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Centre users take town centre opportunity

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Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.10.37MULTI-TALENTED service users at Llanelli’s Coleshill Centre are helping to unlock the potential of Llanelli town centre, as opportunity beckons. 

The extraordinary range of crafts they produce are for the first time available to purchase on the High Street, with users having taken occupancy of 31, Stepney Street Llanelli. The property has now formally opened for business (Jan 18) with Coleshill orchestrating a long-term plan of occupancy as all the projects that feed into the shop meet the criteria for the Vibrant and Viable Places Regeneration Framework Tackling Poverty Fund

The Centre is occupying the ground floor formally with a number of themed sales events covering Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day and the spring and will be running through the year. In the past, their only outlets have been at craft fairs about the county. The Coleshill initiative is planning a long and successful future in a reborn Stepney Street. In securing the retail venue at 31, Stepney Street, it has provided various projects with the opportunity for the wider engagement within the community for learning, training and social inclusion opportunities.

The shop has been sectioned off into two floor spaces. The frontage is to be the retail part of the project where there will be locally made produced crafts for sale and the back section is where the crafters came and make their products on sight. The range of wares will be from bespoke and highly crafted pens, carpentry items and ceramics to bags of paper wood bricks for the fire or barbecue that can be produced by the least capable service users.

Coleshill hopes to provide through the retail unit social skills, training, employment support initiatives, a better high street environment and at the same time raising the communities awareness of disabilities and peoples abilities and improving their health and wellbeing. The long term plan with a working group of all interested parties being set up is that craft projects throughout Carmarthenshire will be pooled into one resource based at 31, Stepney Street.

Maralie said it was important that the individual crafters and community took ownership of the shop which was why a steering group to voice how the shop is run was being set up and ensure it became a self sustaining operation. They planned to attract individuals from the community and help them gain and maintain their health and well being as a preventative measure not a reactive measure.

The property was made available and has been refurbished by Carmarthenshire council with the support of Welsh Government Opportunity Street funding. The local authorities Communities Department offers several day opportunity services producing bespoke high class crafts. The individuals who attend these services have a varying level of differing needs. Those benefiting will include the economically inactive, unemployed individuals with disabilities, financially excluded and those involved in community including and participation.

Executive Board member for social care and health, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “You cannot fail to be impressed with the astonishing skills of crafters and service users at Coleshill. It is tremendous they now have a permanent base to exhibit, sell and create their wares in Stepney Street.”

The Council is refurbishing two other Stepney Street properties into which the council is hoping entrepreneurs with business nous will step up to the plate to help reinvigorate the town centre. County executive board member for regeneration Cllr Meryl Gravell said steady and positive progress was being made with the Opportunity Street initiative that boded well for Llanelli town centre. Three properties had now been acquired. Number 31, was rushed into service days before Christmas as a pop-up shop to assist Coleshill successfully clear surplus Christmas stock.

A planning application for the renovation of the two other premises, No’s 10 and 12, has been submitted for the purpose of creating improved commercial spaces on the ground floor and a total of four new two-bed flats on the first and second floors. A new rear access with parking provisions have been included in the proposals. Construction will be programmed once planning consent is secured with a view to completing works within grant timescales which are up to April 2017. And there could be more properties to come with the Council driving the initiative with Welsh Government support to help reduce high street apathy, absent landlords, and empty properties.

Executive Board Member Meryl Gravell said: “We are still in discussions with in regard of acquisition of another premises. Terms are yet to be agreed however good progress has been made following lengthy dialogue. We hope to secure more sales by March end 2016.”

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Public Services Board seeks views to improve local well-being

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CARMARTHENSHIRE’S Public Services Board (PSB) is seeking residents’ views to find out what matters to them and their local communities.

The PSB has developed its Well-being Objectives and draft actions to deliver them, based on feedback received on its Well-being Assessment. The results of a survey at that time gathered views and helped shape the PSB’s understanding of the economic, social, environmental, and cultural factors that impact the well-being of individuals and communities within Carmarthenshire.

Once again, residents are being asked to contribute to help public service partners develop Carmarthenshire’s Local Well-being Plan for 2023-28.

To help shape the future of well-being please visit: Current Consultations (gov.wales)

The survey closes on 25 January 2023.

Cllr Darren Price, Chair of the Carmarthenshire PSB and Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “To deliver what is important to our communities, we need to their feedback and input. This survey is an opportunity for our residents to tell us if we, as public services, are on the right track to help create a better future for our children’s generation, and the generations to follow, as we strive to reach this goal.” 

Andrew Cornish, Vice-Chair of the PSB andChief Executive Officer / Principal of Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion said: “Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our work so far. Our Well-being Assessment gives us a strong foundation on which to build our Well-being Plan and I would like to encourage everyone to take part in our involvement work for the preparation of the Plan.”

Carmarthenshire’s Public Services Board is a partnership of public and third sector organisations working together to improve well-being across the county and includes Carmarthenshire County Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Natural Resources Wales and other organisations.

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Llanelli prepares for Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade

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LATER TODAY (Sunday, November 13) the town will honour those who have fallen in service over the decades.

A number of roads will be closed on the day, including Murray Street, Church Street and Vauxhall Road from its junction with the mini roundabout.

These will be shut for the parade between 8.30am and noon, however, pedestrian access for those wishing to reach individual properties in those streets will be maintained where possible throughout the duration of the closure.

Traffic will be diverted to Robinson Street, Arthur Street, Columbia Row, Anne Street, Bigyn Road, Stepney Place, Water Street, Thomas Street and Gelli Onn.

At 10am, police, organisations and others not marching in the parade will take up their respective positions in front of the cenotaph in the town hall grounds, while the civic party will assemble inside Llanelli Town Hall.

At 10.15am the parade leaves Drill Hall for the town hall with the mayor Cllr Philip Warlow proceeding to the Boer War Memorial where he will lay a wreath.

When the parade arrives at the town hall, the civic party will proceed to the cenotaph where the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed Sara Edwards, will lay a wreath.

This will be followed by the chair of Carmarthenshire Council Cllr Rob Evans, laying a wreath on the Royal Welch War Memorial and then on the town’s cenotaph.

More wreaths will be laid by dignitaries and politicians and ex-servicemen and women A two-minute silence will then be observed at 11am.

Any service groups or individuals who wish to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday can contact Paul Wickers via email at llanlva2009@aol.com.

While community organisations are to contact Llanelli Town Council at enquiries@llanellitowncouncil.gov.uk.

Contact should be made by Monday, October 31 at the very latest to confirm arrangements as no additional wreaths will be able to be accommodated on the day.

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Llanelli choir launches fundraising naked calendar

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MEMBERS of a Llanelli female choir have bared all to raise money for the town’s Ty Bryngwyn Hospice.  

Côr Curiad has created a cheeky fundraising calendar for 2023 – the second one they have done.

With around 50 members, photos were taken across Llanelli with strategically placed items to spare their blushes – all in the name of a good cause.

Llanelli photographer Graham Harries was behind the lens for the project.

The choir’s musical director Alex Esney, who is Miss December in the calendar said: “Local businesses sponsored the calendar and so many of the photos were taken at their premises.

“So for example we went to LTC Mobility Ltd and had scooters carefully positioned in front of us, it was a lot of fun.

“I also want to thank Ffwrnes Theatre for opening up especially for me to go and have my photo taken with the piano there.”

Alex said the aim is to raise as much as possible for the hospice, adding: “We did a calendar a few years ago but we now have more members so we thought it was time to do it all again.

“The ladies decided to ‘bare all’ to raise money for the hospice which provides such great care and support for families in their time of need, including two of our own.

“I think we pulled out all the stops this year, getting their clothes off at local businesses in and around Llanelli.”

One of the calendar photos (Images: Graham Harries Photography)
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