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Logic Festival returns to Swansea

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THIS SEPTEMBER, Logic Festival returns to Swansea, with Ynysforgan Farm hosting nearly 5,000 people across five arenas and over 70 artists performing.

The Festival can be seen as the spiritual successor to Escape In The Park, and will be headlined by a top name in dance music, Judge Jules, once voted best DJ in the world by DJ Mag.

Escape Into The Park was the biggest dance festival on the Welsh calendar, started by Jonathan Wignall and Danny Slade in July 1995. Mr Wignall owned nightclub Escape at the time, whilst Mr Slade worked there. They decided to launch a festival based on the club at Singleton Park, bringing in both top names in the industry as well as local talent looking to make a name for themselves.

Stars such as Tiësto, Chipmunk and Pendulum all performed over the years, as attendances rose from 5,000 to 25,000 people.

The festival was sold to a company called Angel Music Group in 2009, and continued as before until 2011. But in 2012, the festival was cancelled, releasing a statement saying: “Like many other UK festivals, Escape Into The Park is taking a year off in 2012.

“This year is looking to be very busy for the public with a combination of a summer of Olympic sporting activity and the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in June.

“Therefore, we believe this is the perfect timing for us to take a year off to sit back and reassess the format of the festival with a view to coming back stronger than ever next year.”

Yet Escape Into The Park didn’t return, with many feeling that its sale changed the festival for the worse, with an influx of commercial acts lessening the event’s appeal.

Slade said: “The company didn’t have their heart in Wales, they were only there for financial gain. They didn’t have a passion for the event.”

Jason Pufal, owner of Rainbow Rooms Bar and Nightclub in Gorseinon, was a circuit DJ in the 1990s. Memories of the event prompted him to do something to fill the void left by Escape Into The Park’s absence. Pufal launched Logic Festival, which started out as a small event held at the end of summer 2016 with a capacity of just 499, and is now expecting nearly 5,000 to attend this year.

“I’ve been in the game for roughly 20 years, as a DJ, club owner and now running a festival is the next stage.” said Pufal.

When asked about the suggestion of Logic acting as spiritual successor to Escape Into The Park, Pufal said: “Escape Into The Park was one of the most talked about events in Wales, and so it is an honour to be compared to it.

“I feel we have helped put dance music in Wales back on the map, as there was a void after Escape Into The Park ended, and there is nothing in Wales doing what we do.”

With regard to ambitions for this year’s event, he said: “It would be nice to sell out this year, and there are other fields nearby we can license, so if things go well we can up the capacity to 10,000 in the future.”

The return of a festival to Swansea is a boost to the Welsh music scene, as Slade said: “It’s positive, as it proves people are interested in going to festivals in Wales, this year we hope for a good turnout and to go on to become bigger and better.”

The arenas will be categorised as Trance, Hardcore and Hard Dance, House, Club Classics and Multi Genre. With direct access to the M4 corridor, Ynysforgan Farm is a prime location, with free on-site parking in an adjacent field, as well as a fully licensed bar and catering concessions.

There will also be a launch party between August 18-19 at the Dillwyn Arms Hotel in Herbert Street, Pontardawe, with N-Trance playing a headlining DJ set.

Logic takes place on Saturday September 8, with standard tickets costing £27.50 and final release tickets costing £32.40.

They are available by visiting www.seetickets.com and www.derricksmusic.co.uk

You can also call 07763 000382 or visit www.logicfestival.wales

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Swansea Bay City Deal leaders are supporting Neath Port Talbot Council’s proposals for changes

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SWANSEA Bay City Deal leaders are supporting Neath Port Talbot Council’s proposal to amend some of their projects due to be part-funded by the £1.3 billion investment programme.

Any amended or enhanced projects, they say, will be progressed through City Deal governance and approval processes before submission to the Welsh Government and UK Government for consideration.

This follows on from the City Deal’s Joint Committee accepting all recommendations arising from two reviews into the City Deal, which included enabling flexibility in the investment programme to bring new projects in if they’re beneficial to the region.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Bay City Deal Joint Committee Chairman, says a Neath Port Talbot Council call for the City Deal to change approach is also being put in place.

Cllr Stewart said: “As a Joint Committee, we have accepted all recommendations from the City Deal reviews, and work is ongoing to implement them as soon as possible.

“These include the appointment of an independent programme director to manage the City Deal, as well as flexibility to amend or enhance projects forming part of the investment programme if they’re good for the region.

“The City Deal is still at an early stage of its development, but we’re doing all we can to make governance and project approval processes more efficient to speed up the investment programme’s delivery.

“It would be too great a risk for communities and businesses in Neath Port Talbot to miss out on City Deal investment, so we stand ready to help Neath Port Talbot Council move their projects forward.

“All City Deal partners remain committed to delivery. It’s widely recognised that the City Deal presents a once in a generation opportunity to create considerable economic growth and well-paid jobs across the region as a whole.”

The independent review into the City Deal commissioned by both governments recommended immediate approval for two City Deal projects – the ‘Yr Egin’ creative sector development in Carmarthen, and the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District.

Cllr Stewart said: “We expect funds to be released for these projects imminently.

“We also welcome Neath Port Talbot Council’s continued commitment to the regional Homes as Power Stations project, which will help people save money on their energy bills by introducing cutting-edge energy-efficient technology to both new houses and existing buildings throughout South West Wales.”

The Swansea Bay City Deal investment programme is due to be funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector. It’s being led by the four regional councils – Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea – in partnership with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea University, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

The City Deal is projected to create over 9,000 high-quality jobs and give the regional economy a £1.8 billion boost in coming years.

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A476: Lorry fire closes LLannon to Tumble road

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Emergency services dealt with a lorry fire on the A476, Llannon to Tumble road, Carmarthenshire

The incident took place on Tuesday afternoon (Apr 16)

The road was closed for a short time whilst the fire was extinguished.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

No one was reported injured in the fire.

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Almost 100 jobs to go at Calsonic Llanelli

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A MAJOR Llanelli employer is to shed almost a quarter of its employees following what it describes as a ‘significant drop-off in sales’.

Calsonic Kansei, based says that continuing political and economic uncertainty have contributed to its decision to lay off 95 workers at its Lleithri Road factory on the outskirts of the town.

Calsonic were offered £4.4m from the Welsh Government to create 88 jobs at the plant late last year.

Llanelli’s local AM, Lee Waters, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for the Economy and Nia Griffith MP issued a joint statement about the jobs blow.

Lee Waters AM said “Nia Griffith and I will be doing what we can to work with the company, trade unions and other employers in the area to help the workers directly affected. And the Welsh Government will be extending the taskforce helping workers at Schaeffler to offer practical support.”

“Calsonic were offered significant Welsh Government help to develop new products at the end of last year, and we will continue to do what we can to help create a sustainable future for the site, through what is clearly a troubling period.”

Nia Griffith MP said “The next month will be a difficult period for the workers and their families at Calsonic, both Lee and I are ready to do whatever we can to help anyone affected. Alongside working directly with the factory staff and the trade unions, I’ll be using my voice in Parliament to ask the UK Government to match Welsh Government’s ongoing commitment to the plant and the workforce.”

Calsonic’s vice-president of HR for Europe, Neil O’ Brien, said: “The automotive industry is at a transitional stage, as well as being at a key point in several major vehicle ‘life cycles’, with car manufacturers developing their technologies to satisfy the ever demanding environmental legislation and moving towards autonomous and electric vehicles.

“During this period of transition, the added pressures of market instability caused by the political and economic conditions have affected our customers’ volumes and, consequently, Calsonic Kansei’s sales have seen a significant drop.

“The company intends to do everything reasonably possible to reduce the impact of this proposal on its employees.”

In January Schaeffler announced plans to close its plant in Leave-voting Llanelli with a loss of 200 skilled jobs.

Schaeffler also cited uncertainty about the UK’s economic and political future as being partially responsible for its decision.

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