MAJOR plans for a state-of-the-art Wellness and Life Science Village in Llanelli will soon be in a worldwide shop window for international investment.

The UK Government has added the project to its multi-billion pound High Potential Opportunities scheme, which is designed to fast-track investment into regions and sectors of the economy.

This means the Village will be promoted to 108 countries, helping further raise the global profile of a development that’s already projected to create close to 2,000 jobs and boost the local economy by £467 million.

The news was announced by Dr Liam Fox MP, International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade, which brings together prominent business leaders from across the UK to champion the country’s very best projects.

Combining advanced life science research and business development facilities with a world class leisure centre, extra care housing and nursing care, Llanelli’s Wellness and Life Science Village will be among the first developments of its kind.

Planned for a site at Delta Lakes, the Village project is being led by Carmarthenshire County Council, in partnership with Swansea University and Sterling Health.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Carmarthenshire County Council Leader, said: “The addition of the Village project to the UK Government’s High Potential Opportunities scheme speaks volumes about the planned development’s quality and viability.

“The innovative nature of this groundbreaking project means international interest in the Village has already been considerable, but this news will further raise the profile of the development across the world, helping attract even more interest from the business community.

“Promotion in 108 countries is a major coup for the Village. This will help put Llanelli, Carmarthenshire and the Swansea Bay City Region on the map as a global centre of excellence for life science and well-being innovation.”

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.

An outline planning application for the development will be considered for approval in January, with construction on site also due to start in 2019.

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.

Cllr Dole said: “The first phase of the Village project is anticipated to be ready in 2021, with overall project completion earmarked for 2023.

“Collaboration with education providers across the Swansea Bay City Region will focus on training opportunities for all levels of employment at the Village development, helping ensure that benefit for local communities is at the heart of the project.

“The City Deal Joint Committee will hopefully sign off the business case for the £40 million City Deal funding for the Village next week. We then hope that the governments will release the funding quickly so we can proceed with this much-anticipated development, which is already attracting international interest.”

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