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Llanelli launch city bid

Llanelli, the largest town in west Wales, has officially thrown its hat into the ring for city status, aiming to become Carmarthenshire’s inaugural city and the eighth in Wales. Proponents, including politicians and community leaders, assert that attaining city status would serve as a catalyst for Llanelli’s advancement.

The town’s Chamber of Trade spearheads the endeavor, igniting the campaign during the Easter weekend with a ceremony at Llanelly House on Saturday, March 30. Cllr David Darkin, President of the Llanelli Chamber of Trade and also the town council leader, articulated the significance of the initiative: “This is an opportunity to attract millions of pounds of investment into Llanelli. Our business community views this effort as crucial for our future prosperity. We aim to shift perceptions and celebrate our town’s strengths.”

Darkin expressed optimism, envisioning the city status bid as “the dawn of a new era” for Llanelli. Despite acknowledging prevalent concerns regarding the town center’s vacant storefronts, Darkin highlighted Llanelli’s diverse offerings, from the international bowls venue at Selwyn Samuel Centre to the recently hosted international football matches at Stebonheath Park stadium. He lauded the Ffwrnes Theatre as “first class,” emphasising the town’s cultural richness.

The campaign’s next phase involves consultations with neighbouring community councils to determine the proposed city’s scope and scale. Subsequently, soliciting input from the public aims to galvanise community support. Darkin elucidated, “Our objective is to foster dialogue and instill pride in our town.”

Should these consultations yield positive outcomes, plans entail dispatching a letter to King Charles next year, petitioning for city status. Reflecting on the significance of the endeavour, Llanelli MP Dame Nia Griffith underscored the importance of accentuating the town’s positives, urging against complacency. She remarked, “Llanelli’s bid for city status presents an opportunity to rally behind our shared heritage, celebrate our vibrant industries, and propel our collective aspirations.”

Dame Nia said the bid’s potential to foster unity and ignite civic pride, emphasising the resilience and warmth of Llanelli’s populace. She concluded, “This bid is not just about a change in status; it’s about embracing our identity, our people, and our shared vision for a thriving Llanelli.”

Above: The launch of the Llanelli city status bid at Llanelly House over the Easter weekend. Pictured from left: Llanelli Town Crier Eldon Phillips, Cllr Deryk Cundy, President of Llanelli Chamber of Commerce Cllr David Darkin, Llanelli Chamber of Trade secretary Tara Fisher, local businessman supporting the bid Paul Orum of Qualitek Engineering, Llanelli MP Dame Nia Griffith, and former Elli Centre manager Andrew Stevens, who is also supporting the bid (Photo: Office of MP Dame Nia Griffith/Facebook)