Swansea building’s new name points to the future – with fond memories of the past

The name has been announced for a key regeneration project in Swansea city centre.

Swansea Council’s new community hub – in Oxford Street’s former BHS building – will be known as Y Storfa, the Welsh word for “store”.

The name aims to offer an affectionate look at the site’s past and to point the way to its future use as a place where people can learn, get information and advice, attend events and access library and archive collections stored there.

As home to the new main city centre library and to the West Glamorgan Archive Service, Y Storfa will drive footfall for city centre businesses.

Its facilities will include a community exhibition space, lecture theatre, café, children’s library and activity space. Advice on offer will include information on housing and benefits.

The council says that people and information are key to Y Storfa’s brand – as they are to the building.

The brand-mark brings together information – in form of the well-known “i” logo – and people. Its colours reflect the city’s diversity and the building’s aim to create a welcoming environment for people to meet and benefit from social interaction, activities, learning and support.

The council is working on the project with main contractors Kier Construction and others. Y Storfa’s branding is the work of Llansamlet-based design agency Waters Creative.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “It’s great that a Swansea company has helped us develop the distinctive and thoroughly modern brand for this high-profile project.

“As with other key schemes – such as The Kingsway, Wind Street and Swansea Arena – we want Y Storfa to be a place where people are delighted to visit.

“The branding, which will be reflected in innovative ways throughout the building, will help make Y Storfa welcoming, engaging and enjoyable.”

Waters Creative founding director Rachael Wheatley said: “We were delighted to be commissioned to play a key role in bringing new life to this building.

“It’s an exciting project as part of the council’s city centre transformation programme – its name and branding will, once the project is complete, become well known by people across Swansea and further afield.

“The brand indicates that the building is a community space, open to all, a building that’s attractive, bilingual and accessible.”

Y Storfa is part of the council’s £1bn regeneration programme that continues to forge ahead.

It will be a central facility for members of the public who wish to access key public services, featuring council and community services, including the city’s main library and archive service.

Public-facing council services at Y Storfa will include life-long learning, revenue and benefits, employability and Housing Options.

Some external agencies set to create new homes there are due to be announced soon.

Work is already underway on transforming Swansea’s former BHS and Miss Selfridge, names that disappeared from the high streets across the UK in recent years. Y Storfa will, in due course, offer people convenient access to key services from across the council and other organisations.

It will reinvigorate an existing building, bring together key support services into a single accessible location and will boost footfall for city centre businesses.

As well as Waters Creative, other South Wales firms are picking up work as a result of the project. They include Ministry of Furniture.

Other forthcoming city centre regeneration projects include a new look for Castle Square and the construction of an innovation hub at 71/72 Kingsway.

The Civic Centre, meanwhile, is in line to be redeveloped as a new city seafront district in a partnership between the council and world-renowned developers Urban Splash. New homes and leisure and hospitality uses could feature there, along with greenery, public spaces and a new walkway to the beach.