Construction starts on Wales’ stunning new £31million Computational Foundry

Construction work is underway at Swansea University’s new £450m Bay Campus to build a massive new state-of-the-art centre to house a vibrant and growing community of world-class research leaders drawn from computational and mathematics sciences, who work together with purpose and impact; making Wales a global destination for researchers, students, and industrial partners.

Computational FoundryThe £31m Computational Foundry, part of the University’s College of Science, is expected to be completed in summer 2018.  The transformational development, which is backed with £17m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is the next stage of the University’s ambitious plans to expand and develop world-class facilities as part of its Campus Development strategy.

Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, welcomed Julie James, Welsh Government Minister for Skills and Science, to the Bay Campus for a short ceremony to mark the start of construction work.

Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science, said: “Developing Wales’ already impressive research and development capabilities is a key priority for this government and this new facility, which is benefiting from £17.1 million of EU funds, will drive research into computer science and help to make Wales a global destination for computer scientists and industrial partners.

“Once complete, this state-of-the-art computer science facility will also help to attract leading researchers to Wales and help establish Wales as a world leader for computer science and innovation."

Professor Richard B Davies, said: "The Computational Foundry will be a world-class centre for research within the heart of our magnificent science and innovation Bay Campus, transforming Swansea and Wales as a global destination for computational and mathematical scientists. It will also provide the most up-to-date and high-quality teaching facilities.

“The project is a key component of the strategic plans for the Swansea Bay City Region and will help turn the region into a global destination for computational scientists and IT companies.

“We are grateful for the funding we have had from the European Regional Development Fund via Welsh Government for this exciting project, and it is a pleasure to welcome the Minister here for the start of work on the Foundry. The Welsh Government’s backing is a sign of confidence in Swansea University’s ambition and plans for future growth and expansion.”

The Computational Foundry’s growth in research activities is already underway, and the new building will include research and development laboratories, postgraduate and researcher areas, specialist teaching and research facilities, lecture theatres, as well as networking and inspiration space. 

Computational Foundry GroupNeal Stephens, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon Construction, Wales and The West, said: “We are extremely pleased to start construction of the Computational Foundry. Using our regional knowledge we will engage local companies, employment and apprentices to maximise the opportunities and benefits of this project.

“We are looking forward to delivering an outstanding research and teaching facility that will benefit the University and Swansea City Region for generations to come.”

The bespoke building will be kitted out with world leading experimental set-ups, equipment, devices and prototypes that will accelerate innovation.  It will also provide the most up-to-date and high-quality teaching facilities. 

The expansion will enable the University’s College of Science to grow and deliver new, meaningful and lucrative research, alongside existing teaching and outreach activity.


Top image from left: Ian Jones, Operations Director for Willmott Dixon Construction, Wales and the West; Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science; Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor, Swansea University; and Professor Iwan Davies, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Swansea University, at the site of the new Computational Foundry, Bay Campus.

Bottom image: Joining the group are Head of Mathematics, Professor Biagio Lucini and Head of Computer Science, Professor Arnold Beckmann.