Swansea University is delighted to announce that the Santander bike share hire scheme will be coming to Swansea Bay.

Santander bike in Marina

After a tense and hard fought race to the finishing line Swansea University raised the most funding, over its operating costs, of the 5 finalists to finish top of the table. 

Swansea University raised £100,000 which was incredible as the original target was £53,178. An amazing 612 people pledged during the campaign – which was almost 50% more than the nearest competitor Brunel University London. The winning teams were formally confirmed at an event in London.

Speaking about Swansea University’s success Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor, said:

“Winning the Santander Cycles University Challenge demonstrates the boldness, ambition, and “can do” attitude of Swansea University.  However, we have had overwhelming support for the campaign, not just from the University Community, but also from across the City and beyond.  Businesses and individuals alike have demonstrated how much appetite there is here in Swansea for bringing a bike share hire scheme to our city.

“The City and County of Swansea has been behind us all the way and we will be working closely with the local authority as we develop and grow the scheme.

“The level of support we have had throughout the entire process from Santander, Crowdfunder and Nextbike has been outstanding, and we’re very much looking forward to continuing this relationship and working closely together as we work towards the launch of the scheme this Spring.

“The race to the Santander competition finish line has been intense, with all of the universities running excellent crowdfunding campaigns – we extend our congratulations to all those involved in the challenge.”

Initially Swansea’s Santander Cycles scheme will include five hubs with 50 bikes located along the city’s main cycle path. Hubs will be located at Singleton Park Campus, the Civic Centre, the National Waterfront Museum, Fabian Way Park and Ride and the Bay Campus.

Swansea University has been grateful for the support from the City & County of Swansea Council to bring a bike hire scheme to the city by not only pledging funding to the crowdfunding campaign but also as landowners it has given permission for the siting of the hubs. The scheme will give the public an opportunity to hire bikes from strategically placed bike stations.

Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Housing, Energy and Building Services, City & County of Swansea Council said: “We’re delighted that the university has been successful in their bid to introduce this bike hire scheme to Swansea.

“As a Council we are fully committed to increasing greener and more environmentally modes of transport. We are in the process of increasing our own fleet of electric vehicles, helping to lower our carbon footprint. This bike scheme will be instrumental in assisting us in our overall aims and that’s why we are fully behind this scheme.”

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Services added: “One key element in making cycling an attractive, alternative method of transport for people in Swansea is to ensure there is a good cycle network available. We have invested heavily in recent years, including upgrading links between the city centre and the new Swansea Bay Campus. This work will continue so that cycling can help us achieve our aims of lowering car congestion.”

Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, said: “We congratulate Swansea University and Brunel University London for winning against such tough competition. The standard of entries was incredibly high and the level of commitment from all the finalists throughout the challenge and in particular during the crowdfunding phase was exceptional.

“Most importantly, the winners were able to demonstrate the support from those who will benefit most from the scheme – their own communities. This has been a unique element of this challenge, a pioneering approach, which we hope will ultimately contribute to its long-term success. We look forward to working with both institutions over the coming months to get the cycle schemes ready for launch.”

With the support of The City and County of Swansea, members of the local community, University staff and students, local businesses and Mumbles Community Council, the University has managed to raise enough funding to not only reach the original crowdfunding target, but also to exceed a new ‘stretch’ target enabling it to finish top of the leaderboard. The additional pledges and support have allowed the University to consider plans for early expansion of the scheme and will give the University the potential to buy extra bikes and docking stations, as well as additional hubs. 

Swansea University is grateful to everyone who has supported the scheme and particularly the amazing support we have had from a large numbers of businesses. They are:

Andrew Evans Contracting

Critical Arc

Cuddy Demolition and Dismantle

Swansea Council

Swansea Environmental Forum

Wilmott Dixon Construction Ltd

Heat pump services

Total Parking Solutions


Swansea BID

National Waterfront Museum


Cycle solutions

Acorn Chemical

First Cymru

GV Multi Media

Icon Design


Mumbles Community Council

Natural Resources Wales

Phone link

The Bay Magazine

Westwood Energy Services


Swansea City AFC

Arup Cardiff


Valley Signs

Peter Lynn & Partners

Stride Treglown

St Modwen