One of the best-known names in the venue management and production business has been appointed to run Swansea's digital indoor arena.
Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has been appointed to run the landmark 3,500-capacity destination on behalf of Swansea Council after a highly competitive application process.
The indoor arena, positioned above a new multi-storey car park, will be set within a landscaped space on land south of Oystermouth Road forming part of the Swansea Central development site that also includes the former St David's shopping centre.
ATG's appointment follows discussions between the council, Rivington Land - the council's development managers for the site - and specialist arena consultants IPW.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, says the appointment is a hugely significant moment in the countdown to the regeneration of the city centre.
Cllr Stewart said: "We want a world class digital indoor arena, so to make sure it lives up to its billing we needed a world class management company with a global reach and a peerless understanding of the business. In ATG that's exactly what we've got.
"ATG owns and manages arenas and theatres across the UK and the US, including on London's West End and New York's Broadway.
"ATG is also an entertainment production company, so we really couldn't have a better partner in developing an indoor arena which in its detailed design will be flexible enough to meet the needs of both audiences and production companies.
"To have ATG on board at such an early stage is a real coup because they can now use their global expertise to help us design the arena. This appointment also sends out an important signal to other investors that there is huge confidence in the business opportunities on offer in Swansea in coming years."
Talks with potential operators for a new hotel close to the digital indoor arena are also on-going. Work on the development site south of Oystermouth Road is expected to start next year, with the arena and hotel earmarked to open in 2020.
Cllr Stewart added: "Tens of thousands of people enjoy events and performances at ATG's 46 venues around the world every night of the week, so they're a perfect company to attract up to 200 days of entertainment, exhibitions and events to Swansea every year."
The digital indoor arena will be one of the major landmark attractions of the overall Swansea Central development site which will also include new shops, restaurants, a boutique cinema, plenty of car parking spaces and a broad pedestrian bridge over Oystermouth Road.
It also forms a key section of the City Deal programme which aims to attract £1.3bn of investment and create at least 10,000 jobs in the Swansea Bay area.
Mark Cornell, Group CEO of ATG, said: "ATG is absolutely delighted to have been selected as the preferred operator for the new landmark Swansea arena and to be working with such a forward thinking and progressive council.
"ATG believes it can bring real value to the arena, both during the design and construction phase and once operational. With our producer and promoter relationships, and by developing close links with local organisations, we believe we can bring a strong and varied programme to Swansea arena. This, together with our strong focus on customer experience, means the Swansea arena will be a market leading venue."
John Laker, Rivington Land's Chairman, said: "Having proposed the arena as part of our original bid to the council, we are delighted to have helped to secure ATG. It sets the tone for the leisure element of Swansea Central's overall attraction and represents a significant milestone in our delivery of the development."