Since being appointed as Preferred Developer for the SA1 Waterfront Healthcare Development, Apollo has been working with Swansea Local Health Board to shape a scheme that will not only suit the changing needs of healthcare in this region of Wales but will optimise and enhance this unique, complex, urban development opportunity for the people of Swansea.
The new building will incorporate the Tawe Medical Practice, Port Tenant Practice, Eastside Dental Practice and the University of Wales Swansea School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health Board enhanced patient services. The building will be circa 3,300sqm incorporating 10% for future expansion of services. The mix of tenants and approach to healthcare provision is unique in Wales and the strategy for training GPs directly within the work environment will pay dividends for the future of GMS services. The General Practices have a combined list of 15,000 patients, the dentist in excess of 10,000 patients and the Health Board enhanced services 30,000 patients. In addition, the University population could extend to over 70 medical students and staff which will add to the vibrant, busy, work and leisure environment of SA1.
The site of SA1 was previously a dock and industrial area which declined in use following World War I and the demise of the copper industry. In the 1970s it became a redevelopment area and with the assistance of the WDA (Welsh Development Agency) the site was extended through the purchase of land from Associated British Ports. The Assembly Government assigned a team to kick start the development, which included large infrastructure works, and Benoy were employed as master plan architect. The vision started to become reality for this exciting new venture for Swansea.
The new development will be on Plot A13 which is located on the primary gateway into SA1. This is an important site for SA1 and requires careful design to ensure it makes the necessary statement for the future of the area while maintaining a human scale for the patients who will visit. The size, shape and location of the site provided a challenge for the Apollo team and their Architects, B3. With a wide mix of tenants, a small site area and a need for public and staff parking, the only way was up! Therefore the building will be set on 5 levels with basement car parking and 4 floors above. The challenge of controlling the high foot fall to the individual areas will be met through the provision of a central atrium area, extending over the 4 floors, which will become the main decision point allowing easy access for patients and visitors to the building.
The scheme was submitted to the Welsh Assembly Government for funding approval on the 11 February 2010. Apollo and their development partners are hopeful of a positive outcome following the Primary Care Estates Forum on 4 March 2010.