Buckingham Group Contracting has been appointed as the principal contractor for a £120m (€137m/$155m) transformation project in Swansea that will deliver a 3,500-capacity ‘digital indoor arena’ to the Welsh city.

Buckingham has signed a pre-construction services agreement for the Swansea Central Phase One project, which will also result in the construction of a new coastal park, digital plaza, landmark pedestrian bridge, new car parking and new homes and premises for retail, food and drink.

Swansea Council gave the project the green light back in October and Buckingham will now carry out six months’ worth of pre-construction services, including detailed design, costings and essential preparatory work on the city-centre site.

The project has been slated to start in late summer, with a completion date set for 2021. The car park next to the LC leisure centre will eventually be the site for the arena and a new two-storey car park with rooftop coastal parkland.

Rob Stewart, leader of Swansea Council, said: “Buckingham Group Contracting has an outstanding record in successfully delivering major high-profile schemes. Having a company of this calibre working in collaboration with us is another statement of intent; this will be a world-class transformational scheme that will be a catalyst to making Swansea a great 21st century city.

“Swansea Central Phase One will bring a bright new modern focus to our city; it will mean new opportunities for local people, businesses and major investors. Other regeneration will follow.

“We have developed a strategy with Buckingham to offer packages of work to sub-contractors and trades, many of whom we hope will be local so the benefits of this significant investment will stay within the local economy.”

Kelvin Underwood, managing director of Buckingham, added: “Our experience of working on major projects means that we’re confident of delivering high-quality work over the next six months.

“We will be committed to delivering the highest standards that this initiative, the people of Swansea and the site’s neighbouring residents and businesses deserve.”

Buckingham designed and constructed the £34m Copper Box London 2012 Olympic Handball Arena and also worked on the design and build of Brighton’s Amex Stadium, as well as a £10m expansion of Cardiff City Stadium.

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