A cutting-edge new leisure centre that will give a major boost to health, fitness and wellbeing opportunities for many thousands of people in Llanelli and beyond is planned to open in 2021.
Located in the £200 million Wellness and Life Science Village at Delta Lakes, the leisure centre will combine with other attractions and facilities in an iconic Wellness Hub building forming part of the overall development.
Carmarthenshire County Council is leading on the Village project in partnership with Swansea University and Sterling Health.
The leisure centre at the Wellness Hub is proposed to include:
An aquatic centre featuring a 25-metre long swimming pool, a splash pool and a learner pool
A state-of-the-art gym and fitness studios
A multi-purpose sports hall for a range of sports, including badminton and netball
A hydrotherapy pool
A ‘Clip and Climb’ zone including climbing walls, frames and platforms
The inclusion of world class diving facilities is also being explored, which could host international competitions and become a training base for all abilities from across Wales.
Llanelli’s current leisure centre at Park Crescent will remain open until the new leisure centre is operational.
All staff at the current leisure centre will be relocated to the new facility at Delta Lakes as soon as it’s open, with consideration being given to the future of the existing leisure centre building.
Cllr Emlyn Dole, Carmarthenshire County Council Leader, said: “The new, state-of-the-art leisure centre will bring Llanelli’s provision of sport, leisure and health-related services into the 21st century, giving the town’s people the kind of modern facilities they deserve.
“Forming part of the major, Wales-first Wellness and Life Science Village, the planned leisure centre at the development’s Wellness Hub will also enable closer links than ever before between leisure services and healthcare specialists, life science research professionals and wellness experts who will be located on the same site.
“The layout, location and age of Llanelli’s current leisure centre building means we can’t realise this innovative vision there, so consideration is now being given to the future of that building after the new leisure centre opens as we continue to make progress on our world class plans for Delta Lakes.
“Prices to use the new leisure centre at the Village will be in line with prices at other council-run leisure centres across Carmarthenshire.”
A gateway to all Village services, the Wellness Hub will also include a digital customer service area, a healthy food court, and spaces for community activities.
Supported by the Hywel Dda and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Boards, the Village is due to be part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal – a major investment in 11 transformational projects across South West Wales.
Other Village features will include a Community Health Hub made up of an Institute of Life Science, a Wellness Education Centre and a Clinical Delivery Centre.
Assisted living accommodation including extra care housing and a nursing home will also feature, boosting independent living through the use of supported living technologies developed on site.
A Wellness Hotel to meet demand for wellness tourism is among the other developments planned for the Village, along with landscaped spaces for walking and cycling, a children’s play area, and spaces for outdoor performing arts.
The Wellness Hub and Community Health Hub elements of the Village are anticipated to be operational in 2021, with overall project completion earmarked for 2023.
Creating close to 2,000 high-quality jobs in the next 15 years, the Wellness and Life Science Village is projected to give the local economy a £467 million boost.
An outline planning application for the development will be considered for approval in coming months, with construction on site due to start in 2019.
Cllr Dole said: “This innovative project will benefit people of all backgrounds and ages through bringing together state-of-the-art health, well-being, medical, sport, leisure, research and business facilities on one site.
“Collaboration with education providers across the Swansea Bay City Region will focus on training opportunities for all levels of employment at the Village development, leaving a long-term legacy for local people.
“Adequate car parking will be provided on site, along with bicycle stands and a drop-off zone for buses, taxis and school visits. Linking with the Millennium Coastal Path and areas of the Village to be landscaped for recreation, this will further boost our thriving tourism industry.”
Speaking following the announcement Nia Griffith MP said, “I certainly welcome a new state-of-the-art leisure centre, but the council must stick to its commitment to peg prices at normal County leisure centre levels, and ensure that there are good public transport links to the new Centre from across the area.
“Then, it is really important that the old site does not become part of a hollowing out of Llanelli Town Centre as facilities move out to the periphery – a worry compounded by talk of the police custody cells also moving. Future use of the Park Crescent site should be about bringing people into the town centre, so ideas might include tastefully designed housing, affordable office space or some other form of leisure facilities. The County should let people have a say on this.”