Residents urged to have their say on town centres in Carmarthenshire

PEOPLE across Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to get involved in shaping the future of the county’s town centres.

Carmarthenshire County Council has commissioned a team of experts to support the targeted regeneration of Llanelli, Ammanford and Carmarthen town centres as they recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Proposals have been developed that gives fresh focus on the priorities and strategy for recovery and future growth and identifies a range of opportunities to breathe new life back into the towns.

People are able to review and comment on the plans at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/consultation and those with particular interest can join an online discussion in November to provide feedback on the proposals.

Town centres across the country were severely affected by the pandemic which forced prolonged closures, accelerating online shopping and leading to the closure of some major national retailers.

Covid-19 measures such as social distancing requirements continue to have an impact.

The council recognises that the way people use town centres has changed and has committed to focusing energy and investment into adapting the high street and bringing people back to shop, live and enjoy leisure time.

Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “Our town centre high streets have experienced major change, and the speed of this has been fuelled by the pandemic. We are making every effort to secure the future of our town centres – they are an important part of our communities and the life-blood of many of our traders and the local economy. We want to look at all options to help our town centres recover and flourish again. We really hope that people will help us shape that future by providing their feedback through this consultation process.”

The town centre regeneration and recovery plans form just one element of an overall Covid-19 economic recovery plan which aims to safeguard and create jobs, support businesses and bolster Carmarthenshire’s local economy over the next two years.

The recovery strategy focuses efforts on 11 key themes, with emphasis on maximising opportunities for local businesses and growing the economy.

It sets out the authority’s aims to help businesses replace more than 3,000 jobs that have already been lost during the pandemic and safeguarding and replacing up to 10,000 jobs that may have been, or are at high risk of being, now that furlough has come to an end.

The council has also planned how it will support over 1,400 businesses that are at risk of insolvency and the creation of around 1,700 jobs that would have been generated if Carmarthenshire’s economy had stayed on its pre-pandemic growth trajectory.

image credit: Rhyshuw1, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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