Swansea’s Palace Theatre update tour for key council figures

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart and chief executive Martin Nicholls at the city centre Palace Theatre building.

Senior figures from Swansea Council have toured the city centre’s Palace Theatre project.

Leader Rob Stewart and chief executive Martin Nicholls saw that progress is being made as the council works to bring new life to the iconic 136-year-old building.

It’s due to reopen this year (note: 2024) as a new base for businesses and will play a key role in the ongoing council-driven £1bn city regeneration.

Latest work at the Palace has included:

  • Preparing the main roof for slating
  • Repairs to other roof areas
  • Rebuilding all chimneys
  • Masonry repairs
  • Advances on the new fourth floor
  • Installation of timber flooring
  • Repairs and plastering to internal walls

Cllr Stewart said: “It’s great that our Palace project is on track to be completed this year.

“I look forward to local people running and working businesses that make the Palace their home.

“The project will bring new life to the High Street area, new opportunities for the wider city centre and new wealth for the whole area.

“It’s one of many exciting Swansea city centre developments on which there’ll be great progress this year, including work towards a greener, more welcoming Castle Square Gardens and advances on our Y Storfa public services hub.”

The Palace Theatre was built in 1888 and underwent a series of interior makeovers resulting in a complex rabbit warren with steep, winding staircases and numerous spaces of different shapes and sizes.

The building was acquired by Swansea Council shortly before the Covid 19 pandemic.

Under private ownership it had become dilapidated; its future was under threat.

The challenges for those rescuing the six-storey building, including main contractor R&M Williams Ltd and architects GWP Architecture, were intensified by the structure’s derelict state after almost two decades of disuse.

Its dramatic, sensitive overhaul is expected to lead to its reopening this year, thanks to funding from the council and the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Programme.

The Welsh business due to manage the building once construction work is complete is the successful Tramshed Tech.