South West Wales

Llanelli technium taken over by Carmarthenshire council

Carmarthenshire council is set to take over the running of a former business innovation centre in Llanelli.

It has approved plans to lease the site in Dafen for the next five years.

The Welsh government has stopped funding six of the 10 Welsh 'techniums' saying they were not delivering value for money or creating enough jobs.

Carmarthenshire council said it could make the centre work by easing restrictions on new businesses looking to move into the building.

When it was first launched it was hoped the technium in Llanelli would become a centre for performance engineering for the automotive industry.

The authority's executive board has approved plans to lease the building with an option to buy it in the future.

The council will take on the costs of running it and receive the rental income from the tenants.

The site consists of 22 units but the council says only a small number are let at present.

Encouraging investment

It said it would work with Coleg Sir Gar and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David to support fledgling companies in IT and media, construction and advanced manufacturing sectors.

There are plans develop a business incubation and bursary scheme for new businesses and to work with students to research and develop new products for the marketplace.

Council leader Meryl Gravell said: "This will be great for Llanelli - the building will act as an incubator for new and growing companies, give them access to top of the range IT equipment, and encourage investment and entrepreneurship.

"Hopefully, through working more with colleges and young people we will find more entrepreneurs and give them the support they need to succeed in business, it will give young people with ideas a fantastic opportunity."

Last year the Welsh government said it was closing the techniums at Aberystwyth, Baglan, Bangor, Pembroke Dock, Llanelli and the Sony plant in Bridgend.

Pembrokeshire council has already taken full control of and rebranded the former technium at Pembroke Dock.

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