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Cardiff expertise to shape wellbeing project

5 August 2022

Left to right: Wendy Walters, Chief Executive, Carmarthenshire County Council; Professor Ian Weeks, Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Cardiff University; David TC Davies, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales; Cllr. Darren Price, Leader, Carmarthenshire County Council; Cllr Gareth John, Cabinet Member of Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Carmarthenshire County Council, and Chris Moore, Director of Corporate Services, Carmarthenshire County Council.

Cardiff University is forging a partnership to support Pentre Awel – a health and wellbeing project earmarked for Llanelli.

The largest ever regeneration scheme in South West Wales, Pentre Awel aims to bring together life science and business innovation, research and academia, transforming health and wellbeing for everyone.

The investment will create around 1,800 high-quality, well-paid jobs and boost the economy by £467 million over 15 years.

Funded by Carmarthenshire County Council, the Swansea Bay City Deal and institutional investors, the 83-acre site is being delivered by the Council in partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board, Coleg Sir Gâr, Cardiff University, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Pentre Awel will be underpinned by the co-location of academics, care professionals, clinicians, enterprises, innovators, patients, residents, and researchers, all housed within smart tech, state-of the-art, purpose-built facilities.

Wales Office Minister David Davies said: “I was delighted to see the start of this exciting project and congratulate some of the people who’ve worked so hard on it. The UK Government is proud of our financial contribution which, along with our partners, will help deliver this hugely ambitious plan. It has the potential to transform lives by creating innovations in health and wellbeing, as well as providing an economic boost to the area. This is levelling up in action.”

Carmarthenshire Count Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism Cllr Gareth John said: “We are delighted to welcome Cardiff University as a partner in Pentre Awel. An ambitious and exciting development for Llanelli, it has the power to transform the provision of health and wellbeing locally. It will pioneer new ways of thinking about wellbeing for the 21st century; and the research and development will help to push the boundaries of understanding of what it means to live well, making a huge difference to people’s lives.”

Pentre Awel promises a Clinical Delivery Centre, offering multi-disciplinary care in a community setting, and an adjacent Clinical Research Centre, focusing on research, innovation and improvements to population health.

Professor Colin Riordan, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University, said: “Working closely with Hywel Dda University Health Board, we aim to forge closer links with higher and further education institutions in the region, building on our expertise by delivering meaningful impacts on population health and wellbeing within a holistic ecosystem that will transform health and social care innovation.”

Cardiff University will support vocationally-relevant education, training and skills development programmes within medicine, pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, and healthcare sciences, whilst Pentre Awel will provide bespoke and dedicated education space, specifically tailored to each disciplinary need.

Professor Ian Weeks, Pro-Vice Chancellor, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, said: “A wellbeing project of this kind has never been trialled in the UK before. The initiative aims to reduce both primary and secondary care service demands by exploring accessible, alternative treatment approaches, which will benefit from College expertise in clinical innovation.

“Pentre Awel will develop a network that draws in third sector support alongside healthcare experts to deliver high-quality advice, guidance, and assistance to enable informed decisions and empowerment of choice for individuals and healthcare professionals. It will facilitate med tech and life science companies to access real world evaluation, clinical trials and the value-based measurement of innovative products, services, and processes.”

Pentre Awel will feature a leisure centre with a 25-metre eight-lane swimming pool and learner pool, hydrotherapy pool, gymnasium and dance, spin and multi-purpose studios.

The council has appointed Bouygues UK – who recently completed Cardiff University’s Innovation Campus - to design and build Zone One which benefits from around £87million of public sector investment.

As part of the project, Cardiff University has appointed a Pentre Awel project team. If you would like to know more about working with Cardiff University at Pentre Awel, email Barbara Coles, Pentre Awel Innovation Officer, or Sue Bevan, Pentre Awel Innovation Officer.

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