Swansea's St David's Shopping Centre to be demolished
Large parts of Swansea's St David's Shopping Centre are to be demolished as the site has been bought by the city council and Welsh government.
They say the deal for an undisclosed sum is part of their regeneration plans for the city centre.
The derelict indoor market hall and other vacant units built in the early 1980s will be demolished and used for car parking in the short term.
Tenants such as Iceland and Crane's Music Instruments will not be affected.
End Quote Chris Holley Swansea council leader
This is a hugely important site in the city centre”
Swansea council said until economic conditions improved, the site would be used as a 160-space car park when it is flattened.
Work is expected to start next March.
It said in the long term it would work with its development partner Hammerson to include the site - which is next to the Quadrant Shopping Centre and opposite St Mary's Church - in its city centre retail strategy.
Council leader Chris Holley said: "This is a hugely important site in the city centre but it is largely empty and has become detrimental to our overall aim of improving retail in the city centre.
"It's clear that the city centre can't be regenerated without public sector intervention and purchasing this site gives us the opportunity to work with our development partner Hammerson to put in place a plan to redevelop the site and regenerate the city centre."
The council would not disclose what it paid previous owner Threadneedle Estates for the land but said expert external valuation and economic advice was sought.
Minister for Housing and Regeneration Huw Lewis said the Welsh government had contributed funds for the deal.
"Swansea is our second largest city, so has a major role to play in promoting Wales both within the UK and further afield, especially with the city's football club now on the world stage," he said.
"I hope this latest move to demolish St David's and make way for improved city centre developments will continue to promote the long-term regeneration prospects for Swansea."