DESPITE its stunning beaches, glorious Gower peninsula, picturesque Norman castles, rich history and long-established culture, Swansea is still tarnished with an "industrial" reputation in some parts of the UK and the rest of the world, it was claimed yesterday.
But now Swansea Futures, a new independent company established to market and promote Swansea and the surrounding area, aims to put an end to all that.
It will be officially launched next week through a series of events, including a beach party at Blackpill Lido on the Swansea foreshore to emphasise the city's seafront location.
The new company will be marketing Swansea across the UK and abroad as THE place to live, learn, invest in and visit on holiday.
The company will be sending out a message across the globe that far from being "industrial" Swansea has far more to offer.
The natural environment, the sea, Gower, the crescent bay and the city's waterside location;
The culture (poetry, theatre, art galleries) heritage (castles, ancient buildings and landscapes) and sport (top class rugby, soccer, swimming, etc);
The quality of life and the work-life balance;
The strength of the university and its links with the business community in particular, and
SA1, A new part of Swansea's growing waterfront which will feature 2,000 new homes, a second marina housing hundreds of yachts, bars, brasseries, restaurants, offices and artwork.
A company spokeswoman said, "Swansea Futures is aiming to raise the profile of the city and improve perceptions of Swansea across the UK and Internationally. It will not only boost the local and regional economy but also firmly establish Swansea as the regional capital for South West Wales."
Fiona Rees, executive director of Swansea Futures, said, "We want to highlight a new era of modernisation, redevelopment and growth for Swansea, and challenge the negative perceptions that have labelled the city in the past.
"We are confident that through the new brand and with the collaborative support of the many companies and organisations in Swansea, we can work together in highlighting what a great city Swansea is, encourage existing businesses and organisations to thrive and attract further investment in the city.
"We will be encouraging businesses, organisations and individuals with an interest in the region to work with the company to make this a great place to live, work, study and visit.
We hope that everyone will be inspired to play their part in taking the initiative forward for the benefit of the city, the region and all of us who live and work here."
Swansea Futures will be based at the offices in SA1 of Swansea law firm Morgan Cole.
The board of the new company is Morgan Cole chairman Peter Jones; DVLA chief executive Clive Bennett; Swansea Council interim chief executive Bob Carter; Swansea University Professor Marc Clement; Cardiff Airport head of business development Steve Hodgetts; Swansea Council leader Chris Holley; Swansea Futures executive director Fiona Rees, and IBM associate partner Rob Wilmot.
Page 2 - Changing city