Transform a disused nightclub in Little Wind Street Swansea into a pop-up events space and offer engaging and vibrant activities to new audiences.
Wind Street is a part of the city that is very heavily focused on a pub and club late night economy, catering to a specific demographic. The landlord wanted to broaden the offer and change perceptions of the area.
What we did
Unit Nineteen was conceived as a pop-up multi-purpose space with a series of socially enterprising creative initiatives focused on attracting new audiences and changing perceptions of the area.
Street Food Friday ran monthly and brought an array of delicious Welsh street food (with options for vegans and gluten free diets), live music and a pop-up bar to Little Wind Street from 5pm – 9:30pm. It was sponsored by Swansea BID and City & County of Swansea as part of their work to enhance Swansea’s early evening economy.
An indoor park was created for two weeks to promote Natural Resources Wales’ work on the ecological and social benefits of green spaces (particularly in urban areas). The park hosted wellbeing & yoga classes, a conference on green infrastructure, and free play sessions for children.
The project, initially designed for a short 3-month run, was so successful that it ended up running for almost 2 years, featuring live music events, mini-festivals, workshops, launches and classes, sip and sketch painting sessions, exhibitions, and a range of other activities.
Street Food Friday
Impact of our work
The venue was incredibly popular, attracting large crowds every month, with the Street Food Friday events particularly attracting significant interest. The majority of attendees were people dropping in after work and families – people who would not usually visit the City Centre in the early evening. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with people feeling that it met a real need in Swansea and lots of demand expressed for more activities and events. It also featured in the Guardian newspaper featuring innovative projects that were trialling ‘pop-up’ activities across the UK: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/gallery/2017/jun/03/cities-transformed-derelict-urban-spaces-businesses-community-spaces-arts-housing
The aim for the landlord was to market a problem empty space to the market for a long-term use, and the project succeeded in doing that with a long-term user signing up.
We are exploring longer-term projects that extend this ‘pop-up’ approach and it has been used as an exemplar by others seeking to do the same, including forming part of the Welsh Government’s considerations of how we ‘build back better’ from COVID19. We have subsequently been commissioned by Welsh Government to further explore developing a more standardised approach to Meanwhile Uses.
You can find out more and find links to the relevant social media feeds here: www.unitnineteen.co.uk
- "Really cool people, loads of families, it’s definitely the best place in Swansea at the moment."Victoria Lee