I first published this on LinkedIn.
Before I start, this isnt political, at least not in the party political sense. Neither am I aiming this at anyone in the public sector working hard. I have nothing but respect for people who’s work serves their communities, in whatever form that takes.
It is political I guess, in the sense, that 46 plus years into my life, and having had the great benefit of working in different places, including the capital cities of Cardiff and London, I can tell you that I simply cannot believe that Swansea isn’t more of a Wales wide, a UK wide, a European wide, and even more of a global success.
Look at what we’ve got to offer:
Incredible landscapes: Offering breathtaking vistas and some of the best beaches in the UK. Walks, riding, swimming, surfing, boating, yachting, wildlife, countryside, farming, village life, city life, seaside life, marina life, Swansea literally has it all.
Why can’t we make more of it?
Fantastic places of learning: As a Swansea University alumni I would likely mention them first, and no can be anything other than stunned by the ambition and scale of the fantastic development on Fabian Way and the wonderful parkland campus which is actually on the beach front at Swansea Bay! I also hear great things about Swansea Metropolitan University and its ambitions, and there are lots of other places of study worthy of mention.
Why aren’t we making more of them?
Sport: Swansea City Football Club: A PREMIER LEAGUE football club all of our own. In Swansea, and enjoying a longevity and success many initially would not believe. Then there’s The Ospreys, one of it not the leading Region in our rugby structure, swimming, athletics, etc etc. Swansea has long had a proud tradition of sporting success.
Why aren’t we more famous?
Business: From big business to small, manufacturing to technology, family run to international, serial entrepreneurs to the business organisations like Swansea Bay Futures and Swansea Business Club (not to mention the support to business offered by our educational establishments) Swansea on the face of it, has everything you think it would need to win.
Why aren’t we more successful?
Location, location, location: I accept we are the ‘wrong’ end of the line as far as those in London are concerned! But we are lead city in our region, and should be doing more to lead it. We should be fighting Cardiff for every inch of recognition in Wales, and at the Assembly, and indeed the press. We should be standing on our own as a educational, cultural, sporting, business and tourism centre, not relegated to second city status.
Why can’t we bring this all together?
I’m so passionate about this, but I don’t know the answer. Every week I work away in London and every time I come back I marvel at where I live. Everytime I drive over the bridge over Fabian Way I am stunned by the views of the bay and Mumbles and the mouth of the Tawe.
Every walk through a wood or field, every meeting with a new (or established) Swansea business, every visit to a university I am filled with the power of Swansea’s potential.
Every visit to the Liberty Stadium, every step on the golden sands of Gower, every round of golf in the heart of the countryside around us, makes me practically burst with the wonder of it all.
Sure we have issues. The roads, the city centre, parking, investment, etc. etc. But we have so much more to be proud of.
So much more potential.
So why aren’t we taking advantage of where we are? Why do people go from Swansea rather than come to Swansea.
How do we change it, and start to see what we are all capable of?
Anyone have any answers?