'Milestone' for new Swansea University campus
Swansea University says the development of its new multimillion-pound science and innovation campus has reached an "important milestone".
Its governing body has agreed the university can now move into the final stages of procurement with developers.
If talks are successful and detailed planning consent is granted, work could start early next year.
The new campus and student residences on the city's gateway could be open by autumn 2015.
The £200 million first phase, off Fabian Way, will involve:
- 380,000 sq ft of campus space for academic departments
- Accommodation for 2,000 students
- 35,000 sq ft of retail space
The university says the proposed campus off Fabian Way would play a crucial role in building Wales' knowledge economy, establishing the region as a "vibrant location for high technology".
Oil giant BP is backing the scheme and it will receive £15m in Welsh government funding.
The university estimates the campus would contribute more than £3bn to the regional economy over the next 10 years and create thousands of jobs.
Plans include a research and testing facility operated in partnership with Rolls-Royce.
There will also be new teaching and research facilities for the university's engineering, business and economics, maths, and computer science departments as well as student residential accommodation.
Outline planning permission was granted last year.
Prof Richard B. Davies, the university's vice chancellor, said the decision to move into the final stages of procurement with St Modwen, which is a regeneration specialist, and its construction partner Vinci was a " significant step" for an "ambitious project".
"The proposed development would enable the university to break out of its space constraints, allowing room for us to accelerate our growth strategy, capitalising on our research and development expertise and long-standing partnerships with major multi-national companies," he said.
"The project also includes major redevelopment of our existing campus.
"The two campuses will become a catalyst for the growth of high-tech clusters for the digital economy, life sciences, and advanced engineering, making a major contribution to the economic regeneration of the region and beyond."