Swansea's Creative Hub set to regenerate city centre

Wednesday 6 October 2010, 15:40

Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain

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We've recently been sent word of some exciting news about burgeoning plans for a new creative hub for the centre of Swansea, which hopes to attract artists, designers and others from a whole host of creative industries to the city.

Now, I will admit that I've been rather slow on the uptake here, as earlier this year - April no less - planning permission was granted for a £25m urban village in Swansea's High Street, The Strand and Kings Lane areas. It's based on a series of courtyards linking shops, offices, food and drink outlets and affordable apartments - as can be seen in these artist's impressions of the development.

Computer generated image of Swansea's High Street. Photo: iCreate Ltd / www.icreate3d.com

Computer generated image of Swansea's High Street. Photo: iCreate Ltd / www.icreate3d.com

Computer generated image of Swansea's creative hub in the proposed Urban Village in the heart of the city. Photo: iCreate Ltd / www.icreate3d.com

Computer generated image of Swansea's creative hub in the proposed Urban Village in the heart of the city. Photo: iCreate Ltd / www.icreate3d.com

The aim of the project is succinctly summed up on the Swansea Creative Hub website, and as I couldn't put it any better myself, here's the idea:

"The Swansea Creative Hub has very simple ambitions. Create a space that's minimal and flexible and allows for ease of communication. Put it in the heart of the city, make it accessible, interesting, open to all. Encourage people from all creative backgrounds to mix, merge and clash in equal measure. Then see what happens. What have we got to lose?"

As part of the project, Volcano Theatre will be performing their original production, 1977, in one of the very spaces that the Swansea Creative Hub aims to regenerate. For 10 days, between 20 and 30 October, the theatre group will take over the retail space at 229 High Street in Swansea.

Volcano's 1977 takes the audience to the set of Francis Ford Coppola's notoriously troubled, but epic, Vietnam War movie Apocalypse Now.

Production shot from Volcano Theatre's production 1977. Photo courtesy Volcano Theatre

Production shot from Volcano Theatre's production 1977. Photo: Volcano Theatre

As Coppola, Martin Sheen and the crew go mad in the jungle, the show transports the audience to a very different event taking place on the other side of the world - a conference is gathering in Wales that aims to take the temperature of a "dying century". Among the thronging intellectuals there are two very particular young delegates. Their lives and stories unfold, with shattering consequences, against the twin backdrops of the conference rooms and Coppola's film.

Huw Williams, who is a driving force behind the project, commented, "Swansea Creative Hub is a bold, brainy and brilliant initiative to put Swansea at the heart of the Creative Industries in south Wales."

Learn more about this exciting regeneration project on the Swansea Creative Hub website, swanseacreativehub.com, and let us know your thoughts about the venture below.

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