South West Wales

Swansea St David's Shopping Centre clearance begins

St David's Shopping Centre
Image caption When it opened in 1982 the shopping centre included an indoor market hall but now most of the units are empty.

Work to pull down a derelict Swansea city centre shopping centre has got under way.

St David's Shopping Centre and Oldway House will be pulled down to make way for a new retail development.

The sites were built in the 1980s and house mostly empty units, and were bought by Swansea council and Welsh government for an undisclosed amount.

The council said the site will be used as a 160-space car park when flattened until economic conditions improve.

Tenants such as Iceland and Crane's Music Instruments will not be affected.

It said in the long term it would work with its development partner Hammerson to include the site - which is next to the Quadrant Shopping Centre and opposite St Mary's Church - in its city centre retail strategy.

Regeneration Minister Huw Lewis said the site was a prime location to be redeveloped.

"In the meantime, car parking is a practical and much-needed, short-term solution for the city centre and it is very pleasing that Welsh government funding has contributed to the first steps of redevelopment."

Nick Bradley, Swansea council's cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Their purchase and demolition in partnership with the Welsh government means they'll no longer be an obstacle in the way of a retail-led scheme that will vastly improve Swansea city centre in the long term."

Demolition means some footways in the area will be closed throughout the works but diversionary routes for pedestrians will be in place.

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