Swansea University’s spectacular £450m Bay Campus opens

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It was a long-awaited day of celebration today (Monday, September 21) for Swansea University, as its spectacular new £450m science and innovation Bay Campus formally opened.

Opening of Bay Campus

Developed by St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, this transformational major project for the University has been more than 10 years in the planning and has taken just over two years to build. 

The Bay Campus will be home to almost 5,000 students and 1,000 staff from the University’s College of Engineering and School of Management, offering students, staff and business world-class learning, teaching, and research facilities

To mark the campus’ opening and to welcome new Year One and returning students for the 2015-2016 academic year, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B Davies; Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Iwan Davies; President of Swansea University Students’ Union, Lewys  Aron; and Rupert Joseland, South Wales Regional Director, St. Modwen, visited the new Student Residences to meet some of the campus’ first resident students.

They also visited students and staff at the College of Engineering’s Engineering Quarter, the School of Management, the Bay Library, and walked around a number of the campus’ public spaces and squares.

Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, said: “We have effectively doubled in size overnight and Swansea has become a dual campus University.  The magnificent buildings, squares, and quadrangles of our Bay Campus have really sprung to life with the arrival of our new and returning students.  There is already an academic vitality but there is also an excitement about the future, about how the modern, well-equipped facilities will provide our students with life- and career-enhancing opportunities.

“One of the highlights of my year as Vice-Chancellor is welcoming our new students each September and to welcome the first Bay Campus cohort this week has been a great and memorable pleasure.

“I know that the next few years will be some of their happiest.  In addition to academic success, they will eventually leave Swansea with a rich variety of friendships and experiences, and a continuing pride in having studied at Swansea during one of the most exciting periods in the University’s history.”

Professor Iwan Davies, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor, who has led on the Bay Campus development, said: “The Bay Campus has been recognised as among the most ambitious projects in the UK higher education sector for decades and its realisation heralds a new era and a new status for Swansea University.

“We are delighted to see the first phase in the realisation of our strategic vision come to fruition, with this significant investment to transform and expand the University’s estate into a fit for purpose, research-driven global exemplar of a 21st Century university, which fully promotes and champions the student experience.”

Bay Campus opening

Lewys Aron, President of Swansea University Students’ Union, said: “It’s great to finally welcome students to the new Bay Campus after much anticipation and years of hard work.  I have no doubt that students will enjoy the state of the art facilities and the excellent student experience that it will offer.

“Remember to get involved with the Union through sports clubs and societies and to give us a visit once we’re up and running at the Bay Campus.”

Rupert Joseland, Regional Director for St. Modwen in South Wales said: "The Bay Campus is one of St. Modwen’s three flagship projects currently underway across the UK and we're extremely proud to see it now as a living and breathing student destination, having delivered it on time and within budget. 

“As land owner and lead developer for the Bay Campus, we are now working towards a January 2016 completion of the next phase of student residential accommodation for the University.  Our new facilities management provision, St. Modwen Student Living, is also busy settling in the first wave of arriving students to ensure that the new residences and Campus facilities meet all individual needs and requirements."

The Bay Campus offers a welcoming and vibrant place for visitors, with cafes, bars, and food court style restaurants.

The Campus’ buildings, which are complemented by careful and sustainable landscaping to provide a positive and lasting attribute to the community and the locality, are enhanced by squares, open spaces and landscaped courts, utilising as many local and a variety of species of trees, plants, and shrubs as possible.

The Campus also has the distinction of being one of the few global universities with direct access onto a beach and its own seafront promenade, construction of which is underway.

There will be a phased opening of other amenities such as banking, a Tesco Express supermarket, and sports and physical recreation facilities during the autumn, and an additional 545 student accommodation rooms will be available from January 2016.