A PRESS release to local media outlets has unveiled a series of exciting developments at Llanelli’s Parc Howard.
Underlining the council’s ongoing commitment to the future of the park, the leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Councillor Emlyn Dole, said the sensitive development of the play areas and mansion house will lead Parc Howard into a new era.
Amongst the plans he has unveiled are proposals to transform the historic mansion house, with potential uses including a wedding and banqueting venue, conferencing suites and an outdoor marquee.
The former cafe, which adjoins the mansion, could also be brought back to life selling refreshments and afternoon tea.
There are also plans to utilise the building as a regional centre for genealogy – tying in to Llanelli Town Centre’s Heritage Six scheme, which involves the library and Llanelly House.
Children are also being catered for, with brand new sections added to the park’s two existing play areas – including a giant four-mast space net with trampoline that will be the first in the world , and has been especially commissioned for Parc Howard.
Cllr Dole said: “This is a new era for Parc Howard. I have always voiced my full commitment to the future of Parc Howard and I have worked with my team to secure a range of investments and improvements that will encourage more people to use and enjoy this wonderful park.
“The park still is, and always will be, owned by the people of Llanelli but we want to make the most of it – there is a lot of value to heritage and culture.
“We have allocated funding to kick -start development with exciting new playground equipment to improve the offer for young children and families, and have committed further funding to the ongoing maintenance of the mansion house.
“We are also proposing the sensitive commercialisation of the mansion house with potential uses including a wedding, banqueting, conferencing and private event venue, and reintroducing the cafe that was once so popular.
“We also plan to house a genealogy centre at the mansion which will tie in perfectly with Llanelli’s Heritage Six and our plans to improve the county’s archive services in Carmarthen.
“We have worked with the Parc Howard Association and Friends of Parc Howard who are keen to support our proposals as a way of benefitting the park going forward with private investment that will create profits for the ongoing maintenance and development of the park.
Children visiting Parc Howard will be the first in the world to play on an especially-commissioned giant space net – a huge four-mast rope climbing frame with a trampoline at its centre.
Carmarthenshire County Council has commissioned a number of leading play equipment designers to come up with a series of new play equipment designs to improve the provision currently available at both playgrounds.
The preferred design includes a crawling pyramid, wobble-bridge, wizard’s tower fortress and forest shop with slides connecting the upper playground to the existing equipment on the lower level.
Existing equipment will be refurbished and updated as part of the work, including the ship and castle in the toddler area and new swing sets.
The work will be carried out in phases to ensure children still have equipment to play on as work gets underway and the first phase – the new equipment on the upper level of the toddler’s area – is anticipated to be complete d by the end of July.
The giant space net will be in place by the end of September to take the junior playground into the autumn season.
“We would of course like to have it all complete d in time for the school holidays, but the giant space net will be worth waiting for,” said Cllr Dole.
“Our teams will work hard to get the rest of the new equipment in place as quickly as possible so that children can use it during their summer break – we will be sectioning off parts of the playground whilst work is underway so that there is always something they can play on.”
The Mansion House
Carmarthenshire County Council will be seeking private investors to put money into the sensitive development of the mansion house, with potential uses including a wedding, banqueting and conference venue.
Proposals will centre around allowing the building to generate income with profits that will benefit the whole park.
It is hoped that the mansion house will become the home for Heritage Six , which will enable community access to provide artefacts, images and oral histories of Carmarthenshire for hosting on an online heritage website for the region.
The council has already committed additional funding to the maintenance of the building which costs around £100,000 a year to keep, with £250,000 being spent on the roof alone this year.
“We have fantastic plans to develop the mansion but will be very sensitive in the choice of commercial operations given its unique history and location within the park and surrounding residential area,” said Cllr Dole.
“We plan to advertise opportunities for private firms to propose uses and then run it, with potential for uses such as a wedding, banqueting and conferencing venue with a percentage of profits going back to the park. Planning permission may be needed for certain aspects, which would be submitted later in the year.
“With the support of the Parc Howard Association and Friends of Parc Howard , we hope to move these plans forward in the very near future.”
Herald publisher ceases operations
HERALD NEWS UK LTD, the company which prints The Pembrokeshire Herald, The Carmarthenshire Herald and The Llanelli Herald has ceased operations.
Editor of Pembrokeshire Herald, Thomas Sinclair said: “After finalising today’s paper to go to print yesterday, a meeting was held last night. It was confirmed that the expected further investor funding would not be made available for the company.
“This meant that operations need be halted as the businesses was not able to pay its ongoing costs.
“At 10am today the 24 members of staff working at the newspaper have today been given notice of redundancy.
“We are absolutely devastated that after nearly 7 years and hundreds of editions of the paper we can no longer continued.”
“I would like to think that over those years, some of the stories we have written have made a difference to Pembrokeshire and beyond.”
Director of Herald News UK Limited, John Hammond said: “The company accountant could be appointing administrators as soon as next week.”
“The Owners of The Pembrokeshire Herald came to the conclusion last night during a finance meeting that the venture is no longer financially viable.
“Whilst every conceivable effort has been made to improve the financial situation of the business, we have to face the fact that there is no way that we can now continue in a solvent position.
“Whilst there has been a slow decline in readership of local newspapers, our costs for wages, printing and transport have substantially increased.”
“We would like to thank all of our loyal readers and staff.”
Council announces overnight roadworks
MOTORISTS face further inconvenience owing to a series of planned night-time closures in Llanelli whilst essential road improvement works are carried out later this month.
Hard-pressed motorists, including Llanelli’s AM Lee Waters (see his column in this newspaper), already experience long delays using routes into and out of the town.
To reduce the level of inconvenience, Carmarthenshire County Council has programmed road surfacing works to take place during the night over the next month at Parc Trostre, Sandy Road, Pembrey Road and Queen Victoria Road, Llanelli, to avoid the busiest periods. Diversions will be in place.
A section of B4304 Parc Trostre Roundabout near ATS will be closed from Wednesday, October 30 between 7 pm and 6 am for up to four nights.
A section of Sandy Road, between its junction with Denham Avenue to the entrance to Coleg Sir Gâr, will be closed between 7 pm and 6 am on November 11-22 for up to nine nights.
A section of Pembrey Road, from its junction of Chapman Street to New Road, will be closed between 7 pm and 6 am on November 3 and 12 for up to nine nights.
Part of Queen Victoria Road and the Murray St crossroads will also be subject to night-time closure between 7 pm and 6 am on November 10 and 15 for up to five nights.
Since April the council has resurfaced 22 sections of road as part of a £2.5million investment in Carmarthenshire roads.
The sections of road being resurfaced have been identified as a priority based on road condition, usage and strategic importance.
Comprehensive traffic management will be in place whilst the works are being carried out and all schemes will be published in advance with full details available on roadworks.org.
The council said the works are unavoidable and have thanked members of the public in advance for their cooperation.
The council’s executive board member for transport, Cllr Hazel Evans said: “This is a significant amount of money that we have secured to improve our roads in the county. All roadworks will be publicised in advance so motorists can plan journeys to avoid the area and take an alternative route. We will minimise as far as possible the impact on road users by careful planning, however, some disruption cannot be avoided, so please bear with us. We thank everyone in advance for their cooperation and patience.”
These dates may vary due to unforeseen conditions or adverse weather. People are being advised to check https://one.network for further updates.
UK’s top skaters and riders drop in on Llanelli youngsters to celebrate a special birthday
THE WORLD’S and the UK’s finest skateboarders, BMX and Wheelchair Motocross stars will drop in on young people at a Carmarthenshire Ramps skatepark on Saturday 19 October 2019 from 11 am till 2 pm.
The event was arranged to celebrate the £3 billion National Lottery players have raised for projects which have specifically helped children and young people develop and thrive in the UK over the last 25 years.
£2 million of National Lottery funding has specifically been awarded to support and develop over 47 BMX projects in local communities for young people in Wales to enjoy.
Wales and Pembrokeshire’s own wheelchair sports superstar, Lily Rice; the Olympic BMX freestyler from Swansea, James Jones; Britain’s leading street skateboarder and 2020 Olympic hopeful, Alex Decunha; and YouTube influencer, Jake O’Neill (aka Jake100), visite hundreds of youngsters at Ramps indoor and outdoor skatepark in Llanelli as part of the National Lottery’s celebrations.
More than £340,000 was awarded by the National Lottery in 2013 to develop and build Ramps Skatepark which now provides activities for over 15,000 young people a year.
At 15 years old, Lily Rice from Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, is a World Champion wheelchair motocross (WCMX) star. She was propelled to fame two years ago when she became the first female in Europe to achieve a wheelchair backflip, and only the second girl in the world to pull off the stunt. Since then, Lily has emerged as one of the global leaders of WCMX – wheelchair motocross.
She says: “By contributing towards building amazing facilities such as this indoor and outdoor skate park, National Lottery funding is helping thousands of young people of all abilities to reach their goals and discover new opportunities.
I have trained and practised at numerous National Lottery funded skate parks and there is no doubt that the funding has helped wheeled sports, enthusiasts, to become healthier and more active.”
The National Lottery has inspired millions of people to get active in their local community, as well as supporting individuals and teams from grassroots to elite.
James Jones is a 25-year-old professional BMX rider from Swansea. James, who also celebrated his 25th Birthday this year, is one of six world-class athletes who make up the Freestyle BMX Team GB for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. James honed his skills and practised his tricks at the Ramps skate park in Llanelli when he was growing up and highlights the importance of young people having access to facilities like this on their doorstep.
James Jones said: “I practised a lot here growing up and this facility has played a big part in my development as a professional rider and a person. I probably wouldn’t be where I am now without the support I got here. It’s not just about learning to ride or skate, there’s a real family vibe here, a great social aspect and it’s well supported by the community.
The National Lottery must fund parks such as this one so that young people can have a safe space to pursue their hobbies and meet friends.”
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