Topping Out at Pentre Awel

Bouygues UK and Carmarthenshire County Council welcomed visitors to the official ‘topping out’ ceremony of the prestigious Pentre Awel site as the final steel structure has been completed.

Fay Jones, Parliamentary Under-Secretary State for Wales, joined senior officials from Carmarthenshire County Council, as well as representatives from Bouygues UK and local subcontractors to sign the steel frame, which marks a significant milestone in the project as it represents the completion of the structural steel frame for all five buildings that together make up Zone 1.

The multi-million-pound development is being delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council and will bring together life science and business innovation, community healthcare and modern leisure facilities at the 83-acre Delta Lakes site on the Llanelli coastline. It is part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal (£40million) and is the largest regeneration scheme in south west Wales.

Peter Sharpe, Bouygues UK’s Project Director at Pentre Awel, said:

Bouygues UK is very proud to be working with Carmarthenshire County Council on this landmark project. It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister, Councillors, and officers to the site so they could see the brilliant progress that is being made. This is a major construction milestone at Pentre Awel and an exciting one as we can start to see the structure taking shape.

The topping out ceremony is a chance for us as the principal contractor to say thanks to our onsite team, as well as the subcontractors who have worked tirelessly to get us to this stage. Working with these local subcontractors has really given a sense of teamwork and community to the Pentre Awel project and long may it continue.

Carmarthenshire County Council Leader, Cllr Darren Price said:

It was a privilege to attend the Topping Out event at Pentre Awel today. I was able to see first hand the hard work undertaken by all those working on site. Bouygues UK and Carmarthenshire County Council are fully committed to supporting the Welsh supply chain, involving local business at all stages of the development, in turn creating new job opportunities, apprenticeships and work placements in Carmarthenshire. It was excellent to see a wide range of partner organisations in attendance today as Pentre Awel aims to bring together private, third and public sector stakeholders to address pressing issues in population health and wellbeing, education and research. I congratulate all those involved in the project for reaching this monumental milestone today.

Cllr. Hazel Evans, Carmarthenshire County Councils Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Culture, Leisure and Tourism added:

Projects of this size and ambition are rare and it has been an opportunity that Carmarthenshire has relished. Zone 1 is very much the focal point of the development, so I was delighted to celebrate this stage in the project with Bouygues UK, partner organisations, stakeholders and the supply chain. Pentre Awel is at the heart of the community, evidenced by the work Bouygues UK are doing in communities, engaging with school pupils and local people about what Pentre Awel can offer them, which will continue beyond the opening of Zone 1. Well done to all involved in the project this far.

Wales Office Minister, Fay Jones said:

I was delighted to be at Pentre Awel and see the progress that’s been made in the delivery of this fantastic project. When it’s complete Pentre Awel will be a leading centre of excellence for medical research and the delivery of health care, helping to improve the health and wellbeing of countless people.

And the project will create over 1,800 jobs and inject hundreds of millions of pounds into the local economy over its lifetime. That’s why the UK Government is proud to work with our partners and invest in projects like these which will make a material difference to people’s lives.

The Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:

Pentre Awel is a hugely exciting and ambitious project that I’m very pleased the Welsh Government has been able to help fund. It supports our mission for a prosperous, greener and fairer Welsh economy, which rests on stronger regional economies. This game-changing development in Carmarthenshire will bring high quality, high skilled jobs closer to home, as well as providing first class facilities for people from across Carmarthenshire to benefit from.

Bouygues UK is committed to using local subcontractors as part of its commitment to provide employment, training and skills opportunities to local people and underrepresented groups. Dyfed Steels is providing the reinforcement bar for the project’s foundations which has 98% recycled content, and Shufflebottom is providing the structural steel for the building, which has 80% recycled content. With a commitment to the heritage of the area, the steel frame also provides the historical link to the previous industrial buildings that were located on the site. These including South Wales Tinplate Works and the Richard Thomas (Tinplate) Mills.

As well as Shufflebottom and Dyfed Steels, other companies contracted to work on Pentre Awel include: Green4Wales, Redsix Partnership, Gavin Griffiths Group, Davies Crane hire, Dyfed Recycling Services and Owen Haulage.

Bouygues UK has also put carbon reduction, sustainability and the environment at the heart of everything it is doing at the site in Llanelli, which has resulted in a net increase of 137% in biodiversity and also a 18.4% reduction in carbon savings. The project team has worked closely with stakeholders, including Carmarthenshire County Council’s ecology officers and Natural Resources Wales to ensure the development does not impact on the ecology and waterbodies that surround the site.

All site offices and cabins have had solar panels installed as well as the CCTV system. When not powered by the sun, they convert to a hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) powered generator. The Pentre Awel project site has fully converted to HVO fuel. Working with contractor Alun Griffiths, it has sourced a local HVO fuel provider, and although HVO is more expensive than white diesel, it can reduce carbon emissions by up to 90%, and has therefore been 100% adopted for Pentre Awel.

As part of Bouygues UK’s commitment to provide significant social value and engagement to surrounding schools, colleges and universities, Pentre Awel also has a school ambassadors scheme, where children from local schools visit the site to share their ideas and help shape the project. This in turn enables them to see first-hand the work that goes into the construction process. The children make regular visits to the site to see the progress being made and work on school projects centred around construction and building.

A broader programme of community benefits is also being delivered during the development of Zone 1 of Pentre Awel to realise social, economic, cultural, and environmental benefits. This includes targeted recruitment and training, community engagement (such as community ambassadors), STEM activities and supply chain engagement.

Bouygues UK