Swansea Copper Day 5 March 2011

22 February 2011

Swansea Copper DayCopper Day marks the 200th anniversary of the first copper ingot rolling out of the internationally-famed Hafod Copperworks of Vivian and Sons. It is also the 50th birthday of the Lower Swansea Valley Project, which was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and began the world’s first post-industrial land reclamation scheme.

The Lower Swansea Valley Project was intended to remove the industrial dereliction and pollution of the valley and return the area to active use. The Foundation awarded £22,500 to the project, which began in 1961. Other funders included the Welsh Office, Swansea Council and the former Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

About the Lower Swansea Valley Project
Surveys of the valley floor were carried out in order to get an accurate picture and analysis of the valley in terms of physical environment, social environment and economic situation. A 1967 report recommended that Swansea Council should acquire derelict areas in order to allow regeneration and development of the area as a whole. Swansea Council duly produced a Draft Development Plan and began the process of site reclamation, levelling of land, introduction of a flood prevention scheme, new roads and river crossing and regeneration. 

Redevelopment of the area provided the South Dock and Maritime Quarter and the Morfa Stadium sports complex. It also included the Swansea Enterprise Park and a large lake in the course of the Nant y Fendrod designed to help mitigate the concentrations of metals in the water. The lake itself is lined with limestone. Nearly all the old buildings were cleared, with only a very few of historic interest being preserved.

More information
Swansea Copper Day will include talks, film, chat and displays about the Lower Swansea Valley Project. Copper Day is organised by Swansea University’s ESRC-funded Global and Local Worlds of Welsh Copper Project. More information is available on the Swansea Copper Day website