… and what a year we’ve had!
In 1969 the Queen awarded Swansea city status, so throughout 2019 we’ve been celebrating a big birthday – 50 years old as a city! As we approach 2020, we thought we’d look back over a fantastic year and also take a peek at why 50 years ago Her Majesty thought Swansea worthy of such an accolade!
Throughout 2019 our city was bathed in a golden anniversary glow, we enjoyed air displays, spectacular fireworks, marvellous music events and celebrity celebrations – here’s a quick round up!
Now 50 doesn’t sound so old, does it? We might have ancient roots, planted by Vikings and medieval lords, but we’ve got a spring in our step as one of the UK’s freshest, most spirited and stimulating places to live and visit.
As our most famous son Dylan Thomas once wrote, ‘To begin at the beginning’. Swansea’s city status was granted during Prince Charles’ investiture year. On 3rd July, the new Prince of Wales, announced the news from the steps of Swansea’s Guildhall. On 15th December he returned to Swansea to present the city charter at a ceremony in the Brangwyn Hall.
Swansea has grown in size and diversity since then. With a population of almost one-quarter of a million, we’re the 25th largest city in England and Wales. We’re forward-looking, with a large student population, two universities and a youthful vibe. But Swansea is also a product of its past, founded on a rich history, heritage and culture.
Swansea is a comfortable city on a human scale. We’re the right size, in the right place. Location certainly plays a big part. Our boundaries embrace all that’s best about South Wales, from guardian hills in the north to the green spaces that fringe sandy, south-facing Swansea Bay.
We’re a proper waterfront city too, happily married to the sea. And although we’re focusing here on the city, we must mention our very special next-door neighbours: the Gower Peninsula, Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the desirable little resort of Mumbles, just 10 minutes down the road.
So how to sum up Swansea? That’s a tricky one. We’re a quirky city full of contrasts – and all the better for it. One minute you’re in traditional Wales, hearing Welsh being spoken in our famous fresh foods market. The next you’re on the crest of a new wave in our snazzy Maritime Quarter and freshly minted SA1 Waterfront.
Swansea tastes of cockles and cappuccinos. Our heritage highlights include Wales’s oldest and newest museums. We’re cosy and cosmopolitan, cool and warm-hearted. We’re the kind of place where you can breeze along beside the seaside and wrap yourself up in city life all in one go.
As you can see, we’ve got some good solid foundations to build on and that’s what we’re doing! We’re improving our city for the 21st century with plans to green the heart of the city and are building a new 3500 seater arena in easy walking distance of accommodation, restaurants and other attractions. We already have a growing reputation for a diverse music scene – and it’s only going to get better!!
Come and help us write our next chapter; plan a spring getaway in Swansea Bay and enjoy a city break, at the seaside and next door to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – you can have your cake and eat it!
Spring breaks the #SwanseaBayWay