Wellness and life science village takes major step forward

Multi-million pound plans for a wellness and life science village being supported by Swansea University in Llanelli have taken a major step forward.

Swansea University reports an outline planning application has now been submitted to Carmarthenshire Council for the project at Delta Lakes, which includes new sport and leisure facilities, along with state of the art services for health and wellbeing. Subject to planning approvals, work could start on the £200m development towards the end of the year. The village is aiming to create up to two thousand jobs over fifteen years years, helping give the local economy a £467m boost. Other features of the development include business and research opportunities, education, training and assisted living accommodation. The site will also be landscaped to give opportunities for scenic walks, cycling and recreation.

The village is being led by Carmarthenshire Council, in partnership with Swansea University, the Hywel Dda University Health Board and the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board through the ARCH partnership.

The development is part of the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal programme, which includes eleven major projects across Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire. Work is progressing with the Welsh and UK Governments to develop the bid to secure a £40m investment for the life science and wellbeing village as part of this programme. Signed by Theresa May in March last year, the City Deal includes funding from the UK and Welsh Governments, the public sector and the private sector.

Professor Marc Clement, Dean of the School of Management, who is leading the project for Swansea University alongside colleagues from its Medical School and College of Human and Health Sciences, said “The City Deal has kick-started a new profile and momentum for this region. This region is establishing itself as a leader in innovation, testing new concepts and then being able to commercialise them for a global market. We are delighted that Llanelli Wellness & Life Science Village project in Carmarthenshire is now moving forward at pace. The aim of the Swansea Bay City Region is to attract world-class research, economic growth and the creation of new jobs.”

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Carmarthenshire Council Leader, said “The submission of an outline planning application is another step forward for an exciting, bold and innovative project that will place Llanelli at the heart of global life science and well-being innovation. A recent drop-in event held in Llanelli showed more than 90% of people are either supportive or very supportive of the project, which is extremely encouraging because we’re determined to deliver this development for their benefit. Sustainability will be key to the development, along with sensitive design that ensures new buildings are in keeping with the character of the nearby area.”

Professor Keith Lloyd, Dean of Swansea University’s Medical School said the village is the largest regeneration project in South West Wales. He said “Innovation is essential to meet the NHS’s challenges and the university sees itself as a key partner in this. Alongside the job creation, the site will provide facilities for research, education, training and skills. The village will build on the success of the Medical School’s Institute of Life Science (ILS) at Swansea University attracting private sector investment which will create good quality, well-paid jobs across a range of professions and boosting the economy. One of the main aims of the project is to put the person at the centre of health care with a focus on promoting healthy independent living through the provision of sports and leisure facilities alongside healthcare services.”

The first phase of the project, set to be open in early 2021, will include a community health hub, extensive landscaping and a wellness hub featuring a top quality leisure centre.

The submission of the outline planning application follows a pre-planning application consultation period that’s now finished.

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