Proposals to create a 16-mile walking and cycling path between Carmarthen and Llandeilo have moved up a gear thanks to a funding boost.
The Tywi Valley Path project has received a grant of £132,000 through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
The money will go towards developing part of the route at Nantgaredig.
A new project officer has also been appointed; Sam Palmer previously worked in the council’s regeneration department and has a wealth of experience having worked on major projects including the Pendine Promenade and Laugharne Streetscape Enhancement project.
“I am looking forward to working with the local community to deliver something that will benefit both residents and visitors to the county.
“This is a fantastic project, as a keen cyclist myself, I can appreciate how wonderful it will be to cycle along the path through the stunning Tywi Valley countryside.”
The Tywi Valley Path will follow the route of the former Carmarthen and Llandeilo railway line as much as possible, close to the River Tywi; and is expected to boost tourism and the local economy, as well as encourage active and sustainable travel.
The path is being developed in phases; with negotiations with landowners ongoing and funding sources identified as the scheme progresses. It is expected to cost between £5 and £8million in total; and is also being part funded through the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund.
Planning permission has been secured for the western phase of the path between White Mill and Nantgaredig, and part of the path on an existing carriageway between Fronun and Bwlch Bach, near the concrete works in Abergwili, has been completed.
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said:
“This is great news. I’m pleased we have been able to support this project through the Rural Development Programme and allow more people to enjoy Wales’ great outdoors.”
Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said:
“I am delighted to hear that the project has been awarded funding through the Rural Development Programme and I would like to congratulate Sam on his new job, I am sure he will work hard to deliver this exciting project and help us achieve our ambition to make Carmarthenshire the cycling capital of Wales.”