Under scrutiny from Labour: The proposed Delta Lakes Wellness and Life Science Village

THE leader of Carmarthenshire Council is being quizzed on November 14 about the £200 million Wellness and Life Science Village planned for Llanelli.

Councillor Emlyn Dole will answer a series of questions at a meeting of full council about the Delta Lakes scheme, which is one of 11 Swansea Bay City Region projects aimed at boosting the region’s economy.

The Delta Lakes development will include life science research facilities, a leisure centre, nursing home, assisted living facilities, a “wellness” hotel, healthy food area, and walking and cycling areas, and is expected to create 2,000 jobs over 15 years.

The overall aim is to forge closer links between leisure services and healthcare specialists.

Backed by two health boards, the council and Swansea University, the project involves a private sector partner — Sterling Health — and is due to receive £40 million via the city deal for the region once the final business case has been signed off.

Carmarthenshire’s Labour leader, councillor Rob James has tabled questions to his Plaid Cymru peer, asking about the process which led to Sterling Health being chosen, how each partner will contribute to the £200 million cost, who Sterling Health’s directors are and what experience they bring, and how much the new operations director of Delta Wellbeing Ltd will receive. The company was incorporated in January this year and has two directors.

Cllr James has also asked how much the council has paid in city deal consultants’ fees.

In August this year the council said “numerous” private sector partners had expressed interest in the Delta Lakes project, but that only one bid met the criteria.

The authority said the ensuing collaboration agreement between the council, Swansea University and Sterling Health was “within a consortium of partners” including Siemens, Fujitsu and Pfizer.

“As part of the procurement process we received a series of testimonials about each of the individual partners involved in the process,” said the council.

“Many individuals within Sterling Health have significant expertise in the design, development and operation of related projects across the health and construction sectors.”

And Cllr Dole added: “The collaboration agreement, which follows a rigorous procurement process, is a major step forward for a development that will place Llanelli at the heart of global life science and well-being innovation.”

Last week, details of the new leisure centre within the Delta Lakes site emerged.

Staff at the town’s current leisure centre will be relocated to the new facility at Delta Lakes as soon as it’s open, with consideration given to the future of the existing Park Crescent building.

An outline planning application for the Wellness and Life Science Village will be determined in the coming months, with construction on site due to start in 2019 and finish completely four years later.

Llanelli Online contacted Carmarthenshire County Council and we asked the following questions:

  • Have you carried out any due diligence checks on the company, Sterling Health?
  • Why didn’t you renew an agreement with Kent Neurosciences Limited and then decide to go with another company who share the same directors?
  • Are Swansea University and Hywel Dda contributing financially?
  • If the project fails, will the taxpayer be footing the bill?

We received the following response:

“We are unable to respond to political enquires.”

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