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Wellness plans progress

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wellnessplansPLANS to create a unique Wellness and Life Science Village in Llanelli have taken a step forward, with the Welsh Government announcing it is to fund a Masterplan for the project.

The Welsh Government has also agreed to vary the terms of the Llanelli Coast Joint Venture agreement with Carmarthenshire County Council , to formally include the proposed development, subject to an agreed business plan.

The Wellness and Life Science Village aims to transform the way the region delivers care and promotes wellbeing – partnering first-class health, research and life science, with innovative leisure opportunities to help people live healthy lives.

However, some astute observers have pointed out that as long ago as 2012, the Llanelli Coast Joint Venture agreement was varied for another ambitious leisure proposal.

At that time, proposals to transform the Old Castle Works into an £18m state-of-the-art facility were incorporated into the Joint Venture agreement.

The scheme – which even then was described as ‘long-awaited’ – then included a leisure centre, sports academy, ten-pin bowling alley and indoor and outdoor adventure activities.

The t hen -Welsh Government Business Minister , Edwina Hart , said in 2012: “It [ the Old Castle Works ] is a key site for redevelopment , with potential to create new jobs and boost the local economy.”

Those plans were derided as ‘little more than a political stunt’ when they stalled the following year.

In 2015, the Council re-floated the plans for the Old Castle Works, with a proposed £16m development on the site. The £2m reduction in the budget was unexplained.

Executive Board Member for Leisure , Councillor Meryl Gravell , said: “A requirement of any tender would be to include a new leisure centre for Llanelli, and our ambitions are to create something much more than a traditional leisure centre, involving working closely with universities and the local health authority to encourage more people to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

“This is something the authority has wanted for some time, and by forming a partnership we aim to deliver that dream, which might otherwise remain out of reach.”

While the Old Castle Works remains undeveloped, focus has shifted to the Delta Lakes site, which is over four times larger.

An explanation for the need of an increased footprint is that the plans now include a state-of-the-art ‘wellness ‘ and leisure centre, and life science and research facilities, as well as the possibility of a hotel, conferencing and high-spec business suites.

The proposed multi-million pound development earmarked for Delta Lakes is being led by Carmarthenshire Council. It forms part of the wider regional collaboration for health initiative being taken forward by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Hywel Dda Health Boards and Swansea University. It is also one of the projects highlighted in the Swansea Bay City Region City Deal document.

The Masterplan study will build on the feasibility study that is currently being undertaken.

Cllr Meryl Gravell, Chair of the ARCH Wellness and Wellbeing Working Group, said: “This scheme is really making progress – the appointment of the project manager and the funding for the feasibility study are significant steps in this development.

“It is an ambitious and unique scheme, which will not only be aimed at improving the health and well-being of people across the region, but will also boost the economy and provide high -quality jobs.”

The concept of a Wellness and Life Science Village followed talks on plans to build a new leisure centre in Llanelli , and the council’s desire to work collaboratively with health partners, putting additional investment into facilities and services to help prevent ill-health and reduce pressure on front-line health care.

C llr Gravell has not indicated how a hotel and conference facilities will achieve those ends.

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Community checks out new Carmarthenshire Policing Hub and Custody Suite

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POLICE and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn today (24.06.22) hosted an open doors event for local stakeholders at Dyfed-Powys’ new Custody Suite and Policing Hub, that is currently under construction at Dafen, Llanelli Carmarthenshire.

Planning permission was granted to the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner by Carmarthenshire County Council back in April 2021 for the proposed development, which is to be an ambitious sustainable construction, with a BREEAM excellence rating.

Wilmott Dixon, who are the Construction Contractor have been on site since autumn preparing for the first construction phases, with specific progress now beginning made on the development, that aims to be completed by May 2023.

PCC Dafydd Llywelyn said; “This is a major investment for us which will see an ambitious, modern, sustainable fit for purpose policing hub and custody suite that will meet the needs and expectations of modern policing. 

“During the planning application process between 2020 and 2021, we engaged widely with the local community,  and It was a pleasure to open the door, and welcome local community representatives to the construction site today, to show the progress that has been made to date.

“I’ve worked extremely hard with partners over recent years to ensure that we get to this position and I now look forward to seeing the construction work continue to develop at pace over the year”.

In being a BREEAM related development, the new build will offer a more sustainable environment, that aims to enhance the well-being of the people who work within it, and help protect natural resources.

Amongst some of the sustainable credentials of the new build will be a photovoltaic solar power installation to minimise the carbon footprint of the building; a rainwater harvesting facility for toilets and non-potable water, and electric car charging facilities.

Chief Inspector Richard Hopkin, Dyfed-Powys Police’s operational lead on the new build, said: “We feel very fortunate to be having a new build custody suite and hub coming to Llanelli.

“Our current Llanelli estate is old, so to see a new build that is being designed with such consideration for the environment and the wellbeing of our staff and the community within which it sits is really positive.

“The development will provide a fit for purpose, future proof solution which will complement the town centre Neighbourhood Police Team base.”

Ian Jones, Director at Willmott Dixon commented, “This is the first project that we have worked on with Dyfed Powys Police, and as part of what has being a collaborative partnership, we are delighted to have the opportunity to deliver this development. 

“This is a purpose‐built, new custody suite to replace and supplement provision of custody within Carmarthenshire which will provide excellent facilities to meet the needs of modern law enforcement and detainee wellbeing for Dyfed Powys Police. 

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to welcome guests to the site to show them first-hand how construction is progressing.”

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Ryan Giggs quits as Wales manager with ‘immediate effect’

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EX Man-Utd winger has left his position as the manager of the national football team with ‘immediate effect’.

Giggs stepped back from his role in November 2020 following after being arrested.

49-year-old Giggs has been charged with assault and using controlling behaviour towards an ex-partner. A claim that Giggs has denied.

In a heartfelt statement on his decision, Giggs said: “After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.

“I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.

“I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.

“It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date.”

Following Giggs arrest in 2020, former Wales captain Robert Page took over as interim manager.

Under Page Wales beat Ukraine to earn themselves a place at Qatar World Cup for the first time in 64 years.

Giggs faces one charge of using controlling and coercive behaviour August 2017 and November 2020, one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm of his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville on November 1, 2020.

He also faces a charge of common assault on the victim’s sister.

Giggs denies all charges against him and will stand trial on August 8.

The trial is expected to last five days.

Following the announcement, a FAW spokesperson said: “The FAW places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru men’s national team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football,

“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru men’s national team is on the Fifa World Cup in Qatar later this year.”

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M&S opticians opens its doors in Llanelli Parc Trostre

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MARKS & SPENCER has opened the newest branch of its M&S Opticians service, located in the retailer’s popular Llanelli store.

M&S Llanelli Parc Trostre will offer customers an expert opticians service, which includes a full eye health examination (OCT scan) for every eye test booked at no additional fee.

Free eye tests are available as an opening offer, as well as 15% off glasses and sunglasses for Sparks customers. There’s a wide range of designer brands to choose from including Mulberry, Prada, Joules, Kate Spade, Oakley, Police, Maui Jim along with leading lens manufacturers – Zeiss and Nikon.

Expert advice on contact lens fitting and wearing is also on hand, alongside a contact lens home delivery option. The store will also be home to a hearing aid audiologist who will be offering free hearing health checks along with latest hearing aid technology, including rechargeable models and mobile connectivity.

In addition to the physical experience in-store, customers can book appointments online here, as well as view, purchase and try on glasses via the innovative ‘virtual try on’ tool here

M&S Llanelli Parc Trostre is the second optician service to open in Wales following a successful trial across ten UK cities, during which the service received a customer satisfaction rate of 96% and a customer recommendation rate of 96%.

M&S Llanelli Parc Trostre Store Manager, Aled Bonnell, said: “We’re always looking for ways to make shopping at M&S even more rewarding and feedback from our trial showed that customers loved the convenience of having an Opticians service in our store. We’re really excited to be opening our M&S Opticians in Llanelli and hearing what our customers think. The choice of different brands we’re offering is second to none and we have brilliant opening offers to suit all budgets.”

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