CARMARTHENSHIRE’S Tywi Valley Path project has been given a £16.7million cash boost as part of the UK Government’s new Levelling Up fund.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that Carmarthenshire County Council has been successful in its application for funding as part of his autumn budget statement.
The Tywi Valley Path project will create a 20km off-road walking and cycling route linking Carmarthen to Llandeilo running alongside the River Tywi through stunning scenery which takes in castles, country parks and historical estates as well as attractions including the National Botanic Gardens of Wales and Aberglasney Gardens.
Already well underway, the Tywi Valley Path aims to attract visitors from all over the UK and beyond with the potential to generate around £4.5million a year for the local economy, creating jobs in local businesses through enhanced visitor attraction and spend.
Some sections of the path are already completed, including a link between Abergwili and Whitemill.
Having secured the Levelling Up fund, the council now plans to push ahead with further development works including potential land purchase, detailed designs, construction and marketing.
The council’s Cabinet will meet to discuss how best to apply the funding and what contribution the authority can make from its own funds to deliver further phases of the scheme.
Cllr Hazel Evans, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “This is fantastic news which will support our ambitious plans for the Tywi Valley Path project and the wider economic boost this will bring to the area.
“This project has the potential to bring environmental benefits by encouraging people to travel by bike or on foot for local and longer distance journeys, providing more opportunities for active travel as well as contributing to local and national carbon reduction and air quality targets.
“The path links to key employment, education, leisure, health, cultural and retail sites across the beautiful Tywi Valley and will provide opportunities for business development, growth and agricultural diversification through enhanced visitor spend in the area.
“We have spoken to so many people who support this scheme and want to see it delivered.
“I would like to thank the officers for all their hard work in securing this extra funding.
“We will now meet as a Cabinet to discuss our ambitious and exciting plans.”
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “Levelling up communities across the UK is top of our agenda. We are investing more than £120m in 10 projects across Wales including this £16.7 million for the Tywi Valley Path project which will help to link Carmarthen and Llandeilo via a new pedestrian route. This clearly demonstrates how we will achieve our ambition across Wales.”