MUMBLES’S seafront could be in line for a major upgrade with new restaurants, shops and a gym.
This image and photograph show a planned development called Oyster Wharf, compared to how the area looks like now.
If given planning permission by Swansea Council, Oyster Wharf will comprise three restaurants, shops, a gym and spa.
To create this development, the Tivoli building and shopping arcade will be refurbished. In addition The Co-operative Food store opposite Mumbles Post Office will move to the ground floor of the Tivoli building, with two retail units created in the vacated Co-op premises. The upper floor at Tivoli will be a restaurant.
James Morse, commercial director at Nextcolour Developments Ltd — the company behind Oyster Wharf — said: “The regeneration project is a vital step for Mumbles and will retain the status of the village as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Swansea Bay.
“Oyster Wharf will become a spectacular centrepiece within the community.
“The finished development will offer the perfect mix of retail, food and drink for the whole of Swansea, and become a destination for those looking to explore the history, heritage and beauty of Mumbles from surrounding areas and further afield.”
The £3million-£4million plans also involve the restoration of Tivoli’s art deco-inspired facade.
Mr Morse told the Post he felt this seafront section was looking “quite tired”, and that Mumbles would benefit from what he termed “family-orientated” restaurants.
He added: “We must be up to date and improve the quality of what is on offer.
“It’s time that we see some activity and good quality buildings.”
But Mr Morse said no extra parking had been earmarked as part of the Oyster Wharf scheme.
Allan Lloyd, the owner of Treasure, Newton Road, said he felt the development was exactly what Mumbles needed.
He described the existing stretch of seafront as looking “forgotten”.
“Let’s hope that this new Oyster Wharf does materialise,” said Mr Lloyd.
“This development will also wake up Mumbles and perhaps stir into life the much-needed development of the old bus terminus on the seafront.
“Tourists I meet often ask why this prime seafront position is in such a state?”
John Hillman, acquisitions manager for The Co-operative Food in Wales, said: “The investment will bring a bright, modern store with an extensive fresh produce range and excellent customer service.”
A planning application for Oyster Wharf has been submitted to the council.
Mumbles — or Oystermouth — was once famous for its oysters. A revived annual oyster festival has been earmarked for October 23 to 27, while a small-scale oyster fishery is being trialled in the bay.
Mr Morse said the Oyster Wharf proposal had not been put out to market at this stage, but that there was already “fantastic” interest in it.
WHEN you think of Mumbles do you think of the Mumbles Mile, a Joe’s icecream on the prom, or a spot of shopping on Newton Road?
The Oyster Wharf development (see main story) could change perceptions of Mumbles, a traders’ group spokesman has said.
Paul Whittaker, of Mumbles Traders’ Association, said: “From a traders’ point of view, something like this would be a major boost to the area.
“It looks great from along the seafront. It would be a massive change to what people perceive Mumbles to be.”
Mr Whittaker said the seaside community had changed considerably from the notorious Mumbles Mile days, and that something like Oyster Wharf could act as a catalyst.
“Once money gets spent, it seems be like a domino effect,” he said, adding that it could maybe stimulate the redevelopment of the adjacent Oystermouth Square.
Robin Bonham, a director at Mumbles Development Trust, described the Oyster Wharf image as “very impressive”.
Mr Bonham, who said he was speaking in a personal capacity, told the Post: “I think it tidies up an area of Mumbles that needs it.”
But he said he had reservations about no extra parking being provided, and that he felt the authorities should consider expanding the Quarry car park a couple of hundred yards away on Mumbles Road.
Mumbles has seen plenty of planning proposals come to nothing, while others have consent but remain unbuilt.
The new RNLI all-weather lifeboat station at the end of Mumbles Pier is a popular landmark, and all eyes are on the redevelopment of the pier stem, the new boardwalk and associated foreshore scheme.
Artist’s impressions, above and below, of how the facelift will change Mumbles from its present look, left.