blank
Connect with us

Carmarthenshire

Multi-million pound digital boost to future-proof City Region

Published

on

A £55 million investment that will help future-proof the Swansea Bay City Region’s digital infrastructure has taken a major step forward.

The Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee has approved a programme of digital infrastructure and connectivity improvements which will now be submitted to the UK Government and Welsh Government for final approval.

The City Deal digital infrastructure programme will benefit residents and businesses in all parts of the City Region, which includes Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea. It’s estimated to be worth £318 million to the regional economy in the next 15 years.

Led by Carmarthenshire County Council, the digital infrastructure programme will help to ensure the region’s cities, towns and business parks have competitive access to full-fibre connectivity. This will help pave the way for the region to benefit from 5G and internet of things innovation, which includes smart homes, smart manufacturing, smart agriculture and virtual reality, as well as wearable technology that will support healthcare, assisted living and other sectors. 

The programme will also focus on improving access to broadband in the region’s rural communities, while stimulating the market to create competition between digital providers for the benefit of consumers. 

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Carmarthenshire County Council Leader, said: “The importance of world-class digital connectivity can’t be overstated. It’s fast-becoming the fourth utility, which underpins so much of daily life nowadays – from contact with family and friends to controlling our homes and supporting businesses in all sectors to drive productivity and enable innovation. 

“The quality of digital infrastructure in South West Wales is currently lagging behind other parts of the UK though, so this programme will help close that gap by acting as a springboard for a super-connected City Region with equality of access to broadband throughout our rural communities.  

“This will benefit regional residents and businesses both now and in future by improving connectivity and providing the kind of digital infrastructure that’ll be needed to support digital innovation in coming years, including advancements in 5G and internet of things technology.

Advertisement

“Covid-19 has further raised the profile of digital connectivity’s importance, so it’s very encouraging that we now have sign-off from the City Deal’s Joint Committee to submit this exciting programme to both governments for final approval.”

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Bay City Deal Joint Committee Chairman, said: “With digital connectivity continuing to transform the way we live and do business, this programme will help ensure the region is well-equipped to benefit from future innovation, while improving connectivity in all our communities.

“Not only are strong digital foundations critical to keep pace with technological advancements, but they’re also needed to help attract further investment and well-paid jobs to the City Region.”

The digital infrastructure programme is seeking a £25 million City Deal investment, with remaining funding contributions split between the public and private sectors. It’s among a portfolio of major programmes and projects throughout the City Region due to be part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal.

Funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector, the Swansea Bay City Deal is being led by Carmarthenshire County Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire Council and Swansea Council, in partnership with Swansea University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Hywel Dda University Health Board.


Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Llanelli

West Wales car dealership to double in size

Published

on

By

Dafen-based Llanelli Motor Company have broken ground on a new development that will see their forecourt double in size over the coming months.

Led by Managing Director Ian Jonathan, the two-phase project will see the independent car dealership increase the number of used vehicles it has on sale to over 400 by January 2023.

Advertisement

“It’s certainly an exciting period for the business,” said Ian, “and with the significant changes to the used car market, we felt now was the right time to start the project, which has been in the pipeline for over five years.”

Although the business was potentially looking at 2020 as a start date for the developments, the Coronavirus Pandemic put the brakes on the project.

However, since the easing of lockdown restrictions and the delay in obtaining new vehicles, the used car market has seen an unprecedented spike in demand.

Dafen based Llanelli Motor Company is planning to double in size
The company have broken ground on an expansion that will see over 400 cars on sale by the end of January 2023

“The last 12 months have been exceptionally busy,” continued Ian.

“No sooner are we finalising our 140-point safety check on vehicles before placing them on the forecourt, than they are being purchased within a matter of days”.

With the ability to stock 150 nearly new vehicles of all makes and models at the moment, the 1-acre expansion will increase this to 250 by September before more than doubling it to 400 by the spring of 2023.

Advertisement

In order to facilitate this growth, the company will also be entering a recruitment phase and looking to employ at least 10 new members of staff across its sales, workshop and admin teams as well as taking on new apprenticeships.

Continue Reading

Transport for Wales

New trains for Wales and Borders services go on show

Published

on

By

Brand new trains that aim to transform services across Wales and the English borders have been on show today at Chester railway station.

Assembled by CAF at their factory in Newport, the first Class 197 train with its ‘Made in Wales’ tag was revealed to the public today (Friday 1 July), offering a taste of what’s to come for customers in the next few months.

Advertisement

TfW are spending £800 million on new trains throughout their network and the Class 197 will be the first of the brand-new stock to enter service in North Wales before the end of this year.

Providing an increase in capacity, reduced emissions and enhanced comfort onboard, these trains will allow TfW to run faster and more frequent services to key routes including services in South West Wales – Manchester to Milford Haven, Cardiff to Fishguard and Swansea to Pembroke Dock.

Offering leather seats, modern air conditioning systems, wider doors and customer information screens, the new trains will transform the customer experience. They’ve also been fitted with electronic charging points and disability features for those with limited mobility.

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: “I am pleased to welcome the new Class 197 trains to the rail network. These new vehicles represent a real transformational improvement on the trains that they will be replacing, providing comfortable and frequent services, encouraging people to leave their cars behind and move onto a more sustainable form of transport.”

Alexia Course, TfW’s Director of Transport Operations, said: “At Transport for Wales we’re continually moving forward with our transformational plans to improve public transport for the people of Wales and the borders.

Advertisement

“The Class 197s on show at Chester railway station today will be an important part of the transformation of the Wales and Borders network, and when they enter service, they will enable us to run more services and carry more customers in comfort.

“The construction of our new trains has been four years in the making, and customers and colleagues are incredibly excited to welcome passengers onto them from later this year.

“It’s also important to recognise that these trains have been made in Wales at the CAF factory in Newport and the building of them has provided jobs and supported the local economy”.

Richard Garner, UK Director CAF said: “CAF is thrilled that the first of our Class 197 trains for the Wales and Borders network has been officially launched.

“We are immensely proud of our key role in delivering Transport for Wales’ vision to transform rail travel for passengers.

Advertisement

“The manufacture of our trains is taking place at our state-of-the-art facility in Newport, South Wales. We see ourselves as a local manufacturer, supporting highly skilled jobs and bringing employment opportunities to the local area whilst focusing on sustainability issues and addressing the needs of the Welsh economy.

Our trains are being built in Wales to serve the Welsh communities”

(Lead image: Transport for Wales)

Continue Reading

Books & Literature

Carmarthenshire author’s Carmarthen Crime series hits the bookshelves

Published

on

By

Ferryside author John Nicholl is celebrating the re-release of his Carmarthenshire-based detective books as the Carmarthen Crime Series.

His new publisher, Boldwood Books – winner of Publisher of the Year in the 2022 Independent Publishing Awards – has repackaged the four books with a strong emphasis on the Carmarthenshire setting and covers depicting local locations including Carmarthen, Dryslwyn Castle and the Tywi Estuary.

Advertisement

The first two books, The Carmarthen Murders and The Tywi Estuary Killings, are on sale now, with the other two – The Castle Beach Murders and The Dryslwyn Castle Killings to follow soon.

The books focus on DI Gareth Gravel, an accomplished, old-school policeman affectionately known as Grav, who feels out of step with the modern world as he approaches retirement.

“Grav is something of a legend within the West Wales Police Force, liked and respected by the rank and file but not so much by the top brass due to his sharp tongue and a willingness to bend the rules to get results,” says Nicholl, who lives in Ferryside.

“Grav is overweight, loves rugby, drinks too much, particularly since the loss of his wife, and is struggling with chronic health issues. The job matters to him, victims matter to him, and he often goes the extra mile to protect the vulnerable victims of crime, particularly women and children, who he has a strong inclination to protect.”

The books draw on Nicholl’s own experience as a police officer and then as a child protection officer in Carmarthenshire. He started writing fiction after his psychologist recommended it as a way to process traumas he had witnessed during his career, which left him with PTSD.

He self-published his first book and it became an online bestseller; he went on to get signed by a publisher and now has 11 bestsellers behind him. His focus is on crime and the darker side of human nature, with a strong empathy for victims of abuse.

Advertisement

“The four-book Carmarthen Crime Series, while fictional, draws on my real-life experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker,” he says. “I hope this gives the stories a gritty realism readers will enjoy.”

He adds that he is delighted to see the books republished as the Carmarthen Crime series.

“I grew up, live and write in west Wales, and so I’m delighted my publisher has given the books a strong Welsh identity, with stunning covers featuring some of the beautiful locations I know so very well,” he says.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News