THE exciting Tywi Valley Path project has received a New Year’s funding boost of £128,000.
The money will go towards developing part of the route in Abergwili as well as a parking area.
The grant has been awarded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
The council will provide match-funding of £32,000 towards constructing this section of the path which follows part of the old road and will link to the internal paths of the Bishop’s Palace Gardens.
Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths AM said: “I am pleased to be able to support the Tywi Valley Path and it is great to see this project begin to take shape. The path will of benefit to both local people wishing to enjoy the outdoors, enhance the rural community and boost tourism to the area.”
Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “I am delighted that we have received this funding through Welsh Government which will allow us to carry out some more work along the route. Things are really starting to shift up a gear now and I hope to see even more work taking place this year as we acquire more land.
“This really is an exciting project and is part of our aspiration to make Carmarthenshire the cycling hub of Wales.”
The scenic Tywi Valley Path will follow the route of the former Carmarthen and Llandeilo railway line as much as possible, and is expected to boost tourism and the local economy, as well as encourage active and sustainable travel.
The path, which will be approximately 16 miles long when complete, is being developed in phases; with negotiations with landowners ongoing and funding sources identified as the scheme progresses. It is expected to cost between £5 and £7million in total; and is also being part funded through the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund.
Planning permission has been secured for the western phase of the path between White Mill and Nantgaredig, and part of the path on an existing carriageway between Fronun and Bwlch Bach, near the concrete works in Abergwili, has already been completed; with further works planned this year, subject to land acquisition.
The path is expected to attract around 20,000 visitors a year when complete, and generate between £860,000 and £2million a year in the local economy.
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