'No extra cost for beachfront sports centre'
SWANSEA Council has denied suggestions that the cost of the new water sports centre on Swansea beach has shot up.
The building, which is to be called 360, is part of a £1.4 million scheme to make Swansea Bay a water sports centre of excellence.
The construction of the building is being managed by Swansea Council and is backed by the Welsh Government through the European regional development fund, Visit Wales and the regeneration area programme.
It is due to open in mid-September.
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The Post has heard claims that the cost of the scheme had risen considerably.
But a spokesman for the authority said: "The anticipated cost of the original scheme has not gone up but, thanks to extra funding from the Welsh Government, the centre will include a specialist Changing Places toilet for the disabled.
"It's being provided in response to consultation with local groups and will be the first coastal facility of its kind in Wales."
The new water sports centre already had provision for male, female and "accessible" toilets. Changing Places are different to standard disabled toilets, with extra features and more space.
The Post also asked the council if more storage space was required at the centre than proposed, and whether this would require further planning consent.
The centre will be run by not-for-profit company Bay Sports Ltd and be a base for kite surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and beach volleyball, plus be home to a cafe.
The council spokesman said: "We have reviewed the centre's internal layout in partnership with Bay Sports Ltd to arrive at a design that will allow future users more flexibility and enhanced sea views.
"The centre's storage requirements will be reviewed in its first year of operation and this could see Bay Sports Ltd applying for additional storage space in future."
Judging by comments left on Post website www.thisissouth wales.co.uk, readers have generally been supportive of the under-construction centre, which is being built in tandem with new facilities at Mumbles's Knab Rock. Self-styled gixer400 said: "Excellent, for far to long this stunning beach has been stagnating, let's hope others join the bandwagon and make Swansea synonymous with water sport with a fantastic family beach for all to enjoy."
Stork said: "It will be interesting to see what the prices are when it opens."
Ded55 said: "Just as interesting to see how watersports will be possible at low tide."
And chelsea1955 said: "Swansea council should take a day trip to Port Talbot sea front and see what they have done, it is top class, we have 5 miles of sandy beach just going to waste, don't think any other town/city would waste this gold mine, water sport centre is a start as long as it is affordable to all, but use the rest of the sea front, if there are things to do it will bring thousands to the city."