Welsh Government Minister Edwina Hart has viewed progress on a new national headquarters for the Wales Air Ambulance in Carmarthenshire.
Carmarthenshire County Council recently granted planning permission for the development on land near The Beacon in Dafen, Llanelli.
The project comprises a purpose-built headquarters office, together with a hangar and helipad for the charity’s South Wales helicopter.
It will be delivered by Hacer Developments Ltd of Llandeilo, who have been awarded a £707,156 Property Development Grant to create new office and industrial space as part of the £1.6m project.
The remainder of the project, comprising the air base, with hangar and helipad, will be funded by public donations raised by the charity.
Around 0.8 hectares of land will be used to accommodate a shell office building of 650m2 and an industrial building of 600m2 to house helicopters and ancillary support services.
The Property Development Grant, administered through Carmarthenshire County Council’s EU programme, provides financial assistance to encourage the construction of new commercial floor space on derelict sites, or refurbishment of derelict properties. The project’s funding is made up by the European Regional Development Fund through the Wales European Funding Office, Welsh Government and Carmarthenshire County Council.
Works commenced in early May and are due for completion in early November.
Wales Air Ambulance chief executive, Angela Hughes, said: “We have been looking to locate our head office together with our South Wales helicopter base in a permanent location in the region for some time and thankfully, we have secured this grant to help towards the cost of the office development.
“This site offers first class connections to Morriston Hospital and the M4 which is a great advantage for our service and our land-based vehicles.”
The Minister said: “It is a very exciting project. This site is the best option. This is very good use of Welsh Government land and resources. I am delighted with the work you’ve undertaken and with the support of Carmarthenshire County Council.”
Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “I welcome this project and look forward to November when we will be back to see it on its feet and operational. It will benefit us in Carmarthenshire and the wider community.”
Executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Meryl Gravell added: “I’m delighted that we have been able to support Wales Air Ambulance in moving to this excellent site in Carmarthenshire. The charity now has its headquarters and one of its helicopter sites together and with easy access to the M4 motorway.”
Carmarthenshire County Council
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