Today, (10.30am Thursday, 4 August) at the Monmouth and District National Eisteddfod, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has announced that it will work with regional construction company Kier Group Plc as the main contractor for Canolfan S4C yr Egin.
Kier will be responsible for managing the detailed and technical design of the building as well as the construction process for the new headquarters for Welsh broadcaster S4C from 2018. The building will also be home to a range of creative and digital media companies who will co-locate with S4C and the University to create an ecosystem in which to share and exploit ideas and talent. It will become an innovation hub where the University, S4C and partners will work together to grow new business linked to creative industries, develop the skills of current businesses and attract new investment into the region.
The building plans have recently been submitted to Carmarthenshire County Council for approval. The design has been developed by a team of architects from Rural Office for Architecture based in Newcastle Emlyn and BDP (Building Design Partnership), an international firm of architects, engineers and designers. The team will now work collaboratively with Kier Construction to deliver the ambition for the iconic building.
Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD, said: “Appointing a construction delivery partner for Canolfan S4C Yr Egin brings us a step closer to realising our exciting vision for this development. Kier has a proven track record and extensive experience in the education sector and we look forward to establishing a strong working partnership with them and S4C to deliver real benefit to the economy and community in South West Wales during the construction phase and beyond”.
As part of the competitive procurement process, Kier has made a number of commitments to work with the University and S4C to ensure that the project generates wider economic benefits in the region during the construction phase of the development. Such commitments include a pledge to support the economy through the use of local suppliers and sub-contractors, where feasible, and the company has already undertaken a ‘meet the buyer’ event to advertise opportunities. This support also includes the commitment to the use of British steel in the design of the building frame In addition, the company will providing a range of job opportunities, apprenticeships and work placements linked to the construction work. Such opportunities will be provided for the University’s students across its campuses in Swansea, Lampeter and Carmarthen and particularly students of the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering who will gain first hand-experience of a live construction project. In addition, the company is keen to support community and civic projects linked to the development.
Jason Taylor, operations director, Kier Construction, said: “We’re pleased to be collaborating with University of Wales Trinity Saint David and S4C on this scheme, which harnesses our experience and expertise in delivering similar projects. It builds on our successful partnership with the University following our £26m contract delivering the initial phase of the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter, which was awarded at the start of this year.
“Our work will support the local economy through a range of activities including job creation, local projects and work placements for university students, along with a regional supply chain, while building the spaces the University and S4C need to deliver their aspiration of forming a flagship creative, innovative ecosystem”.
Garffild Lloyd Lewis, Director of Relocation, S4C, added “The Egin project team has already started working with Kier at a local level, and I’m very impressed with their understanding of the wider vision for Yr Egin and of S4C’s role in the project. One of S4C’s aims as part of relocating our headquarters to Carmarthen was to have an economic impact on the area in the long term and Kier’s commitment to using local suppliers, including buying British steel for the project, is an important milestone. Construction jobs in the short term, will be followed by jobs in the creative and digital media sectors when Canolfan S4C Yr Egin opens in 2018”.
Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Project Director and author of the vision for Canolfan S4C Yr Egin added “We have been working diligently behind the scenes to develop the vision for Canolfan S4C Yr Egin. It is very gratifying to be able reveal the building which has captured the spirit of this development so imaginatively, as well as to announce the company who will now work with us to realise our ambitions. It is a bold vision that will see the Channel co-locating with partners within the creative and digital industries and with the University within one ecosystem to create innovative content that will celebrate Wales on a global stage. We are now moving to the next phase of this key development that aims to boost the creative industries in Wales, the Welsh language and the economy in South West Wales.”
Kier are currently working with the University on the development of Phase 1 of the Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter which together with Canolfan S4C yr Egin is part of the University’s transformation agenda that aims fulfil its core mission of improving access to higher education and skills development that is relevant to local communities and employers, enhances graduate employability, and enables the UWTSD to reach its potential of contributing to the economic regeneration of the Swansea Bay City Region and Wales
Emlyn Dole, Leader Carmarthenshire County Council said, “It is a pleasure for me on behalf of Carmarthenshire County Council to welcome the news that Kier Group will be the main contractor for Yr Egin.
“It is an important milestone in the process that will welcome S4C to Carmarthenshire in 2018. There is great anticipation of the coming of S4C and all that it means to us as a county.
“It is good to hear the promises by Kier to use British steel and local workers and contractors, as well as students from our universities. We are very much looking forward to it.”
The economic impact of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin will include the creation of 98 new jobs, including many in 6 graduate start-up incubator units to be established; 175 jobs within the creative community; it will provide 75 full-time jobs relocating including 55 S4C jobs; it will create 507 full-time supply chain jobs as well as 85 construction industry jobs.
E N D S
Note to editor
Photo-opportunity: 10.30am, University of Wales Trinity Saint David Stand, Monmouth and District Eisteddfod, Thursday, 4th August.
- For more information please contact Eleri Beynon, Head of Corporate Communications and PR, on 07968 249335 or via email at email@example.com
- The University of Wales Trinity Saint David has main campuses in Swansea, Carmarthen and Lampeter. The UWTSD Group includes Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion as constituent colleges.
- The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University
- Kier Group plc is a leading property, residential, construction and services group which invests in, builds, maintains and renews the places where we work, live and play. We operate across a range of sectors including defence, education, housing, industrials, power, transport and utilities. http://www.kier.co.uk/.
- S4C is the only Welsh language television channel in the world. As a public service broadcaster, it commissions independent producers from across Wales to make the majority of its programmes. ITV Cymru Wales is also commissioned to produce programmes. BBC Cymru Wales provides around 10 hours of programming per week for S4C, including the news and daily soap Pobol y Cwm, funded out of the licence fee.
- S4C broadcasts over 115 hours of programmes each week, including sport, drama, music, factual, entertainment and events, across a range of platforms, including online. S4C offers comprehensive services for children: Cyw for younger viewers, Stwnsh for older children and programmes for teenagers. And the programmes are available in HD on Sky and Freesat in Wales and across the UK.
- Since April 2013, most of S4C’s income comes from the licence fee via the BBC Trust with a proportion coming from the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). S4C also has some powers to generate its own commercial income, for example, through advertising sales.