New hotel in Swansea city centre is likely to be eight storeys

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A new hotel by Swansea’s indoor arena is likely to be eight storeys, but has been shifted after concerns from nearby residents.

It will sit across from the arena, with both buildings facing onto a podium area.

Huw Mowbray, the council’s property development manager, told a scrutiny panel that its footprint had been moved from the marina side of the development site to close to Oystermouth Road.

The planned four-star hotel will have around 150 rooms – and Mr Mowbray said he expected it to compete with the nearby Swansea Marriott and put pressure on it to refurbish.

He said: “I would suggest that they have not been spending money on the property as they probably should have to keep it up to Marriott brand standard.”

Mr Mowbray said the preferred bidder for the hotel, Cairn Group, would need a grant to help finance its construction and was in discussions with Welsh Government tourism body Visit Wales for this reason.

“The company itself is putting in multi-millions into the build,” he said.

But four-star hotels were just not deliverable at the moment, he said, without a grant.

Cairn Group owns many hotels and hotel brand names.

Mr Mowbray said it had been “suffering” like other hospitality business during Covid-19 but that it was a “very robust company”.

Swansea Council is leading on the delivery of the arena and new multi-storey car park, flats and commercial units across Oystermouth Road.

But councils are not allowed to build hotels.

Mr Mowbray said the authority had five “very good bids” from hotel developers.

He said: “I think we are comfortable with the Cairn Group.

“It’s just (about) the affordability of the best hotel we can get for Swansea.”

Mr Mowbray said work on the indoor arena was progressing well, despite the challenges presented by coronavirus restrictions, although the 82-week build programme was four to six weeks behind schedule.

The arena is expected to open in phases from next summer.

Referring to the Covid-19 situation, Mr Mowbray said: “I think the timing for our arena is absolutely spot on.”

Sections of the new bridge which will span Oystermouth Road and link the arena and multi-storey car park, commercial units and flats have arrived in Swansea.

The hotel would be built later, if it receives the necessary top-up funding and planning permission.

Council leader councillor Rob Stewart said he and colleagues had had “exploratory discussions” with the Welsh Government about a potential grant for the new hotel.

“We remain confident that there will be grants available from the Welsh Government,” he said.



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