Bulldozers to move in for demolition of city eyesore Oldway House
A SWANSEA city centre eyesore is coming down.
Scaffolding will go up around Oldway House in the next few days and a footpath to the south of the building will be closed while work is underway.
Pedestrians will be shown an alternative route.
Swansea Council and the Welsh Government bought the largely empty St David's and Oldway House sites earlier this year.
Demolition work at the St David's site is now complete and contractors have started their preparations for taking Oldway House down.
A car park will be built on the site in the short-term, pending a retail-led regeneration in the long-term when economic conditions improve. Work is expected to be complete in the spring.
Nick Bradley, Swansea Council's cabinet member for regeneration, said: "The nature of the demolition works at Oldway House means the footpath to the south of the building will soon be unsafe for pedestrians to use. This is why it's being closed off until the scheme is complete. We're making significant progress on site and will continue to keep people informed as the scheme moves even further forward in the build-up to Christmas.
"But it's very much business as usual for traders still operating on parts of the St David's site not affected by the demolition. I'd urge shoppers to bear them in mind when heading into the city centre over coming months and beyond."
The Welsh Government contributed grants towards the purchase and demolition of the sites through its regeneration area programme and the business, enterprise, technology and science department.
The demolition and car park works are one part of Swansea Council's city centre action plan aimed at improving the city centre.
Other features have included the introduction of a city centre loyalty card scheme, cut-price car parking to support late-night shopping on Thursdays and the organisation of more events in the city centre to help boost footfall.
Previously, the purchase and demolition of Oldway House was welcomed by traders in the remaining northern section of St David's.
Richard Smith, owner of Action Bikes in St David's Shopping Centre, said it was good news for businesses and traders in the city.
"Anything that will bring more people to the city centre would be brilliant," Mr Smith said.
"All of St David's is looking a bit tired. I was looking over at the shops from the top of Meridian Tower recently and was thinking the Oldway House building was getting in the way.
"Money has been spent on the outside of the city centre, it should be about driving people back in."