THE GREAT WAR
NEXT FEATURE: SWANSEA'S CHRISTMAS LIGHTS - VIDEO
Network rail review threatens electrification of mainline to Swansea
Santander opens for business at Swansea University Singleton Campus
Swansea University Vice-Chancellor Richard B Davies cut the ribbon to officially open the Singleton Campus Santander bank branch.
Get Your Skates On!
Christmas - the story
Major jobs boost at former Alberto Culver site
Over 100 new jobs are coming to Swansea thanks to a major manufacturer of cosmetics and food supplements.
Swansea Council says it will exert all the pressure it can to make sure the multi-million-pound
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project stays on track.
The project is now understood to be in doubt because of the lack of agreement so far between the company behind the proposal, Tidal Lagoon Power, and the UK Government on the 'contract for difference' whereby consumers subsidise energy schemes through their bills.
Although Tidal Lagoon Power has recently announced about 20 job losses, the company says the construction of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon remains one of its priorities.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, says the project is vital to boost economic prosperity across the Swansea Bay City Region.
"As Leader of the Council and a member of the Swansea Bay City Region Board, I've written to the Prime Minister to request a positive and speedy decision on the strike price for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon," he said.
A review of the electrification programme of the mainline between London and South Wales by Network Rail has placed in jeopardy the extension of that work from Cardiff to Swansea, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has said.
In a letter to Assembly Members today, Paul McMahon, Wales Route Managing Director for Network Rail has confirmed that electrification beyond Cardiff as far as Swansea is not now planned to be completed until the 2019-2024 control period with the specific date and costs still to be confirmed.
This is a major delay. Previously all the work was due to finish by 2019. Now only electrification as far as Cardiff will be completed by 2019.
“This is a major blow to Swansea and will significantly undermine efforts to attract business to the region,” said Mr. Black. “Not only will the route to Swansea now be seen as an add-on, reliant on hybrid electric-diesel trains for at least five years after 2019, but the fact that there is no clear costing for this work, no start date and no budget means that there is a very real threat that it will not happen at all.
“The UK Conservative Government has let down the Swansea Bay region in allowing work to slip in this way. There are also questions as to what exactly the Welsh Government knew as all of their work on developing the South Wales Metro has been focused around Cardiff, with little or no reference to lines further west.
“Tory Ministers need to step in now and ensure that funding is in place to bring this programme back on track so as to prevent Bridgend, Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea being seen as an afterthought.”
Vice-Chancellor Richard B Davies said: “The opening today isn’t just about having a Santander bank on campus, it’s also about strengthening our partnership with Santander, a company which recognises the benefits of higher education and shares our desire to create new opportunities for staff and students.
“Swansea University aims to provide a holistic and comfortable environment for its students with modern facilities in which they can study, where they can develop essential life skills and increase their employability chances.
“Through our partnership with Santander we will be able to give students valuable international experience by giving them opportunities to study or work abroad which will enable them to develop a range of life skills and experience different teaching techniques.
“The Santander partnership will also provide support for new student start-ups and an internship scheme which places students with local small and medium sized companies. With Swansea University already in 15th place in the UK and top in Wales for providing opportunities for its graduates to go on to good jobs or further study this partnership will give students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.”
Santander Divisional Retail Director, Matt Hutnell said: “Globally Santander has entered into over 1,200 agreements to help student mobility and enable staff to connect with other institutions. “With this branch we are taking forward our partnership with Swansea University and sharing our three common goals; internationalisation, transfer of knowledge, and fostering of entrepreneurial skills.
Swansea University Vice-Chancellor cuts the ribbon to open the Singleton Campus Santander branch. (Left to right): Matt Hutnell, Santander Universities UK Divisional Retail Director, Vice-Chancellor Richard B Davies, Stephanie Jones, Santander Universities UK Swansea University Relationship Branch Manager.
This month saw the opening of Swansea's award-winning Waterfront Winterland, Santa has paid his first whistle-stop visit to Swansea so the festive season is now well and truly in full flow!
There’s no better way to enjoy a crisp winter’s day or evening than by having a skate on the Admiral ice rink. Also back for another year is our children’s rink*, the only one of its kind in Wales.
If ice skating isn't your thing then there's still loads to do with our festive family funfair - delicious food stalls and not to mention Santa's Grotto!
Yes its that time of year, "Christmas" and once again at the Aberavon Shopping centre are putting on the 'Christmas Story' Nativity Play sponsored by Churches of Port Talbot and in association with Wilco Stores.
The Christmas story- Nativity Play is a beautifully choreographed and narrated Nativity Play portrayed by local people, including Rod Hughes as Joseph, in stunning costumes and sets, the play runs from 30th November to 5th December 2015 with performances twice a day and with free admittance. Come along and bring the children and make this a True Christmas.
Swansea Council has agreed to sell its freehold interest in the Alberto Culver site at Llansamlet Enterprise Park to the Dr Organic Group, a South Wales-based company founded by local entrepreneurs Steve Quinn and Fred Whitcomb. The 18.75 acre site has been unoccupied since the autumn of 2012 following Alberto Culver/Unilever's decision to close its Swansea operation. The company's manufacturing was moved to Merseyside and a facility in Poland, leading to 60 job losses in Swansea.
Dr Organic anticipates their move to the site will open up to 110 jobs within a period of two to three years. The company is proposing a distribution, manufacturing, design centre and head office facility at the Swansea site that would help consolidate its operations across the UK and Europe.
Dr Organic anticipates their move to the site will open up to 110 jobs within a period of two to three years. The company is proposing a distribution, manufacturing, design centre and head office facility at the Swansea site that would help consolidate its operations across the UK and Europe. Steve Quinn, from Dr Organic, said: "We are delighted to be consolidating our European operations in Swansea. The site provides us with a strong platform for expansion and as a business we expect to double in size over the course of the next three years. The quality of Swansea's infrastructure and communication links, together with the availability of skilled labour, played a major part in our decision."
"The UK Government has given the project planning consent and has shown its support on a number of occasions, but the delay on agreeing the contract for difference must be resolved soon if this project is to go ahead in Swansea Bay. "I can't stress how important this project is for the economic wellbeing of Swansea and the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole. It will generate thousands of engineering and construction jobs for local people, create a long-term, sustainable industry that would supply components for future tidal lagoons and energy projects across the world, and boost a tourism industry that's already worth about £400 million a year to our economy by attracting many thousands more visitors.
"This huge potential economic impact is why the council and the Swansea Bay City Region board, led by Sir Terry Matthews, will leave no stone unturned to ensure unresolved issues are positively addressed as soon as possible." The Swansea Tidal Lagoon isn't just important for Swansea and South West Wales, Cllr Stewart says.
"The construction of the world's first tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay would kick-start the delivery of five similar schemes elsewhere in the country that would generate enough clean energy to supply London, Manchester, Birmingham and a number of other key cities with reliable, renewable energy for the next 125 years.
"This technology would reduce the UK's reliance on foreign energy, help meet our renewable energy obligations and represent a major export opportunity for the UK."
A Cardiff University Business School study estimates the lagoon's three-year construction phase could be worth over £500 million to the Welsh economy.
About 1,850 construction jobs could be created by the project. When fully operational, the project would generate 500GWH of electricity every year - that's enough to power more than 155,000 homes.