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Chancellor’s Levelling Up Fund secured to create exciting Carmarthen Hwb

AN exciting project offering a range of health, wellbeing, learning and cultural services under one roof is being planned for Carmarthen with funding secured from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Carmarthenshire County Council, working alongside Pembrokeshire County Council and other local public service providers, has secured £19.9million to create town centre hubs to benefit local people and businesses and create a more diverse and sustainable mix of uses for the town centre.

The council’s Cabinet will now meet to discuss and agree plans to use the Levelling Up Fund, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his autumn budget statement, and how the council can contribute further funding towards creating a Carmarthen Hwb in the town centre.

It is hoped it will be the first venture of its kind in Carmarthenshire, bringing a range of key public services under one roof and providing convenient access and a space for people to relax and enjoy.

Still in the early stages of development, the exciting venture could feature state of the art leisure, culture and exhibition space alongside health and educational facilities, tourist information, customer services and more.

The council is working with Hywel Dda University Health Board and University of Wales Trinity Saint David to agree and plan the delivery of the multi-use public facility.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We are delighted to have secured this significant funding from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to invest in Carmarthen town centre, and look forward to discussing as a Cabinet and with key partners about how best to deliver this exciting scheme.

“We are keen to develop a unique project that will improve the quality of life for people and drive economic resilience and growth within Carmarthen and the surrounding area, aligning with our post-pandemic economic recovery plan to strengthen and support the vibrancy and sustainability of our town centres.

“The Carmarthen Hwb could play a vital role in supporting an active mix of uses in the town centre, supporting its commercial vitality and providing an anchor in the town’s main retail core.

“We would like to explore the possibility of bringing a range of services together in a community-focused environment to provide improved and better connected access to key public services, including preventative healthcare together with cultural, learning and leisure opportunities.

“Having secured this funding we can now drive forward our discussions with key partners to deliver an exciting scheme that will benefit the people and businesses of Carmarthen.”

The Carmarthen Hwb project would be delivered alongside a similar Hwb project at South Quay, in Pembroke town centre, which formed part of the bid to the Levelling Up Fund.

Both projects aim to bring health and wellbeing into the centres of two neighbouring towns, creating an inclusive public service offer that meets changing local needs and which helps drive activity, footfall and environmental benefit.

Rachel Moxey, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration at Pembrokeshire County Council, added: “We are thrilled that our partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council has resulted in such a significant funding boost for our respective counties. We look forward to developing our plans to ensure we can deliver maximum benefit for people and businesses.”

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David said: “The University is delighted to be part of this exciting project. It offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with a partners to revitalise our town centres by offering a mix of leisure, cultural and education opportunities to benefit residents and businesses. The University looks forward to working with Carmarthenshire County Council on realising the vision for the Carmarthen Hwb.”

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “This is great news for Carmarthen and for the wider south west Wales region, and together with our local authority partners we are delighted to be involved in helping to shape this new facility for the benefit of local people.”

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