquarium would be another massive boost for our tourism economy, which is already worth nearly half a billion a year to our city and region,” he said.
“It will add to the city’s growing attractions and give even more reasons for people to visit and holiday here.”
Fellow cabinet member, Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, said: “The new aquarium attraction will combine live exhibits with digital interactive and immersive technology, which will a first for the UK. It will also be an important educational resource for children and students in Swansea.”
The aquarium proposal is linked to the wider redevelopment of the Civic Centre site. The council has appointed a commercial partner called Urban Splash to lead on this and six other development plots in the city.
The current thinking is that the Civic Centre – still used by council staff, although many are now in the Guildhall – would be “re-purposed” rather than knocked down. New homes could also take shape on the 23-acre site, along with a focus on leisure and hospitality uses.
It is hoped that the aquarium will be up and running by 2025.
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