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Swansea. A great mix of progress and past

It’s all change in the City.  The SA1 Waterfront Development has successfully transformed a brown field site into a modern, vibrant area offering apartments, bars & restaurants, hotel accommodation and – if you’ve a mind – the opportunity to wander around the maritime quarter at your leisure.

However, Swansea’s city centre has badly needed a facelift – and in certain parts, major surgery – for decades.

Remember the planned re-development some years ago that would, we were promised, transform Swansea into the ‘Naples of South Wales’?

That it never happened might have been a blessing, considering the Italian city is notorious for muggers & pick-pockets and has a still-active volcano looming over it.

So it was great to hear recently that outline planning consent has been awarded for a 125,000 square metre redevelopment which will include shops, restaurants, a 3,500-seat digital arena and a boutique cinema, which I assume apart from screening independent films will double as a trendy fashion store.

Apparently when the new development’s completed, some of the new thoroughfares created will be named after old streets buried beneath modern developments, including the Quadrant shopping centre.

Not only is it a respectful nod to the city’s past – it’s a unique combination of progress and heritage.

I think the word is ‘progritage’.

So one day, you may be able to buy lemons on Orange Street or ‘hop’ on a ‘bus in Frog Street.

Also under consideration is to name new streets after people who’ve made an outstanding contribution to Swansea.

We’ll all have our own ideas about who should be nominated, but surely, after almost 20 years of delighting audiences in the Grand Theatre pantomimes, Kev Johns is a dead cert.

Then, one day, if anyone asks you “Can you tell me where Kev Johns Street is please?” you can say…

“It’s behind you!”

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