The Lower Swansea Valley Project was a culmination of decades of previous effort to reduce the degrading impact of the industries that lined the banks of the River Tawe.

How LSVP began

Remains of White Rock, 1961By 1960 tips rose like man-made mountains encroaching on people’s living spaces. Ruined buildings were left to rot. The river was an urban wound of toxic sludge. Kilvey Hill was bald and barren.

Robin Huws Jones was the Director of Social Administration courses at the University College of Swansea and he travelled often by train to and from Swansea. He felt that something must be done about this ‘century-old eyesore’.

His vision resulted in a pioneering partnership between the University College, Ministry of Housing and Local Government and Swansea Borough Council to survey the whole valley in detail as the first step towards reclamation.

Through cooperation and a shared desire to make a change these parties contributed nearly half of the £48,750 needed for the project and the rest was made possible by the Nuffield Foundation with an initial grant of £22,500.

The Lower Swansea Valley Project was officially launched on 17 August 1961 and Kenneth Hilton was made its Director.

Aims of LSVP

Copper slag tips (Graham Humphrys)The Project conducted investigations into the physical, social and economic situation in the Lower Swansea Valley. It aimed to understand the problems faced by the area’s development and to provide accurate and up to date information and analysis for its future development.


Terms of Reference

To establish the factors which inhibit the social and economic use of land in the Lower Swansea Valley and to suggest ways in which the area should be used in the future.

Special enquiries

Economic history and economics
Civil engineering
Landscape planning
Social science

Next > Reclamation

LSVP in 2 Minutes

 With audio soundtrack, 2:01

Botany and Microbiology team of the Lower Swansea Valley Project, 1965 (Rosa Nichols)

Clockwise from back row left: Dr P.D. Gadgil  (Microbiologist), Brian Salter (Forester),  William Walker? (Forester, took over from Brian Salter), Rosana Demarco, Bryn Roberts (Field Assistant) and Ruth Gadgil (née Weston) (Ecologist).

Do you recognise yourself or a friend or relative in this photograph? If so we would like to hear from you. Contact us if you were involved in LSVP and have memories to share.