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Pembrey & Burry Port

Pembrey’s Ashburnham Hotel set for refurbishment after ownership change

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A 200-year-old hotel in Pembrey near Llanelli is set to get a new lease of life after its new owners secured £420,000 of investment.

Nickesha Graham-Burrell and Balfour Burrell obtained the funding package from Natwest to purchase The Ashburnham Hotel following the retirement of its previous owners.

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The Burrells plan to strengthen the impressive reputation and operation of the £650,000 annual turnover business including considerable investment in landscaping and internal refurbishments at the seven-acre site, and a future vision to add guest lodges to the grounds.

The couple also plans to improve sustainability by installing electric vehicle charging points on-site.

Balfour, a former construction project manager, will take over as general manager. All current staff will be retained as part of the changing of hands, while the new owners hope to create more jobs in the local area as the business expands.

Built as an independent inn in the early 1800s to provide accommodation for businesspeople in the area, the hotel inherits its name from the Earl of Ashburnham, who lived at Pembrey house until the 1920s. Most notably, the property accommodated aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart for an overnight stay following her transatlantic flight in 1928, where she became the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

The deal completed in March 2022 and secured the freehold of the hotel alongside all existing furniture and fittings. Jo McCarthy, commercial finance broker at B2B Finance, Andrew Styles, business development manager and Paul Dunne, relationship manager, both at NatWest, supported the transaction.

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Nickesha said: “Ashburnham Hotel is an extremely important business in the local area and sits in idyllic surroundings close to Pembrey Country Park and Ashburnham golf course. It is rich in history and still plays a huge part in the local community offering everything from weddings to business meetings and dining opportunities.

“The hotel has seen many changes over the years and will undergo internal and external refurbishment to create a sophisticated and luxurious feel. We’re excited about the future of the business and are committed to ensuring it remains authentic as the operation expands.”

Paul Dunne, Relationship Manager at NatWest for Carmarthenshire, said: “Working with Nickesha and the team to secure this funding package has been a pleasure. I am confident the funds provided by NatWest will help to inject refreshed life back into the much-loved hotel and encourage additional employment opportunities in the area.

“The hospitality sector has faced a particularly challenging time on a national scale, however, SMEs such as The Ashburnham Hotel will play a huge role in our economic recovery and Natwest is delighted to support this venture.”

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Llanelli

Commonwealth Games baton relay to visit Carmarthenshire

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Carmarthenshire welcomes the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay on Friday, July 1.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from July 28 until August 8 and the Queen’s Baton Relay is currently travelling across the Commonwealth in an epic journey to all 72 nations and territories.

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The journey brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.

The Queen’s Baton will arrive in Anglesey on June 29 as part of its five-day tour across Wales and will travel down the country and across South Wales providing the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport nears ever closer.

A busy schedule of activities and events are planned and hundreds of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through Wales.

More than 150 schoolchildren will be at Pembrey Country Park on the afternoon of July 1 to welcome the Baton to Carmarthenshire along with Council Chairman Cllr Rob Evans, before being transported via toboggan, skis, bike and beach wheelchair to Cefn Sidan beach and into the safe hands of the RLNI who will take the Baton by boat to Burry Port Harbour.

The Baton will arrive at Burry Port Harbour at around 3.20pm to be handed to the Silver and Gold Sports Young Ambassadors from Carmarthenshire’s secondary schools who will take it in turns to run and cycle just over three miles along the Millennium Coastal Path arriving in North Dock in Llanelli at 4.15pm.

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Here the Baton will be welcomed by Council Leader Cllr Darren Price along with a number of inspiring Carmarthenshire athletes who will be representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

Residents are being encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, with a range of activities taking place at North Dock, organised by the council’s Actif sports and leisure team.

The fun will go on throughout the afternoon until 7pm with various activities to promote health and wellbeing including a junior aquathon, stand-up paddleboarding, aquafit classes, spin classes and beach-lifesaving sessions.

Council Leader Cllr Darren Price said: “We look forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Carmarthenshire and I am sure local communities will join in the celebrations as the Baton travels from Pembrey Country Park to Llanelli’s North Dock.

“It is guaranteed to be an exciting day, especially with the Baton travelling to Burry Port Harbour by boat and then on to North Dock where there will a host of sporting activities to take part in.

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“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in organising such a momentous day for Carmarthenshire and its residents, again showcasing our beautiful county and what it has to offer to the world.”

After its Carmarthenshire visit, the baton relay will head off to Neath Port Talbot on 2 July, before ending its Welsh tour in Swansea on 3 July as the baton forms part of a parachute drop at Wales Airshow.

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Cycling

Cycle event puts spotlight on Carmarthenshire once again

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Carmarthenshire is becoming the premier destination for major sporting events according to the county council, after hosting stage five of the Women’s Tour – Britain’s biggest women’s road cycling race.

Some of the world’s top riders raced through the picturesque Carmarthenshire countryside to the delight of crowds of spectators who had lined the route to cheer them – and Carmarthen cyclist Jess Roberts – on.

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Hundreds of schoolchildren and plenty of cycling enthusiasts and sporting fans gathered at Pembrey Country Park to watch the start of the race which included 97 riders from 17 teams battling it out along a tough 106.4-kilometre (66.3-mile) route finishing on the top of the Black Mountain – the second hill-top finish in Women’s Tour history.

Reigning Italian road race champion Elisa Longo Borghini won the queen stage outsprinting Kasia Niewiadoma and race leader Grace Brown in a thrilling finale at the end of the 7.2km climb.

Hundreds of people lined the route at Pembrey Country Park (Image: Carmarthenshire Council)
Hundreds of people lined the route at Pembrey Country Park (Image: Carmarthenshire Council)
Cyclists line up for the start of the race at Pembrey Country Park (Image: Carmarthenshire Council)

Carmarthenshire previously hosted the Grand Départ of the Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019 – again at Pembrey Country Park – and the Tour of Britain team trial in 2021.

With live televised coverage, these events are a major opportunity to showcase Carmarthenshire’s landscape and facilities, perfect for a range of sports with its special blend of countryside and coast.

They also provide an economic boost to the south Wales economy and add to the county’s growing tourism industry with the thousands of visitors likely to return to enjoy what Carmarthenshire has to offer.

Council Leader Cllr Darren Price said: “The Women’s Tour is a great way to showcase Carmarthenshire to the world.

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“It is now the fourth time we have hosted either the Tour of Britain or the Women’s Tour proving that Carmarthenshire is the top location for cycling in Wales.

“And we are reaping the rewards of that, everyone benefits, our growing tourism industry, local businesses and local communities.

“It has been a wonderful day and it was amazing to see so many supporters along the route; the people of Carmarthenshire have done themselves proud yet again.

“I am confident that this event will help to raise awareness of cycling and its benefits and inspire people to get on their bikes and make the most of our beautiful coast and countryside.”

Highlights of the race are available on demand via the ITV Hub.

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(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Pembrey & Burry Port

Schoolchildren plant new Jubilee trees at Pembrey Country Park

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Schoolchildren have been busy planting trees in Pembrey Country Park as part of the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations.

Pupils of Pembrey School swapped their pens and pencils for shovels to plant 70 trees to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

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The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative created to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee invites people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee” and is a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for leisure, Cllr Gareth John said: “The children had great fun taking part in the tree planting whilst giving them the opportunity to learn more about the environment and the effective contribution trees have on our climate.”

Communities across Carmarthenshire are gearing up for the four-day bank holiday and with parties in parks to afternoon teas and garden picnics there is something for everyone to enjoy.

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