Project to transform Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea

Dylan Thomas bust at the Dylan Thomas Centre The centre already houses a permanent Dylan Thomas exhibition, as well as a cultural programme

Plans to transform the Dylan Centre in Swansea into a cultural and enterprise hub for creative industries have been put forward.

The joint proposal comes from the University of Wales and Swansea Metropolitan University.

The plans would see the existing Dylan Thomas exhibition continue but it would be given a "complete refresh" for the 21st Century.

Swansea Council's cabinet will discuss the idea this week.

The centre is based in the city's maritime quarter and hosts exhibitions, arts events - such as theatre, music and poetry - and conferences.

Councillor Graham Thomas, cabinet member for culture, recreation and tourism, said the proposal involved some "new and exciting elements" in a "significant proportion" of the centre.

The centre, under possibilities being considered, would include:

  • The Dylan Thomas exhibition is "a key factor in the success of the building" but would get a refresh bringing it out into the public space and "possibly include other Swansea Bay-related iconic figures"
  • The Dylan Thomas literary prize for young authors and new Sony Reader prize for unpublished writers to be based there
  • Open-plan space for innovative companies, in the creative, digital and graphics/web sector
  • University of Wales Global Academy, delivering Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships in conjunction with small business and higher education
  • Awen - the University of Wales' business subsidiary
  • Swansea Metropolitan is interested in a food operation at the centre

Mr Thomas said the University of Wales had indicated it would be seeking to increasingly use more of the centre for a peppercorn rent in return for meeting the operational costs of the centre.

The centre cost £400,000 to run last year and the budget for this year is £260,000.

Councillors will be told next Thursday the project "has the potential to make a significant contribution to the council's economic development and cultural ambitions".

Although at an early stage, it is proposed to set up a memorandum of understanding by the end of the year.

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