Kidwelly set for major leisure and tourism boost
KIDWELLY is set for a major leisure and tourism boost with the unveiling of three schemes aiming to attract more visitors.
Dyfrig Dalziel has asked Carmarthenshire Council for permission to turn an agricultural field at Waungadog Farm in Stockwell Lane into a 20-pitch caravan and camping site.
And his move comes as plans are officially submitted for the makeover of the Princess Gwenllian Hotel, while the RSPB has taken on two designated officers to work on the town's Futurescapes project which looks to enhance the riverbanks and natural areas.
Town mayor Jeanette Gilasbey welcomed the developments and hailed the area's promising future.
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She said: "It is a very exciting time and it is our way forward in promoting the town and showing people what attractions we have on offer so as to put Kidwelly where it should be on the tourism map."
The return of the Gwenllian Court Hotel will feature 23 bedrooms and a 70-seat restaurant and bar, while there will be also be a tea room and function room.
Tegwen Burns, who bought the building with son Hamish for £278,000 in late 2011, said she hoped it would be open in time for Christmas but could not offer any guarantees.
She said: "Obviously it's taken much longer than we thought and we are still at the stage of sorting out the planning and construction process and sorting out contracts for builders to do the work.
"Everywhere I turn someone in Kidwelly wants to know when it's coming back. It's nice to know the locals want it back open.
"Unfortunately I can't wave a magic wand. I would love to say it will be open by Christmas but I am reluctant to say that for definite. Once the building starts we will be able to give a better timescale.
"I hope it will help the local economy and improve facilities for people to come in and visit. Apart from that it will also involve quite a few jobs for a core number of staff and then a number for casual workers."
Speaking of his plans, Mr Dalziel said "something is badly needed" to bring people into the town.
He said: "Kidwelly is stuck between Carmarthen and Llanelli and could do with the tourism.
"It is one of the oldest towns in Wales and is a beautiful place.
"It has industrial history and a lot of people also come down to see the birds and creatures, but it tends to be a busload for the day, and for the people who come down on a regular basis there is nowhere cheap for them to stay."
The 66-year-old, whose construction and maintenance company is the third biggest employer in the town, said the move was about giving something back to the community.
He added: "It would hopefully mean that people can make the most of the amenities and use local businesses."
Meanwhile, a new conservation officer and community engagement officer have been taken on by the RSPB to work in the town and will be a driving force for ecological advice to community projects and volunteers, with a programme of outreach visits to schools and community groups.
An RSPB spokesman said: "It is a fantastic stop-off in Kidwelly for people to enjoy a natural spectacle and it is also proven that it is good for people's wellbeing.
"We hope the work we do here will encourage people to come and make the most of it and help tourism."