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Council holds ‘very positive’ Wellness Centre discussions with ‘undisclosed’ University

COUNCIL chiefs in Carmarthenshire have held “very positive” discussions with a university about the Llanelli Wellness and Life Science Village.

Council chief executive Wendy Walters did not name the institution, which has a medical school, but it isn’t Swansea University.

Ms Walters said the higher education provider would provide medical input into the £200m project at Delta Lakes – one of 11 city deal projects for the Swansea Bay City Region.

Speaking at a city deal joint committee meeting, she said the talks were “really, really positive at the moment”.

She added that wellness village stakeholders were being consulted on a possible rebranding of the project, and that work was progressing on a revised business case to deliver the scheme.

Swansea University and a private sector company had been in the frame for significant involvement, but the council terminated a collaboration agreement with the two organisations last year following the suspension of university academics said to have links with the project.

The Delta Lakes schemes has planning permission and will deliver a new leisure centre and swimming pool, a community health hub featuring healthcare facilities and business development space, a life science centre for research and business expansion, a range of assisted living accommodation, sports facilities, and an upgraded lakeside landscape.

The council will contribute £32m to the overall cost.

The joint committee was also given updates on other city deal projects being taken forward by Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire councils.

Neath Port Talbot’s cabinet will consider revised projects at a meeting on July 31, while Pembrokeshire Council has again stressed that it needs a share of central Government city deal funding soon for its £76m Pembroke Dock Marine project.

Pembrokeshire councillor Paul Miller said: “Time is really pressing in terms of getting resolution of the outstanding issues.”

There was a risk, he said, of losing a significant amount of European funding if the project business case was not approved by September.

The UK and Welsh Governments are to provide £241m towards the £1.3bn city deal, and joint commitee chairman Rob Stewart said he expected the first two £18m central Government payments to be handed over “this side of Christmas”.

Mr Stewart, who is the leader of Swansea Council, said city deal representatives were in constant discussions with the Welsh Government.

He said: “What we cannot have are extended periods of no money. There must be no repeat of the lengthy delays which have dogged not just this city deal but other city deals.”

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