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Regency restoration project wins second top civil engineering award



Regency restoration project, National Botanic Garden of Wales

THE REGENCY restoration project, National Botanic Garden of Wales has scooped a top prize in the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE Wales Cymru) Awards 2021 announced today (1 December 2021). This to add to the ICE People’s Choice Award won earlier this Autumn. 

Whereas the first award was voted for by the public, this award is judged by a panel of ICE civil engineers who, in this instance, took into account how the industry gives back to the community.

The Awards are held each year and recognise teams and individuals that have delivered some of the best civil engineering projects and achievements across the country. 

This year an exceptionally wide range of entries was received ranging from a £21m through-school building project to a £650k flood protection scheme.

The Regency restoration project, National Botanic Garden of Wales won the Alun Griffiths Award for Community Engagement. 

This Award is in recognition of the civil engineering industry in Wales and the work undertaken to engage with local communities whilst improving infrastructure and / or services. 

There were a number of entries for this Award, but the judges were clear in their view that the restoration of the Regency garden at the National Botanic Garden of Wales was the worthy winner. 

They took into account the regard to the care and attention to detail that was demonstrated in the sensitive restoration. Resulting in a remarkable collection of lakes, cascades, waterfalls, springs, bath houses, bridges and pools for the community and wider audience to enjoy.

Successfully managing a project like this required a dedicated team of specialists working closely together, as well as the many volunteers from the local community. Local historians, ecologists, archaeologists, architects, civil, structural, geotechnical and hydraulic engineers worked with environmentally aware contractors, WM Longreach to sympathetically restore the landscape.

In all fifteen projects were shortlisted across Wales and vying to walk away with an award after a year that has seen civil engineers battle to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, keeping complex infrastructure works on track or delivering emergency schemes at breakneck speed.

Young engineers representing future talent in Wales were also recognised at the awards event.  

Liam Stuckey, a civil engineering apprentice with Arcadis, Cardiff won the Apprentice of the Year Award, sponsored by South Wales Institute of Engineers Educational Trust (SWIEET). Luke Cook, Atkins, won STEMM Ambassador of the Year. Robert Varley, ARUP, walked away with both the Paterson Prize for awarded to the best Welsh candidate in the final written examinations of the former Institution of Municipal Engineers and the Ben Barr Award for demonstrate excellence in their understanding of the construction process, particularly linking design to construction, presentation of engineering principles, application of planning and programming methods and organisational skills.

Keith Jones ICE Wales Cymru Director, said:

“This year’s competition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved to battle against many unknowns as the pandemic continues. Sustainability and communities seem to be the backbone of many entries which can only bode well for the future. Our awards are a tribute to civil engineers across the country. We congratulate the winners and thank all entrants”.

Full details of all the shortlisted projects and awards sponsors are available at

Full list of winners

Project Awards:

Alun Griffiths Award for Community Engagement:

  • Winner – The National Botanic Garden of Wales Regency Restoration, Carmarthenshire
  • Highly Commended – Ynysangharad Footbridge Pontypridd

The Bill Ward Sustainability Award

  • Winner – Deeside Park and Ride Facility
  • Highly Commended – Gwydir Rivers Safety Project

 The Designed in Wales Award

  • Winner – The Bewdley Bank Service Reservoir

The Chair’s Special Award

  • Winner – The Dragons Heart Hospital – Principality Stadium Cardiff

The Roy Edwards Award

  • Winner – St Alban’s Bridge Blaenrhondda
  • Highly Commended -RNLI Lifeboat Station Pwllheli

The George Gibby 

  • Winner – Ysgol Gatholig Crist y Gair – Denbighshire

Individual Awards:

Ben Barr Award Sponsored by Symmons Madge: 

  • Winner – Robert Varley
  • Highly commended:  Neil Williams

Paterson Prize 

  • Winner – Robert Varley

STEMM Apprentice 2021

  • Winner – Luke Cook

Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by SWIEET

  • Winner – Liam Stuckey
  • Highly Commended – Dominic Henson
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Police appeal for missing woman



DYFED-Powys Police is appealing for help to find a woman who is missing in the Carmarthen area.

Christine, who is 58, left her van at an address in the Cwmduad area overnight and hasn’t been seen since.

She is described as being 5ft 8ins, with grey/blonde shoulder length hair, of very slim build and is believed to be wearing jeans and a T-shirt.


Anyone who has seen Christine, or knows of her whereabouts, is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at, by emailing, or by calling 101. 

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting Ref: DP-20220812-040.

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Discover Carmarthenshire launches 100% Carmarthenshire Larder Trails



TO HELP their visitors to eat and drink local and authentic produce, Discover Carmarthenshire has developed three new online guides, the 100% Carmarthenshire Larder Trails for them to follow. The three Larder trails can be viewed here.

With every season bringing the freshest local produce to the county’s markets, delis, farm shops and even the shoreline, as well as an increasing appetite for foodie focused travel experiences, the new trails help visitors head straight to the ‘source’ with some truly authentic experiences to be enjoyed along the way.

The ultimate aim is to help make the picnic, campsite cook up or holiday cottage kitchen supper feature as much Carmarthenshire produce as possible ensuring tourism secondary spend supports the local economy.

Discover Carmarthenshire enlisted the help of three food and travel writers who each spent time in the county researching their trails, locating the tastiest addresses to recommend. Kacie Morgan from The Rare Welshbit who lives in Cardiff covered the west, Binny’s Food and Travel from London hit the east and Carmarthenshire based travel writer Jade Braham, explored her mid county food and drink favourites.

Each trail breaks down advice under different categories including best places for produce market shopping, morning coffee, lunch, treats, hands on tasting experiences, take homes and dinner dates.

From pop up markets to coffee roastery cafes, to cheese makers, vineyards, bottle shops, butchers and delis, visitors following the trails are led on a self guided eating, drinking journey around the county meeting the makers themselves, the farmers, foragers, baristas and gelato producers adding to their experience.

Discover hidden milkshake vending machines down winding county roads and family-run cafes and delis tucked away in market towns, as each guide suggests the best of local eats and drinks.

The Eastern Larder Trail covers the Aman Valley, Llandeilo, Llanelli, the Western Larder Trail explores Laugharne, Whitland, St Clears and Newcastle Emlyn and finally the Mid County Larder Trail focuses on Carmarthen, Kidwelly and Llansteffan. The whole county is covered including experiences such as a low intervention vineyard tour and tasting, to gin and rum distilleries, cookery classes and coastal foraging.

As well as focusing on classic Welsh produce, the trails also celebrate diversity and guide visitors to where they can enjoy Asian curries and tapas cooked up using the freshest local veg followed by a visit to the county’s most famous cheese producer or a drive to a market to search out laverbread, Carmarthenshire’s very own caviar.

The guides also include recommended places to stay (Larder Sleepovers) where the food journey continues – from a new self-catering apartment above the Caws Cenarth dairy, to Mansion House restaurant with rooms and views over Carmarthen Bay, or Cowpots campsite with its own pizzeria and ice cream parlour.

To view the three 100% Carmarthenshire Larder Trails go to:

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Carmarthenshire based company supplies kit to Wales Commonwealth Team



Olivia Soady - Bethan Jones - Jasmine Joyce - Gabriella Maria - Steven Wright - Credit University of South Wales

A LLANELLI based business, that has received financial support from Carmarthenshire County Council, has won the contract to supply the Wales Commonwealth Team’s training leggings.

Onesta has only been trading since June 2020 but is already kitting out the likes of Rosie Eccles, Anwen Butten and Alys Thomas as they represented Wales at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The leggings were designed by University of South Wales students Beth Jones and Olivia Soady, who won a design competition set by Commonwealth Games Wales in partnership with the University. Beth and Olivia worked in partnership with Onesta to produce 360 pairs of leggings using sustainable, recycled materials.

Since it commenced trading, over two years ago, Carmarthenshire County Council has supported Onesta, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic but also to realise the company’s long-term ambitions. In June 2021, Onesta was awarded an Economic Resilience Fund grant of £2,500 by Carmarthenshire County Council as support to cover the business bills during the COVID-19 restrictions of May and June 2021. They were also awarded a £2000 Non-Domestic Rates Grant during the COVID-19 support schemes in February 2022.

In April 2022, Onesta was awarded a Business Growth & Recovery Grant of £10,000 to assist with the purchase of manufacturing equipment and workshop and office furniture. The grant money will fund a cutting table, overlockers, cutting machine, industrial iron, industrial sewing machine and lockstitch, which would assist in the manufacturing of the clothing for the Wales Commonwealth Team for the 2022 Games.

The company’s founder, Gabriella Diana, was nominated by the Council for the Wales Start Up Awards in 2021 in which she went on to win the Rising Star category.

Since then, Onesta has also won the Marie Claire Sustainability Award for Best Sustainable Small Brand 2021, UnLtd Social Entrepreneur Award, and was a finalist in the Cardiff Life Awards 2021 and the GBEA Awards 2021.  

Onesta was highly commended in the Heroes of Net Zero competition at a special awards ceremony, hosted by Intuit, at the COP26 international climate change summit in Glasgow. More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the government’s own climate commitment. They were highly commended in the micro business category for demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero, including sourcing eco-friendly materials locally, removing toxic chemicals used in manufacturing and re-purposing fabric scraps to make sustainable products for Surfers Against Sewage.

Gabriella Diana, Founder and Owner of Onesta said “I was over the moon when we found out that the Wales Commonwealth Team had chosen us to supply their leggings. The past few months have been very busy as we have been measuring the athletes and creating the garments. I’m so pleased to see them being worn on the international stage next week.

“I’m very grateful to Carmarthenshire County Council for the financial support we have received to, not only survive the COVID-19 restrictions but also to build the business and strive.”

Since launching the Business Growth & Start-Up Grant scheme in early 2022, Carmarthenshire County Council has approved 61 business grants to Carmarthenshire businesses. Of which 44 approvals were Business Growth & Recovery Grants, totalling £299,225.17 and 17 approvals were Business Start Up Grants, totalling £117,924.31.

Cllr Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism said “As a local authority, we are delighted to have been able to invest in Gabriella and her company to enable her to grow the business. We are also very proud to have provided financial support to Onesta, and other companies based in Carmarthenshire, to weather the difficult COVID-19 restrictions of the past two and a half years.

“We have all enjoyed watching Wales’ athletes compete at the recent Commonwealth Games and the fact that they are wearing a kit that is made in Carmarthenshire has been a source of much pride for Carmarthenshire County Council.”

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