Press Releases 2016

University of Wales Trinity Saint David Vice Chancellor Professor Medwin Hughes has addressed Swansea Bay Business Club

18.04.2016

UWTSD Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor has addressed Swansea Bay Business Club at its monthly meeting in SA1, telling members that the University’s new £300 million Waterfront Innovation Quarter in SA1 will be a connected and innovative neighbourhood that will drive economic growth.

Speaking at the event in the boardroom at Technium 2 in SA1, on Thursday, April 14, Professor Hughes said the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter will create a neighbourhood where the University and its partners can work with industry to exploit opportunities that will not only benefit the region but will also deliver those benefits to the rest of Wales.

Professor Hughes said: “In the context of Swansea and the Swansea City Bay Region delivering maximum economic capital and value is key. And at the heart of that is developing skills, developing high growth opportunities for new jobs, new businesses or enhancing current businesses and making sure that we have the right skills set and making sure we have local skills. My role as vice chancellor is to develop new initiatives, new opportunities where we can keep that growth and develop that talent pool and that’s key for the development of SA1.

“SA1 is already a very successful neighbourhood of businesses, organisations and individuals living and working there. The whole concept of the SA1 innovation location is to develop that neighbourhood model, a neighbourhood where you can be trained, where you can live, you can develop your businesses and achieve economic growth together.

“The innovation Quarter and the development of this neighbourhood is about the connectivity of bringing people together. It is about transforming education and looking at education in a different way, putting skills right at the heart of what we do. To make sure we develop the right skills for local businesses so we can create and develop strong economic capital for the region.

“We are passionate about providing the best possible experience for students, promoting multiple pathways into education by embracing further and higher education as well as work-based and life-long learning.

We are extremely proud to be creating a multi-centred university that will play a major role in the development of the new knowledge economy in not just Swansea but in Wales. We will use our collaborative networks and strategic relationships at regional, national and international level to inspire learners, staff and partners to create new learning futures for the benefit of everyone.”  

Professor Hughes was addressing the meeting, which was also attended by Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director of INSPIRE, (Institute for Sustainability Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness) at UWTSD, Jane Davidson, in the same week as a ground-breaking £6.5m Wales-wide agreement, which will create construction training for 1,100 people per year, was announced.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a consortium led by The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, will establish the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) to offer state-of-the-art facilities and world-class training for individuals and construction companies.

With its proposed headquarters at the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter, the CWIC will also have sites at colleges across Wales, including Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion, which are part of the UWTSD Group, and Coleg Cambria in North Wales and Coleg y Cymoedd in South East Wales.

The CITB and UWTSD collaboration will offer companies the facilities and expertise to test new concepts in construction training. It will:

  • Be the first of its kind in Britain to provide applied research, training and consultancy through one partnership.
  • Provide state-of-the-art facilities to allow students and businesses to learn best practice techniques.
  • Offer a “rapid construction zone” to start innovative systems for bespoke tests such as structural performance. 

Construction is due to begin towards the end of 2016 with the CWIC’s opening targeted for September 2018.

As a major part of the University’s multi-million pound investment in Swansea, UWTSD has acquired sizable areas of the remaining development land in the SA1 Waterfront area. The master plan includes proposals to develop purpose-built facilities for learning, teaching and applied research as well as social, leisure and wider recreational spaces.

The Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter is an ambitious city development that will introduce a new innovative, inclusive and inspiring learning environment while connecting education with innovation and enterprise.

The Quarter will allow core student services, including student support and a Students’ Union, along with a library, sports and leisure facilities which will sit alongside community and commercial amenities.

The University’s vision for this development will create a new beginning for SA1, grounded in the city’s heritage and driven by innovation. It will be made possible through collaboration and partnership with local communities, business and industry, the University’s staff and students, as well as the Welsh Government and the City and County of Swansea.

The long term goal is to create a Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter that will be situated in a vibrant, modern waterfront location with easy access to the city centre.

Its key aims will be to:

•Support and enhance the student experience
• Contribute to the viability and ongoing sustainability of the University
• Stimulate investment and economic benefits to Swansea, the Swansea Bay City Region and beyond
• Provide opportunities for diversifying income streams as the University maximises its engagement with the private sector
• Establish a substantial University presence in the SA1 Waterfront area by 2018

Note to Editor

Further information: 

Rebecca Davies

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Corporate Communications and PR
Mobile: 07872 423 788
Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk