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City region’s ‘leap of faith’



Meryl Gravell1

Swansea City Region Vice Chair: Meryl Gravell

THE SWANSEA BAY CITY REGION has submitted a ground-breaking ‘Internet Coast’ City Deal bid, in excess of £500m over 20 years, to both the UK and Welsh Governments.

The aim is to address the integrated universal themes and challenges of energy, health and well-being and economic acceleration by harnessing the transformational power of digital networks and the asset base of Swansea Bay. It is estimated that the City Deal investment could lever in total around £3.3billion of output and £1.3billion of gross value added for Wales, while supporting around 39,000 jobs in the region.

Chair of the Swansea Bay City Region Board Sir Terry Matthews said: “Swansea Bay became world famous in ‘the first machine age’. We aim to re-energise a vibrant and pioneering role in Wales and the UK as the world now enters ‘a new digital machine age.’

“There are echoes of the Industrial Revolution in this vision and I am pleased to be leading the region as we aim for a new place in the global economy. I can clearly see a Swansea Bay that is globally recognised for innovation and economic acceleration once again, ideally located on ‘a digital super highway connecting the UK and North America – London and New York.

“Think of the way the internet and broadband networks have transformed communications worldwide. Now imagine the same principle applied to future energy systems, to health and well-being and any number of other sectors. It is a massive opportunity and with City Deal support we can take a lead position in Wales and make our wider contribution to the UK and to Europe.”

“In my letter to the Chancellor I have described the widest possible regional public sector commitment to this City Deal bid as ‘a leap of faith’ that has immense value. I sincerely hope that the bold vision and support is recognised by Government in Westminster and Cardiff Bay.

“I know also that there are many private sector partners, here in Swansea Bay, across Wales and the UK and around the world who are enthused by our ‘leap of logic’.

“We need to incubate, launch and grow an ecosystem of new, successful and fast growing companies here in Swansea Bay. With the clarity, direction and impetus that a City Deal can provide just watch us ‘move that needle’ to a higher level of growth.”

As part of the City Region deal, the ARCH health programme is working to address the challenges we face in health and healthcare across the region. ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) is a visionary collaboration between ABMU and Hywel Dda health boards and Swansea University.

The ARCH partnership covers a population of 1 million people and aims to create a healthcare system fit for the 21st Century, drive investment and create new jobs to boost the local economy, skill up the next generation of clinicians, researchers, academics and innovators lead the way in Life Science research and innovation and its subsequent translation and commercialisation.

ARCH chairman Professor Andrew Davies, who is also chair of ABMU Health Board and a member of the Swansea Bay City Region Board, explains how the plans will benefit the health and wellbeing of people in South West Wales.

He said: “The City Deal will accelerate the rate at which the ARCH partners can deliver an innovative and pioneering healthcare service in this region.

“ARCH is working on a regional footprint of one million people – with an effective digital infrastructure in place through the City Region Deal we will be able to really create a new model of pro-active, personalised and co-ordinated healthcare delivery, which will be seen as an exemplar in the NHS.

“Through health science innovation and research, ARCH will also be able to attract highly-qualified people and high growth businesses to South West Wales.

“With the correct technology and digital platforms in place – supported by the creation of a “digital super highway” we will be able to truly transform the way healthcare is delivered in our communities.

“These are exciting plans which will have real benefit to us all.”

Endorsing the importance of the rural economy in the Swansea Bay City Deal bid Councillor Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council said: “The City Deal provides a real opportunity to push forward growth in our region and importantly the rural economy of West Wales.

“We have strong foundations upon which to build, including the strategic employment site at Cross Hands creative industries boosted by the Year Egin project in Carmarthen and our ambitious plans for a Wellness and Life Science Village at Delta Lakes Llanelli.”

Swansea City Region Vice Chair Cllr Meryl Gravell added: “The focus of the City Deal on boosting broadband connectivity infrastructure is vital for other key sectors such as tourism and the focus on health and social care is also crucial for delivering better services across rural West Wales.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities



WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands



OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at:, by emailing or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting

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Witness appeal after car is stolen and burnt out



DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a car from a property in Lando Road, Burry Port, which was later found burnt out in Pembrey Country Park.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the theft of the blue Ssangyong Rexton, which took place sometime between 5pm on Friday, 11th November, and 9am on Saturday, 12th November, and would like to speak to anyone who may have information or CCTV or dashcam footage.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation 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.

Quote reference: DP-20221112-109

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting

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