PLANS for a £200 million Wellness Village in Llanelli could provide a global blueprint on how healthcare and leisure services should best be delivered in future, according to Scarlets boss Nigel Short.
Mr Short, who sits on the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Economic Strategy Board, says the project earmarked for a site at Delta Lakes has the potential to boost not just Llanelli, but Carmarthenshire and South Wales as a whole.
Providing specialist private sector guidance to the City Deal’s decision-making Joint Committee, the Economic Strategy Board is made up of experts in sectors including business, housing, life sciences, energy, finance and manufacturing.
Carmarthenshire County Council is now working on an alternative delivery plan for the Wellness Village, which will be considered for approval by Joint Committee.
Plans include a state-of-the-art leisure centre, cutting-edge facilities for life science research, assisted living accommodation, and landscaped spaces for outdoor recreation.
Estimated to be worth £467 million and close to 2,000 jobs to the local economy, the Wellness Village could also include a wellness hotel to meet the growing demand for wellness tourism.
Mr Short, who’s been Chairman of the Scarlets for nine years, said: “My involvement with the Scarlets means I’m very passionate about Llanelli and the surrounding area.
“With the Wellness Village project, you can’t just look at the pounds, shillings and pence. You’ve got to look at the aspirational nature of the project, and what it does for the community and the environment.
“The Wellness Village is integrated, so it’s not just a housing development or a sports village. As well as environmental improvements, there will be research and educational elements included in the project. It’s a holistic development that can make a big difference over time.
“Like many parts of South Wales, Llanelli has an industrial past that we’re very proud of. But life has to move on, and the type of development earmarked for Delta Lakes has the potential to help us move forward as a society.”
The Wellness Village is one of a number of projects across South West Wales due to be part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal.
Funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector, the City Deal is being led by the four Swansea Bay City Region local authorities, the two regional health boards, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.