New chapter for UWTSD’s Townhill and Mount Pleasant libraries


It’s a new chapter for UWTSD’s Owen (Mount Pleasant) and Townhill Libraries, which are relocating to the University’s new £350 million SA1 Swansea Waterfront development.

Staff and students and former colleagues met for a farewell celebration where stories were swapped and generations of memories relived.

Alison Harding, Executive Head of Library and Learning Resources at UWTSD said: “The celebrations were a wonderful opportunity for current and ex-colleagues to say goodbye to two well-loved library buildings. It was also a timely occasion to recognize the library team for their significant contributions to the SA1 Library Project.  We are all hugely excited about moving into the new building and see it very much part of both the story of UWTSD and the wider communities of Swansea and west Wales. We look forward to welcoming UWTSD staff and students to the new library.”

In just a few weeks time, the university will welcome its first students to its new prime waterfront location. SA1 will be the new home for the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, Yr Athrofa, The Institute of Education, the new library, called Yr Fforwm, and the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC).

Staff and students will relocate from the university’s Townhill and Mount Pleasant campus at the end of the summer term ready to start the new academic year in the exciting new city centre location. The University will retain a presence at Mount Pleasant and the University’s Faculty of Art & Design (Swansea College of Art) will remain on Alex Road along with a number of support functions including the Students’ Union. Swansea Business campus will operate as usual on High Street.

Work on the exciting SA1 development, is almost complete, with handover of the main academic building, called IQ and the new library, Y Fforwm, taking place this month.

Originally part of the Swansea Grammar School, the Owen library in Mount Pleasant was lost in WW2 when the building took a direct hit from German bombers. It found a home in the new George Thompson Block and thereafter on the first floor of the Commerce Block; at which point the library split into two, the Business Library and the Technical Library.

The building it’s currently housed in was originally Construction Workshops from the Building Department in Swansea Technical College. It was constructed as part the Technical College Rebuilding Programme which begun in 1953.

Constructed on a difficult site over the old Five Courts of the Swansea Grammar School, it had an open area, under cover, on the street side, for the use of plasterers and bricklayers. The official opening ceremony was held on 22 November, 1957. The building continued to be used as a workshop for Building Courses until it was converted into the Business Library in 1991-1992. It was later re-named The Owen Library.  Whilst the building appears little altered from the one built in 1956, it is deceptive. The open area beneath the building is now completely walled in and provides a basement area, where previously there was an open space with support beams.

The original Townhill library was housed in the Nelson Terrace site, but when the project to relocate to Townhill came to fruition in 1912, it moved into purpose-built accommodation in the brand new building. It was the pride and joy of Principal Salmon, it moved into one ‘wing’ of the building, and  housed a fast increasing special collection through the generous donation of books from across the world of education. This wonderful collection was later sold off, when it was titled’ the Salmon Collection’. As student numbers increased, more space for teaching forced the library out of its original location. The current building was constructed in the 1970s, as part of a major upgrade to the campus when it became co-educational and ahead of the merger to create West Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education.

Note to Editor

All UWTSD libraries are open to the public as part of the university’s Libraries Together Scheme, in which staff work closely with other HE, FE and Public Libraries in the region to reciprocate access to libraries across the city.

The Swansea Business Library and the Griffith Library at Dynevor remain open as usual.

For more information on the services available:  which has some details around access to resources whilst we migrate the two libraries.

Library Opening Hours are @ or email with any query.




Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695
Mobile: 07384 467071