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Carmarthenshire

Council appoints contractor to start delivering Llanelli’s Pentre Awel scheme

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Carmarthenshire County Council has appointed Bouygues UK to design and build Zone One of its Pentre Awel development.

Pentre Awel is the first development of its scope and size in Wales, bringing together life science innovation, community healthcare and modern leisure facilities at the 83-acre Delta Lakes site on the Llanelli coastline.

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Having received UK and Welsh Government approval of its £40million Swansea Bay City Deal business case earlier this year, the council has led an extensive tendering process via the South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework for contractors to deliver the exciting scheme.

Zone One will benefit from around £70million of public sector investment and will feature education, business, research, leisure and health facilities to provide transformational social and economic benefits to people in the region.

The contract, which is one of the highest valued tender exercises the council has ever undertaken, puts a key focus on social value to ensure that local people and businesses will reap the benefits of the ambitious scheme.

Bouygues UK will now work with the council, the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership (RLSP), schools, colleges and universities, as well as local employment agencies such as Workways and Communities for Work to deliver a comprehensive programme of community benefits during the construction phase.

It will mean employment and training opportunities for local people, including jobs for people just starting their careers, apprenticeships, work placements and wider employability support.

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There will also be a targeted focus on supporting those who are long-term unemployed or economically inactive, and tailored initiatives in local communities and schools to inspire people towards relevant careers.

Carmarthenshire County Council and Bouygues UK have now entered into an initial pre-construction period – a stage of works undertaken prior to the commencement of construction on site next year.

During this period, further design will be undertaken together with preparation and submission of detailed planning information and preparatory works on site.

Property and construction consultants Gleeds will manage the build contract, supported by design and planning experts Arup.

Artist’s impression of the Leisure Centre at Pentre Awel in Llanelli (Image: Carmarthenshire Council)

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “Pentre Awel will create a lasting legacy, and this starts with the construction phase. Bouygues UK has a proven track record in constructing projects of Pentre Awel’s scale and complexity, and we look forward to working with them to deliver this landmark project.

“I am confident they share our vision for, and commitment to, social value and as we continue to recover from Covid it is critical that the employment and training opportunities generated during the construction phase of Pentre Awel benefit the people of Llanelli and Carmarthenshire.

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“We’re excited to be pushing ahead with the delivery of Zone One of this landmark scheme, and to be making good progress on other zones that make up Pentre Awel.”

Bouygues UK is a global leader with an extensive portfolio of multi-million pound schemes where innovation has been applied to a range of state-of-the-art healthcare, education, commercial and residential developments, including the recently completed £120million Cardiff Innovation Campus.

Simon Barnes, Pre-Construction Director for Bouygues UK, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as preferred bidder on the Pentre Awel project, a first of its kind project in Wales. Our experience in large scale projects like this will ensure the successful delivery of the scheme.

“We are pleased that Carmarthenshire County Council is aligned with our ambitious vision to bring a positive social impact alongside this project. Together with our supply chain we look forward to bringing lasting value to the local community. By using local employment and social enterprise, we will be supporting Well-being and the Future Generations Act. Through engagement with regional learning and skills partnerships, we will also help deliver learning and career opportunities. This project will also benefit from using a local supply chain with particular focus on small and medium size enterprises.”

The exciting Pentre Awel project includes integrated care and physical rehabilitation facilities, a well-being skills centre which will focus on health and care training, a clinical delivery centre to deliver multi-disciplinary care, and a new state-of-the-art leisure centre, along with landscaped outdoor public spaces for walking and cycling.

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A hotel, a range of social and affordable housing, assisted living accommodation and a nursing home are being planned for later phases of the scheme.

Promising to create around 1,800 jobs over 15 years and boosting the local economy by some £467million, it is being delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board, Universities and Colleges. Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with Coleg Sir Gâr, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea University and Cardiff University for the delivery of courses on site.

Pentre Awel is one of the world-class projects forming part of the Swansea Bay City Deal.

The £1.3billion Swansea Bay City Deal is an unprecedented investment which will transform people’s lives, creating major opportunities and generating over 9,000 jobs over 15 years.

The Deal will transform the economic landscape of the Swansea Bay City Region, providing at least a £1.8billion boost to the local economy across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

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It will bring major investment in the region’s infrastructure by delivering nine world-class projects in the fields of digital, energy, smart manufacturing, innovation and life science.

The total investment is made up of £241 million of UK Government and Welsh Government funding, £330 million of other public sector money and £581 million from the private sector.

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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