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Llanelli landmark features on BBC Two show

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THE PROJECT to restore Llanelli’s historic Railway Goods Shed will be featured on the popular BBC Two programme Great British Railway Journeys tonight (Jan 8).

Michael Portillo, the programme’s presenter, visited the Grade II listed building last summer to learn about the history of Llanelli’s railways and the plans to bring the Goods Shed back into use for the benefit of the community.

The latest episode featured an interview with local historian Russell Grigg and a performance by Cor Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir inside the Goods Shed.

The Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust (LRGST) has been working to redevelop the derelict Goods Shed and surrounding areas into a vibrant community hub, offering a range of educational, training, upskilling, arts activities and business start-up support, as well as a café and visitor centre.

If the remaining funding can be secured to complete the project, it is hoped locals residents and schools, as well as tourists, will visit the Goods Shed to learn about and celebrate Llanelli’s heritage.

Nia Griffith, MP for Llanelli and Chair of the LRGST, said: ‘We were delighted to be asked to take part in this episode of Great British Railway Journeys. It is a fantastic opportunity to make people aware of the project to transform the Railway Goods Shed and the benefits it will bring the community.

We managed to surprise the presenter Michael Portillo and TV crew with a special performance by Llanelli’s own Cor Meibion choir inside the building. Hopefully this performance is a sign of brilliant artistic and cultural events to come when the project is successfully completed.”

Development support has come from the Heritage Lottery, Big Lottery, Architectural Heritage Fund, Carmarthenshire County Council, Dwr Cymru and Llanelli Town Council, which has helped to secure planning permission and draw up the innovative and creative architectural proposals to restore the building. Bids have been put in for the capital funding needed to complete the £2.2m project.

The LRGST already has partnerships with a number of organisations that all have strong records of delivery, including Carmarthenshire Youth and Children’s Association, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Cyfle Building Ltd, Indycube Community, Bluebee Productions and Hive Theatre School.

The Llanelli Railway Goods Shed, which was built in 1875 and can be found on Marsh Street, is a classic example of the Brunel style of architecture and one of the few surviving buildings of its kind in Wales.

Anyone wanting to sponsor or get involved with the project should contact Nia Griffith MP (nia.griffith.mp@parliament.uk) or the LRGST’s Secretary Richard Roper (richard876@btinternet.com).

The Trustees are particularly interested to hear from people interested in Llanelli’s industrial heritage and local history or with expertise in business, marketing, fundraising, accountancy, the arts, education, practical construction and social media.

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Police investigating mobile phone thefts

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TWO incidents of recent thefts of mobile phones from stores in Llanelli and Carmarthen are being investigated by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Four Apple iPhones were stolen from Currys & PC World store at Parc Pemberton, Llanelli, at around 7.15pm on Monday, August 13.

A second incident took place at the Carphone Warehouse store at St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen on Tuesday, August 14, at around 9.30am where 10 mobile phones were stolen.

They are strongly believed to be linked.

In both incidents, three men – believed to be in their 20s – made threats to staff and stole mobile phones.

In the Llanelli incident, one of the suspects was white, medium build, around 5’5” and was wearing a black jacket, grey trousers and a black baseball hat.

The second suspect is white, slim build, around 5’8” with a beard. He was wearing a white T-shirt, black knee length shorts, white trainers and a black baseball cap with a red stripe to side and emblem.

The third man involved is white, slim build, 6’ with a beard. He was wearing a bright blue long-sleeved T-shirt, black shorts, white trainers and a black baseball cap with a red stripe to side and emblem.

In the Carmarthen incident, the three men were wearing light coloured clothing, shorts, trainers and baseball caps.

DI Wayne Bevan said: “Anyone who witnessed either of these incidents, or saw three men matching these descriptions behaving suspiciously in the area, to contact police immediately by calling 101.

“We are investigating all lines of enquiry to catch these offenders and any support from the public could help us find these men and put a stop to any further incidents in our town centre stores.”

Anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to report it by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Consultation on future of gas network for west Wales enters final week

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PEOPLE from west Wales are being urged to have their say as a public consultation on the future of the local gas network is set to close on Friday (Aug 17).

Wales & West Utilities look after the pipes that bring gas to homes and businesses across Wales and the south west of England. The company has received almost 20,000 responses to its consultation but is now urging as many people as possible to take two minutes to pipe up and shape its plans for the future. Everyone who completes the consultation will be entered into a weekly draw to win a £100 Amazon Gift Card.

The company is asking people to give their views on issues such as the gas emergency service, investment to keep the gas network safe and reliable and how it supports those most in need. It is also seeking views on preparing the gas network for a greener future, making sure it can continue to deliver essential services for generations to come.

Wales & West Utilities charge for their services through consumer gas bills. Currently, their services make up 20% of an annual gas bill – so for the average gas bill of £630, that’s £128 a year – or 35 pence per day.

Graham Edwards, Chief Executive at Wales & West Utilities, explains: “The pipes we look after are mostly underground and out of mind, but we provide an essential service in keeping people safe and warm in their homes and powering businesses. Now, as we plan for the future, we want as many people in West Wales as possible to have their say on the future of their gas network and the services we provide.”

“This consultation is about ensuring our customers’ views are heard so that we plan and work towards getting the balance right between investing to maintain and improve our services and preparing the gas network for the future, while keeping bills low.

“We understand the financial pressure households across the area are under and we remain committed to keeping our portion of the gas bill to a minimum – we have already reduced the cost of our services since 2013 from £145 to £128 today.

“We’re looking forward to hearing customer feedback from West Wales as this will play a vital role in shaping our business for the future.”

Wales & West Utilities also connects around 11,000 homes and businesses to the network each year. And, for customers in need of extra support, the company has a scheme offering low-cost gas connections and financial help for appliance repairs. There is also a priority register to make sure people in vulnerable situations are prioritised when things go wrong.

To have your say on the future of your gas network and the services Wales & West Utilities provides please go to PipeUpOnline.co.uk or Facebook.com/wwutilities and be in with a chance to win a £100 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card.

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Police appeal following shed burglary

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POLICE are investigating a report of a burglary which occurred in Heol Westfa, Felinfoel, Llanelli sometime between 10.30pm on Friday (Aug 3) and 6am on Saturday (Aug 4).

A number of items were stolen from a shed at the property. They include:

  • a black and decker work bench in grey, with distinctive marks
  • a 50 m extension lead black and red
  • a grey Trojan electric sander
  • a black and decker power hammer drill in a grey hard box
  • a rechargeable black and decker power drill and screw driver, the drlll was black and red in a green hard box
  • a black and red carry box in plastic containing several screw drivers, and other manual tools
  • a black and decker green hedge trimmer 60cm in a black sleeve,
  • a bosch power saw in a hard blue box.

Anyone who has been offered the opportunity to purchase these items or anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to contact police by calling 101.

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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