Copr Bay boost for jobs and economy

14 June 2022

Construction of Swansea's new £135m Copr Bay destination has led to a major boost for local workers and businesses.

New figures show over 8,000 person weeks of employment, apprenticeships and trainee placements were secured throughout the build of the new district, which includes Swansea Arena.

Developed by Swansea Council and development managed by RivingtonHark, Copr Bay also includes the 1.1-acre coastal park, the new bridge over Oystermouth Road, new car parking, new apartments and new spaces for food and drink businesses.

Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd are main contractors for the scheme, with the arena being part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal.

The new figures also show a project 41.5% supply chain spend in the Swansea Bay City Region, with 64% of the spend staying in Wales.

This has led to the council’s beyond bricks and mortar team beating off competition from the rest of the country to win the social value category at the GO Awards Wales, which celebrate the very best procurement achievements from public, private and third sector organisations.

A Swansea Council regeneration and procurement policy, beyond bricks and mortar ensures community benefits are embedded in all major contracts. This includes ensuring local businesses benefit from supply chain opportunities and working to secure apprenticeship, training and employment places for the long-term unemployed and economically inactive.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Investment and Tourism, said: “Copr Bay has been an outstanding success since it first opened in March, with many thousands of local people and visitors to Swansea enjoying facilities including the arena, the new coastal park and the new bridge over Oystermouth Road.

“But as well as providing high-quality new facilities and generating new jobs in recent months, Copr Bay also made a significant impact on the local economy during its construction. This included thousands of weeks of work and placements for local people, along with a major spend on supply chain businesses in Swansea, the City Region and Wales.

“Our beyond bricks and mortar team are very deserving of recognition for these achievements. Not only did they exceed their project targets, but they also did so during a pandemic.”

Other work led by the beyond bricks and mortar team at Copr Bay included the organisation of site visits, work experience and graduate placements for local schools, colleges and universities.

The team represented Wales in the social value category at the UK-wide Go Awards and gained a Highly Commended accolade.