Swansea Council has given the green light to a major development project that will see a 3,500-capacity ‘digital arena’ built in the Welsh city at a cost of around £120m (€135.5m/$155.5m).

The initiative, earmarked for Swansea city centre, will also include a coastal park, digital plaza, ‘gateway’ landmark pedestrian bridge, new homes and a number of retail, food and drink facilities.

Plans are also in place to build a “quality hotel” as part of the project, the council said.

A start date for construction has not yet been announced, but phase one of the project has won “overwhelming public support”, according to the council.

Swansea Council also said subject to approval, the initiative will be part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal. This investment in 11 major projects across South West Wales is being funded by the UK Government.

The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) will manage the new arena once built, while the council has appointed Rivington Land as development manager for phase one of the project.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “This is a big day for Swansea. Today’s final planning decision allows us to progress swiftly with one of our city’s biggest ever transformation projects.

“Our 3,500-capacity state-of-the-art arena will be the first such venue in the UK to be wrapped in a dynamic digital skin. It will be a unique draw for Swansea, will generate hundreds of new jobs and a significant annual boost to the local economy.

“It will help us attract more hotels, retailers, restaurants and other leisure offerings.”

Stewart also offered an insight into phase two of the development project, saying that the council is working to upgrade other areas of the city.

He said: “We are also working hard to bring to fruition an upgrade for Castle Gardens, to create a Swansea Central Phase Two project and to develop our Civic Centre site.

“More major investment announcements will follow in the coming months as we deliver more and illustrate why Swansea is such a great place to invest.”

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