‘Pos­i­tive talks’ with uni over well­ness vil­lage

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - Richard Youle @YoulePost [email protected]­line.co.uk 01792 545553

COUN­CIL chiefs in Car­marthen­shire have held “very pos­i­tive” dis­cus­sions with a univer­sity about the Llanelli Well­ness and Life Sci­ence Vil­lage.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Wendy Walters did not name the in­sti­tu­tion, which has a med­i­cal school, but it isn’t Swansea Univer­sity.

Ms Walters said the higher ed­u­ca­tion provider would pro­vide med­i­cal in­put into the £200 mil­lion project at Delta Lakes – one of 11 city deal projects for the Swansea Bay City Re­gion.

Speaking at a city deal joint com­mit­tee meet­ing, she said the talks were “re­ally, re­ally pos­i­tive at the mo­ment”.

She added that well­ness vil­lage stake­hold­ers were be­ing consulted on a pos­si­ble re­brand­ing of the project, and that work was pro­gress­ing on a re­vised busi­ness case to de­liver the scheme.

Swansea Univer­sity and a pri­vate sec­tor com­pany had been in the frame for sig­nif­i­cant involvemen­t, but the coun­cil ter­mi­nated a collaborat­ion agree­ment with the two or­gan­i­sa­tions last year fol­low­ing the sus­pen­sion of univer­sity aca­demics said to have links with the project.

The schemes Delta has Lakes plan­ning permission and will de­liver a new leisure cen­tre and swim­ming pool, a com­mu­nity health hub fea­tur­ing health­care fa­cil­i­ties and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment space, a life sci­ence cen­tre for re­search and busi­ness ex­pan­sion, a range of as­sisted liv­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, sports fa­cil­i­ties, and an up­graded lake­side land­scape.

The coun­cil will con­trib­ute £32 mil­lion to the over­all cost. The joint com­mit­tee was also given up­dates on other city deal projects be­ing taken for­ward by Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Pem­brokeshire coun­cils.

Neath Port Talbot’s cab­i­net will con­sider re­vised projects at a meet­ing to­day, while Pem­brokeshire Coun­cil has again stressed that it needs a share of cen­tral Gov­ern­ment city deal fund­ing soon for its £76 mil­lion Pem­broke Dock Ma­rine project.

Pem­brokeshire coun­cil­lor Paul Miller said: “Time is re­ally press­ing in terms of get­ting res­o­lu­tion of the out­stand­ing is­sues.”

There was a risk, he said, of los­ing a sig­nif­i­cant amount of Euro­pean fund­ing if the project busi­ness case was not ap­proved by Septem­ber.

The UK and Welsh Gov­ern­ments are to pro­vide £241 mil­lion to­wards the £1.3 bil­lion city deal, and joint com­mi­tee chair­man Rob Stewart said he ex­pected the first two £18 mil­lion cen­tral Gov­ern­ment pay­ments to be handed over “this side of Christ­mas”.

Mr Stewart, who is the leader of Swansea Coun­cil, said city deal rep­re­sen­ta­tives were in con­stant dis­cus­sions with the Welsh Gov­ern­ment.

He said: “What we can­not have are ex­tended pe­ri­ods of no money. There must be no re­peat of the lengthy de­lays which have dogged not just this city deal but other city deals.”

An artist’s im­pres­sion of phase one el­e­ments of the £200m Llanelli Well­ness Vil­lage.

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