The Minister’s visit followed a meeting of the Welsh Government’s Cabinet at the National Botanic Gardens in Llanarthne.
The scheme which is due to be completed in November 2012 includes the refurbishment of an existing building as well as the new build of a four storey apartment block providing a total of 12 one bedroom apartments. The existing building, once the Brewery offices, will be renovated to provide four spacious apartments along the riverside walkway. The new-build element will house 8 apartments, two of which have work from home facilities to cater for a wide range of lifestyles.
The development will complement the 17 properties built during the first two phases of the development, including one supported housing unit for adults with physical disabilities. The £1.15m project has been supported with almost £640,000 of Social Housing Grant from the Welsh Government.
The Minister said:
“This development is an excellent example of how investment in housing is about so much more than bricks and mortar. Not only will these homes provide a roof over people’s heads, the scheme is also providing a major boost to the local economy, employing dozens of people directly and using many more local contractors as well as providing training opportunities for young people. It clearly demonstrates that our funding contributes far more than just its monetary value.”
Stuart Davies, Gwalia’s Executive Director for Property and Development said:
“Buckley’s Brewery is an exciting project and will deliver a high quality residential development. This represents the third phase of development on the site by Gwalia which continues to support the regeneration of Llanelli.”
All the new homes have been built with high levels of energy efficiency, decreasing the carbon footprint of the development and reducing tenants’ energy bills.
Local construction company Tycroes Group Ltd, based in Cross Hands, are the main contractors for the site which currently employs 50 people, including three apprentices as part of the Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd shared apprenticeship scheme. In addition, over 90% of the construction supply chain including subcontractors and materials is sourced from within a 20 mile radius of the site.
The First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“Welsh Government Ministers are able to spend a good deal of their time out and about all over Wales listening to what people have to say and discussing our policies - a privilege we have as Ministers as a result of Wales having it's own Government.
"Holding the Cabinet in Carmarthenshire gives us the opportunity to focus all our visits in one particular area on one day which is something we haven't done before. This will give us an invaluable snapshot of how our actions to boost the economy in the area in these difficult times are working.”