Good progress is being made on the regeneration of two Llanelli Town Centre buildings bought by Carmarthenshire County Council as part of its Opportunity Street programme.
The council’s economic development team secured funding through the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places Fund to support the purchase of several properties.
Work is well underway at 10 and 12 Stepney Street, where two new shop units are being developed on the ground floor, and four two-bedroom apartments above.
Local contractors Lloyd & Gravell Ltd have been on site for a few months, completely gutting the space and transforming it in time for completion in the summer.
The retail units will open up new opportunities for businesses looking to trade within Llanelli Town Centre, and the apartments above will provide high quality living for tenants.
The construction phase has also helped secure jobs and training for people in the building industry.
Llanelli and Ponthenri based firm Lloyd & Gravell Ltd have liaised closely with the council’s economic development team to ensure the development supports local employment – a key element of the Vibrant and Viable Places funding.
Several people have worked with the firm to gain experience and training, with one of them since being employed as a site operative.
Director Kevin Gravell said: “We are proud to work with the council to improve Llanelli Town Centre, and to offer training and employment opportunities for local people.
“Kalumn Evans came to us on a two-week placement through the council’s LIFT employment training programme, and he became such an asset to the team that we offered him employment.
“As part of additional community benefits, we were also able to support a ‘have a go’ event at Coleg Sir Gar’s Ammanford Campus to encourage people into the construction industry.”
Welsh Government Communities and Children Secretary, Carl Sargeant, said: "As well as improving the appearance of the town centre to create an environment in which small businesses can flourish, the Welsh Government funding for this project will create job and training opportunities and boost the housing supply. This project is an excellent example of how regeneration funding is supporting important improvements that will benefit whole communities.”