WORK on the £200 million Llanelli Wellness Village is expected to start late next summer, its project manager has said.

Sharon Burford said Carmarthenshire Council, which is leading the project, was “really close” to finalising the details of the scheme’s wellness hub – which includes a new leisure centre.

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“Hopefully that will all come together by the end of February,” she said, addressing the council’s policy and resources committee on December 2.

“Then we would be in a position to go out to procurement to build it. And then spades in the ground late summer.”

The Llanelli Wellness Village is one of 11 city deal projects for the Swansea Bay City Region and must have its business case signed off by the Welsh and UK Governments, which will be expected to contribute £40 million.

Chris Moore, the council’s director of corporate services, said the aim was for the city deal’s ruling body – the joint committee – to approve the business case in January or February prior to consideration by central Government.

Mr Moore said: “The project is advancing quite well at the moment.”

He said “significant conversations” continued with an unnamed higher education partner to come on board with the project, which has a strong life science element to it.

Design work was also progressing, he said, while a rebranding announcement was expected shortly.

And Mr Moore revealed that around 15 financial companies had been approached by the council in the last fortnight about potential expressions of interest.

“There is some significant interest in the market, based on the business plan which has been put together by our financial analyst, with our assistance,” he said.

The Llanelli Wellness Village involves other education partners and Hywel Dda University Health Board, with the private sector also to contribute.

The scheme on 86 acres of land at Delta Lakes has planning permission and will include research and business development facilities, a state-of-the-art care home and assisted living and rehabilitation centre, outdoor leisure space, a wellness hotel, and the new leisure centre.

The council has been busy looking for alternative delivery options after its executive board terminated a collaboration agreement with a private sector partner and Swansea University last December.

Cllr Kevin Madge said it was important to rebuild public confidence in the scheme.

Referring to the general election, he said: “Let’s hope that whatever happens on December 12 that this flagship project goes ahead.”

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