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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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Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman

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THE new chair of Carmarthenshire County Council said he will work tirelessly during his term of office.

Cllr Kevin Madge, member for Garnant, takes the chain of office whilst celebrating 40 years as a councillor.

Taking the chair, Cllr Madge paid tribute to outgoing chairman Cllr Mansel Charles, member for Llanegwad, saying he had fulfilled his duties with passion.

Cllr Madge will chair the council for the next 12 months, with Cllr Ieuan Davies, member for Llanybydder, as his vice chair, and his wife Catrin as his consort.

“I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead, I will do my best for everyone. I will work tirelessly,” he said.

Cllr Madge has chosen the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks and emergency food provision for people in crisis, as his Chairman’s Charity of the Year.

The Chair is the first citizen of Carmarthenshire County Council, and is elected at the Annual General Meeting.

Duties include chairing full meetings of the council, representing the council at formal and ceremonial occasions, welcoming visitors to the county, and attending and supporting events organised by local people and organisations.

Cllr Madge has been a county councillor since 1996, and a member of Cwmaman Town Council since 1979.

He also serves as chairman of the Royal British Legion Garnant branch, Garnant Family Centre and Cwmaman Meals on Wheels, and is a member of Amman Valley League of Friends.

He represents the county council on the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm Community Fund, and is on the governing body of Ysgol Y Bedol.

A former pupil of Amman Valley School, Cllr Madge has worked in the Amman Valley throughout his life, most recently as agent and researcher to Dr Alan Williams MP until 2001.

A keen football supporter, he has served as chair and president of Cwmaman Football Club and spent 25 years as a Welsh League and Neath and District football referee.

He is married with two children and three grandchildren.

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‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’

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LOCAL Assembly Member Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said ““This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails

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LOCAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said “This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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