With a town centre that has been in decline for decades, the impact of COVID and related restrictions have only made an already struggling Llanelli, even worse. Plaid-led Carmarthenshire County Council has ambitions plans for investment, but we must do more and we need a new Welsh Government to take the lead.
The lack of leadership from the Welsh Government has allowed so many similar town centres around Wales to suffer.
Helen Mary Jones has a plan for reviving the town Centre in a partnership between local and national governments, focussing on the Welsh pound, the ‘buy local’ movement and independent businesses and start-ups.
Helen Mary said:
"It’s time for a major rethink for Llanelli’s much loved town centre.
“During the pandemic more and more hyper-local, small businesses and entrepreneurs have been popping up. We need to nurture this movement, supporting our existing independent retailers and creating a space for our local entrepreneurs – investing in local talent, keeping profit in wales and the Welsh pound local.
“It would be great to see a partnership effort in the town to persuade the absentee landlords to give rent-free start up opportunities, to re-purpose the larger premises to suit smaller businesses and to ensure the buildings look attractive on the street.
“Welsh Government has confirmed that no rates will need to be paid for this whole financial year and, therefore, now is a great opportunity to reclaim the high street for our small and medium sized traders.
“Even though the town has been run down for many years, yet it still holds a special place in the hearts of Llanelli people. It would be great to have a thriving and vibrant town centre once more.”