Penderyn Whisky cash boost for Swansea Copperworks project

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Computer generated image of the new buildingImage source, Swansea Council
Image caption,
The plans include a new distillery, visitor centre and VIP bar

Whisky firm bosses can raise a glass in celebration - after securing funding to revamp a historic site in Swansea.

Penderyn Whisky wants to turn the Powerhouse building at the Hafod Morfa Copperworks site into a new distillery and visitors' centre.

The scheme to redevelop the 19th Century site has been awarded a £3.56m grant from the National Lottery.

The Aberdare firm's owner, Nigel Short, estimates the new facility could attract 100,000 tourists a year.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart described the development as "exciting".

He said: "This exciting scheme will create jobs, attract visitors and boost the on-going regeneration of the River Tawe corridor.

"We're determined to work with partners to maximise the river's potential to develop housing, walks, restaurants, water-based activities, landing stations and boat trips between the city centre and the Liberty Stadium."

Image source, National Museum of Wales
Image caption,
The powerhouse, pictured in 1924

In its 19th century heyday, Swansea became known as "Copperopolis" for its global web of copper trading connections.

But the 12.5-acre site, home to Grade II listed buildings, has lain dormant for decades - something which council bosses hope to change.

The revamped site would allow Penderyn Whisky to expand, while keeping its current base near Aberdare.

Mr Short said: "These plans are incredibly exciting for us as a business and for Swansea as a forward-thinking city."

Other plans in the pipeline for Swansea include a new 3,500 seater arena, a cable car on Kilvey Hill as well as "digital bridge" on Oystermouth Road.

Image source, Swansea Council
Image caption,
The old powerhouse as it looks in 2018