The South Wales West Local Section covers a wide area from Porthcawl in the east, to Fishguard in the west, and Brecon in the north. Its administrative centre is based in the Chemistry Department of the University of Wales Swansea.
The Section was founded in November 1918 as the South Wales Branch of the Institute of Chemistry and held its early meetings at the Mackworth Hotel in Swansea. The membership of the Branch covered the whole of South Wales and the annual subscription for a Fellow at the time was the princely sum of £2 2s 0d. With the amalgamation of the RIC and the CS in 1971, the Branch became the South Wales West Local Section.
The Section is particularly active in liaison with schools in the area and with the University Student Chemical Society. It runs a very successful Chemical Olympiad competition for teams from secondary schools and provides hands-on demonstration talks for primary schools. A further function is as a meeting place for its many retired members in the South Wales "Riviera" and a provider of social meetings/events for its members.