Bouygues UK is the preferred bidder for the Hwb project, which is a collaborative project between Carmarthenshire County Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD).
Carmarthenshire County Council has secured money from the UK government’s ‘levelling up fund’ to turn the old department store into a ‘hub’ for various public, social and community services, ranging from a gym to a museum.
Camarthen’s Debenhams store in St Catherine’s Walk closed in May 2021.
Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire County Council are sharing a grant of £19.9m for their projects to revive town centres by converting empty stores to new uses. The Carmarthen Hwb will receive £3.5m match funding from the council’s capital budget.
A certificate of conformity for a change of use of the old town centre department store was approved under the county council’s local development order in July. The planning application now submitted relates to the external works required to facilitate the conversion of the building.
The Hwb will be used by the health board to promote preventative health care and wellbeing. There will also be a gym, a tourist information centre and galleries to display some of the county’s museum collections.
Bouygues UK regional managing director John Boughton said that the redevelopment would bring nearly 6,000 square metres of commercial space in Carmarthen town centre back into everyday use.
He said: “These Hwb developments have proved very popular in centralising public services in areas that are easily accessible by public transport, and this is a perfect example of that. Carmarthen is of strategic importance to the county, and therefore a main hub for those living in the region. It will be an amazing resource for the area, allowing people to access multiple public services thanks to this unique partnership between public, health and education sectors. We are looking forward to extending our social value contribution in the area by providing employment, skills and training for local people”