Swansea Council are jubilant over obtaining £165,000 from Welsh Government and Cadw to improve Swansea Castle's accessibility and appearance. Following an initial phase which brought improvements to the castle's upper floors and tower, allowing new access to visitors during a number of open days; the eventual outcome of the second phase is meant to bring the castle back into the centre of activities, giving some space for castle tours, battle reenactments and market stalls. This all sounds agreeable considering the castle has been neglected and inaccessible for many decades. The castle is currently ranked a disappointing 59 out of 62 Swansea attractions on Trip Advisor with reviews to bring shame to the city's heritage.
Is that concrete?!
However, when passing the developments at the castle, visitors cannot help but notice the expansion of concrete and kerbs that seems endemic of anything new that is introduced to the Swansea centre landscape. The requirement for accessibility that complies with the Disability Discimination Act obviously is paramount in any landscaping project, but surely a site of historical interest should benefit from more sympathetic paving materials?
There seems to be little information regarding what the final 'hard and soft' courtyard landscaping will look like, but there is real concern that the project will further contribute to the great swathes of concrete already coating Swansea's once greener areas, such as Castle Square (once gardens), The Kingsway roundabouts and the new development called a European Boulevard. Time will tell.