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NEW industrial units are to be created in rural towns in Carmarthenshire.

The first phase of the scheme is expected to deliver employment space in Llandeilo, Newcastle Emlyn, and either Llandovery or Llanybydder.

The Welsh Government and Carmarthenshire Council will provide £1 million each for the first three years, via a new joint venture agreement.

Both public bodies have identified the need for more employment units to support the rural economy.

The council’s cabinet approved the new arrangements, with Cllr Ann Davies, who has the rural affairs portfolio, describing it as a great opportunity.

“I am extremely supportive,” she said.

The Plaid Cymru-Independent administration developed a ten towns growth plan more than two years ago which focused on job creation, supporting existing businesses and developing services.

The towns are Llandovery, Llandeilo, Cwmamman, Newcastle Emlyn, Llanybydder, St Clears, Laugharne and Whitland, Kidwelly and Cross Hands.

Just over 60% of Carmarthshire’s 186,500 population live in the countryside, which is nearly double the Wales average.

Cabinet has also agreed to sell a plot of land at its Beechwood employment site, Llandeilo, to the Welsh Government to enable it to bring forward an industrial development under the new joint venture.

The council has meanwhile pulled together proposals for additional rural employment space on behalf of three other council areas in south west Wales.

And a regional commercial property fund will be set up to to help developers and businesses with gap funding to provide extra employment space at key strategic sites.

Deputy leader Mair Stephens said representatives from the 10 towns had “almost without exception” expressed the need for more employment units.

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