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Wellness Village is keystone for ARCH

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PLANS for how the health service can

PLANS for how the health service
can

PLANS for how the health service can contribute to a multi-million pound health and wellbeing village in Llanelli have been discussed by West Wales’ leading health bosses. Hywel Dda University Health Board hosted an event in Carmarthen to discuss the plans, which form part of the ambitious ARCH Programme. The £60 m Llanelli Wellness Village, led by Carmarthenshire Council, would be the first of its kind in Wales and unique to Llanelli. The scope that the health service and transformational ARCH Programme could play in the development was discussed by Hywel Dda chief executive Steve Moore and senior health staff at a workshop held in Carmarthen Leisure Centre workshop discuss the Board’s involvement in ARCH.

The proposed Llanelli Wellness Centre is just one element of the ARCH project and aims to see a new leisure centre built which will also a wellness education centre, a health and wellbeing academy, out of hours GP services, therapies centre, hotel and conferencing and business facilities. Swansea University senior lecturer and ARCH Project Manager Bjorn Rodde spoke to Hywel Dda staff members about the potential benefit, not only to Llanelli, but the entire region of South West Wales. He said: “All of these services help people live longer and enjoy a better quality of life while providing sustainable jobs for the future.” The Llanelli Wellness community in Delta Lakes, could also see the development of ILS@Hywel Dda.

The Institute of Life Science (ILS) is Wales’s premier purpose-built medical research facility and is based at Swansea University. It is hoped Carmarthenshire will benefit from the same innovation and research which benefits all our health with the creation of the Hywel Dda facility in Llanelli. Funding could come from the EU but also from private investment and match funding in various forms. Carmarthenshire Council has said it would supply the land for the project. Hywel Dda chief executive Steve Moore told the invited audience that the health board is committed to the ARCH Programme but urged his senior managers to make the most of what ARCH can offer. He said: “ARCH will be everything to everyone, but as a health board we must be clear about what we want to get out of the project for our communities “This programme really does offer us the chance to improve the services we deliver across the Hywel Dda area and to transform the way we operate as an organisation.

“We are committed to ARCH, but now is the time to work with our partners and be specific about what it can bring to us.” He emphasised that working effectively as a region is in the hands of the Hywel Dda team He added: “Collaboration is a choice.” Another of the guest speakers at the Carmarthenshire event was Dr Phil Kloer, Medical Director & Director of Clinical Strategy for Hywel Dda, also praised the ARCH Programme and encouraged his colleagues to support the scheme. He said: “This will break new ground. By linking ARCH’s ambitions with our local clinical strategy we can be a leader in rural health services and even possibly repatriate certain services to Hywel Dda. “We do have some fragile service models, we need to work together now and everyone needs to be a part of it.”

He added: “Now is the moment to connect to ARCH as an organisation.” An ARCH spokeswoman said: “Our emotional wellbeing is a key part to living a healthier and happier life. It is one of the key aims of the programme. ARCH will be a vehicle to help the partners deliver improved health services across the region. But in order for this innovative project to be completely effective we must all start to understand how taking care of our own wellbeing will create a healthier region. “We are working together to develop healthier values locally which focus on health and wellbeing for all our communities. Carmarthenshire Council’s plans for the Wellness and Wellbeing Village in Llanelli’s Delta Lakes are a key foundation stone in ARCH’s aims.”

Chair of the ARCH Wellness and Wellbeing group is Carmarthenshire councillor Meryl Gravell. Councillor Gravell said: “We want to help our communities be more active, feel supported and be curious to learn new skills and take on new challenges. This will all contribute to improving not only our wellbeing but our overall health.” Councillor Gravell added: “The ARCH Wellness and Wellbeing group is leading the way to find ways of helping the entire region stay well. “I am particularly excited about the proposed plans for the Wellness Village in Delta Lakes. This Carmarthenshire Council-led project will be a huge win for our community and is a great way to show what the ARCH Programme partners can deliver. We also want to improve the economic health of the area, so we are also looking to work with the private sector to create good quality, well-paid jobs.”

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£121k watersports funding announced for Llanelli beauty spot

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• Welsh Water, Natural Resources Wales, Llanelli Rural Council & Canoe Wales has secured ‘Access to Water’ funding.

• Visitors will be able to enjoy paddlesports (canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding), windsurfing and angling.

• Site expected to attract 90k+ visitors a year.

The recent announcement of the development of the Swiss Valley reservoirs in Carmarthenshire has been given a boost with the confirmation of an ‘Access to Water’ grant from Welsh Government, worth £121k, that will enable visitor access to the Lower Lleidi reservoir for paddle sports and angling.

The funding will realise plans to bring back a range of paddlesports to the reservoir, including stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking.  It will also enable bank angling through the creation of recreational zones.  A range of improvements to the surrounding infrastructure are also planned to include a boat wash for biosecurity and the creation of paths and a pontoon that allows easy access to water for people of all abilities, and the refurbishment of toilet facilities.

Developing the Swiss Valley Reservoirs is expected to attract 90k+ visitors a year to the site, in line with Covid19 regulations. The ‘Access to Water’ funding is an important milestone in achieving shared ambitions for the site, and to support the funding application, a survey of local canoe clubs, outdoor activity providers and anglers was conducted which found a strong demand for access to the water for their activities. The feedback was that this is likely to generate a huge amount of interest from clubs and providers given it’s ideal geographical location. The community adoption scheme means that local people are offering to invest their own time to help look after this jewel of a community asset, and care for it into the future.

The project is well placed to support the delivery of The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015, which requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change. Whilst Welsh Water is not a public body, it is committed to working in partnership with Llanelli Rural Council, Natural Resources Wales and Canoe Wales in the spirit of the legislation.

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “This is an excellent example of a scheme which increases opportunities for outdoor recreation and provides safe access to water for people of all abilities.  The development of these reservoirs will enable local people and visitors to gain more enjoyment from this beauty spot in line with covid19 guidelines and help to support a green recovery in Wales.  I hope the success of this project will encourage development of many more similar opportunities over the coming years.”

Welsh Water Chief Executive Peter Perry said, “Access to blue space is proven to be positively associated with health and wellbeing. Swiss Valley is an important asset for the local community and visitors alike. This funding is a major milestone in our efforts to bring this cherished community asset back to its former glory and make it more accessible, for the health and wellbeing of everyone.”

Jen Browning, Chief Executive of Canoe Wales, the national governing body for paddlesport in Wales, added, “Over the past eight months, we have seen an unprecedented amount of demand for canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, but the limited number of venues in Wales suitable for new paddlers has always been a major obstacle. This funding will ensure that Swiss Valley can play an enormously important role in making it possible for people of all abilities to enjoy the water, and for many to discover a passion for paddlesport and develop a deep connection with the outdoors.”

Dave MacCallum, Specialist Advisor for Water Access & Recreation at Natural Resources Wales and Chairman of NAFW Access to Water Sub-Group said: “We are delighted to have been a part of this important collaboration which will open up these new waters for responsible, inclusive recreation in South West Wales. NRW is committed to doing all we can to enable more people to enjoy Wales’ countryside more easily and responsibly – to take advantage of the many health and wellbeing benefits that getting outside can bring. Benefitting from bespoke disabled paddle-sport access facilities and a Biosecurity station promoting and enabling the Check Clean Dry initiative, the Swiss Valley reservoir project paves the way for future access to Welsh still waters so that current and future generations can continue to enjoy their visits to some of Wales’ most spectacular landscapes”

Llanelli Rural Council Leader, Cllr Tegwen Devichand said “the funding is marvellous news for the community and will enable the council to develop its plans for the reservoir in earnest. Much of the preliminary work associated with the first phase of infrastructure improvements can now get underway, in fact some work has commenced already. The physical adaptations to refurbish the toilet block, visitor car park and access to the water to facilitate paddle sports and the angling fraternity is scheduled to be completed by March 2021, but work won’t stop there. Moreover, the community response to our plans for the reservoir has been overwhelming; the council has received a great deal of local and regional support and a number of interest groups and individuals have come forward to help us deliver our plans as well as to offer their services. This is greatly appreciated and bodes well for the future.”

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Llanelli Yodel colleague celebrates 30-year anniversary

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Beverley Smith, a valued member of the Llanelli depot’s team, is celebrating her 30-year anniversary with UK independent parcel carrier, Yodel.

Beverley joined Yodel in 1990, when it was originally known as Home Shopping Network, as an Inbound Sorter and then moved onto a Customer Service Support role over 28 years ago. Beverly supports the Llanelli Management Team, provides customer service to clients and customers alike and is always on hand to answer any driver queries.

To celebrate her anniversary, Kay Dodd, Service Centre Manager, presented Beverley with £750 of Very vouchers and ordered in a cooked breakfast to celebrate.

Customer Service Support Advisor, Beverley Smith commented: “My time with Yodel has been very fulfilling – constantly challenging – keeping me on my toes. I’ve been with the company so long that I remember having to write with a pen and paper and have to fax documents to the head office daily – I can’t say I miss those days!

“I have made many close friends during the 30 years at the business and I truly have enjoyed the hard working and happy atmosphere at Llanelli every day.”

Kay Dodd, Depot Manager, added: “Bev is a valued member of my team here at Llanelli, she provides excellent customer service to customers, clients and colleagues. She has a courteous and caring attitude and goes beyond her duties to ensure everyone has a positive experience at Yodel Llanelli. Thank you for everything Bev!”

To join Beverley and the team at Yodel’s Llanelli depot, or to find out more about working for Yodel, and the roles and training available, visit www.yodelopportunities.co.uk or text ‘Deliver’ to 84433. 

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Preparatory works to start at key Stepney Street Building

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Preparatory works are due to start on a key building in Llanelli Town Centre ahead of formal planning approval.

Number 49 Stepney Street is being redeveloped as part of a significant investment in the town centre to transform, regenerate and connect its key retails and leisure areas.

Carmarthenshire County Council has submitted plans which could see the former YMCA building retain much of its character whilst providing high quality living space and commercial units

The works would include the restoration of the front façade of the building, along with the retention of the perimeter wall, main internal structural walls and bringing back many original features such as the ornate staircase.

Subject to planning approval the rest of the building would be redeveloped to include two floors of commercial space on the ground and first floors, with eight two-bedroomed living spaces on the upper floors.

There will also be residents parking spaces on the ground floor.

The works currently underway will prepare the building for redevelopment and include stripping and clearance of old materials.

Carmarthenshire County Council leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “Many generations of people from Llanelli will have special memories of using this fantastic building over the years and it is such a shame to see it lay empty and falling into disrepair – we’re proud to be leading on this scheme to breathe new life into it once again.”

The council has already spent £4.5million buying empty shop units from private ownership, renovating and bringing them back in to use at affordable rental levels – all of them currently occupied by independent businesses

A Local Development Order has been put in place to simplify the planning process for property owners and potential investors

This project is being procured via the South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework. Carmarthenshire County Council has appointed a regional contractor who will develop the project alongside local supply chains.

For further information on this framework, email TSSWWRCF@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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