CARMARTHENSHIRE’S booming tourism economy is now worth a huge £441million to the local economy, new independent figures have revealed.
More visitors than ever before are choosing Carmarthenshire for day trips, with 2.27million people flocking to the area during 2018 to enjoy its unique blend of countryside and coast.
Carmarthenshire County Council believes recent international events, such as the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour, and hit TV shows like BBC drama Keeping Faith – filmed in Carmarthenshire – have helped draw in the crowds.
New independent STEAM figures, put together for Carmarthenshire County Council, have revealed that during 2018, 3.28million people visited Carmarthenshire and a million people stayed overnight.
The tourism industry now supports more than 6,000 jobs in the local area.
The council’s Marketing and Media team has worked with local tourism and hospitality providers, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, tourist attractions, activity providers, restaurants, pubs, businesses and retailers, to provide the perfect welcome for guests and encourage them to return.
They have also been busy promoting the Discover Carmarthenshire website and This Is Carmarthenshire brand across the UK, Europe and further afield.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “Carmarthenshire’s profile as a world-class visitor destination continues to grow, with coverage from our major events, such as the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour, and the hugely popular Keeping Faith TV drama, providing the kind of marketing that money can’t buy.
“There is a huge amount of work underway to ensure we build on this momentum – our teams are working hard with partners and businesses to constantly improve what we have to offer and keep people coming back for more.”
He added: “Our investment in facilities such the National closed Road Circuit, and caravan and camping facilities at Pembrey Country Park, as well as ongoing support of major tourist attractions such as the National Botanic Garden of Wales, is reaping its rewards.
“Further investment is in the pipeline, including the regeneration of Pendine’s waterfront with a Sands of Speed Museum and eco-hostel, which is well underway.
“Carmarthenshire has a lot to shout about, and plenty to offer. We look forward to welcoming more and more people to our beautiful county.”
Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, added: “We cannot underestimate the value of tourism to our local economy. It provides much-needed jobs for local people and helps keep businesses thriving. With more people visiting, we hope that they will help us spread the word, and return themselves time and time again.”
For information, visit www.discovercarmarthenshire.com
Ascona Group announces new Car and Truck wash facilities
ASCONA GROUP, one of the UK’s fastest-growing forecourt operators, is pleased to announce two new vehicle washing partnerships as part of improvements to its unique roadside retail proposition across its forecourt estate.
As part of a new partnership with the American based PDQ Manufacturing, a leader for in-bay automatic vehicle washing facilities, Ascona Group will be the first in the UK to install the ‘Laserwash 360 Plus’, a touchless car wash system for its customers.
The partnership will initially expand the wash options at the Hinton Service Station, with a view to roll out the system to other sites under the Ascona Group’s brand, ‘Charlie’s Express Car Wash’ later this year. The partnership is a significant investment for Ascona and demonstrates its commitment to ever improving the experience for customers.
Ascona Group is also delighted to announce a strategic partnership with WashTec UK that will see Ascona introduce a ‘First of its Kind’ truck washing facility at the Tenby Road site on the A40 Eastbound in Carmarthenshire, which offers the very best technology available to HGV drivers.
The truck wash employs a fully ‘closed loop’ total water recycling system, the first of its kind in Wales, which recovers all water used within the wash process, filtering it for reuse with little or no water entering the mains drainage system. This system ensures Ascona not only has the best commercial wash in South Wales, but also offers customers one of the more environmentally friendly approaches in operation.
Commenting on the announcement, CEO Darren Briggs said: “From the very beginning, we knew that our sites must present our customers with a unique and compelling offer which is why we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to improve our roadside retail facilities.
“These two new partnerships further demonstrate our focus on creating industry-leading propositions and we are really excited to be working with PDQ Manufacturing USA and WashTec UK. Together, we are keen to continue to build on the success of these new operations and we are actively reviewing multiple opportunities across the Ascona portfolio to roll out more units such as these.”
Nearly £50,000 of National Lottery funding for community groups in Carmarthenshire
FIVE local community organisations across Carmarthenshire are celebrating after being awarded a share of £49,575 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund over the past month.
One successful project was MolTân Makers who will use their £9,820 grant to provide metal working workshops for people wishing to improve their mental health and well-being. The group will reach out to mental health groups and the wider community and also allow people to reconnect with the community following the pandemic.
One participant with MolTân Makers explained, “ The course was professionally run by four hard-working people who helped us with one to one tuition when needed. They were so welcoming and adaptable to individual needs and allowed me to attend the course at different hours due to health reasons.
“They were great company and created an interesting and positive atmosphere to help people with mental and physical health problems feel included and understood and we all took home what we made in the course.”
The Hangout received £10,000 and will help young people improve their mental health and wellbeing through structured outdoor activity programmes. The project will build on a previous pilot project that led to more young people becoming re-engaged in school following the pandemic and continuing to volunteer with the group after the initial sessions finished.
The Alternative Learning Company in Llanelli were awarded £9,955 and will recycle plastic bottles to build full size greenhouses. They will propagate plants for growing schemes in local schools and communities. The project will reduce the levels of plastic sent to landfill or polluting open spaces, and give young people an understanding of the impact of climate change.
Newcastle Emlyn Town Council will build an outdoor structure in collaboration with the community, to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee. This £10,000 grant will fund building and design materials, and a water harvesting kit.
Messy Projects will use their £9,800 grant to run the activities and events they missed due to the pandemic. Activities will include celebrating the Queens platinum jubilee, a BBQ, and a Bonfire party.
John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said “These groups play a vital role in supporting their communities and these grants will allow them to continue being there for people in future.
”National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK and the projects funded over the past month show the crucial difference players make through their tickets. I look forward to following all of their progress.”
Family of power station worker calls on former colleagues to help with asbestos claim
THE WIFE of a Carmarthenshire man, who was just 66 when he died of an asbestos-related cancer, is calling on colleagues who worked with him in the 1970s to help understand where and how he contracted the disease.
Peter Colton, from Llanelli, died in July 2021 after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.
He worked as a conveyor and weighbridge operator for the CEGB at Carmarthen Bay Power Station. During his time at the power station, his duties included offloading coal wagons and conveying coal to the boilers.
It is possible that Mr Colton was exposed to asbestos during those years and now his family has sought the help of local asbestos specialists J.M Parsons, to investigate a claim for compensation.
Ann Colton, Mr Colton’s wife, wants answers. She said: “Peter was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died just six weeks later. He had been suffering from shortness of breath and just had no quality of life.
“It was devastating to see someone who had been so healthy and active slowly get worse and worse. We just want to know where and how he was exposed to asbestos and hope someone out there can help us.”
According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, annual mesothelioma deaths in Britain increased steeply over the last 50 years, a consequence of mainly occupational asbestos exposures that occurred because of the widespread industrial use of asbestos during 1950-1980.
Amanda Jones is one of the specialists at J.M Parsons, which is owned by Thompsons Solicitors. Thompsons has paved the way for asbestos litigation in the UK ever since it brought about the first successful asbestos disease claim to the House of Lords in 1972, 50 years ago.
She said: “We would be grateful to hear from anyone who remembers working with Peter Colton in Carmarthen Bay Power Station in the 1970s or anyone who worked in the same field as Peter beyond the 1970s.
“Such individuals will be invaluable to Mr Colton’s family as they may be able to add important information that will assist us in building a civil claim. We hope that we will then be able to answer questions about the conditions that Mr Colton worked in during his working life.”
Anyone with information should contact Amanda Jones on 01554 779940, or via email at email@example.com.
News1 week ago
Shock in Carmarthenshire as it’s named as one of the top locations for most reckless young drivers in UK
News1 week ago
Police appeal for information after vehicle collides with two pedestrians
Education3 days ago
Carmarthenshire Council offers career opportunities through new Care Academi
News2 weeks ago
Public advised to avoid rail travel as biggest strike in 30 years about to start
Business1 week ago
The 10 powerful stain removers you already have in your kitchen
Sport5 days ago
Depleted Ammanford beaten by seven wickets
Business3 days ago
Carmarthenshire cheese maker secures Co-op listing
crime1 week ago
Man who filmed rape on victim’s phone jailed for 10 years