Plans for a new 100 bedroom 4 Star hotel on the outskirts of Carmarthen are revealed this week with the news it could create more than 100 jobs and deliver long-term economic benefits.
It follows completion of an agreement by the Welsh Assembly Government to sell a prime 7.5 acre site at Parc Pensarn to Gryphon Leisure Ltd whose directors, Angela Saunders and her brother Barry Saunders, own and run the highly successful Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli.
The new four star quality hotel, which is subject to planning permission, would result in a £12m capital investment providing a significant boost to the local economy.
The aim is to develop the hotel in two phases, with the first phase comprising 60 bedrooms opening for the 2013 tourism season, followed by an additional 40 bedrooms completed the following year.
Plans include a major function suite and a bespoke health spa. The function suite will be the largest in the area capable of accommodating 450 people and designed to attract conferences, exhibitions and events to the area.
Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, said he was pleased the disposal of the site would support the expansion plans of a well known local business whose intention was to create a sustainable Four Star offer.
“It is always encouraging to hear of businesses planning for growth, particularly when there is the potential to create local jobs and new business opportunities for local companies.
”I am also pleased the proceeds of the sale will support our investment in the roll out of broadband services which will benefit businesses across Wales, in line with our economic renewal policy.”
Gryphon Leisure Ltd is committed to supporting local businesses and sourcing goods and services locally whenever possible - the new hotel will create benefits throughout the construction and fitting out period and when fully operational.
As Managing Director of Stradey Park Hotel for 10 years and with 30 years experience Angela Saunders and her brother have an extensive knowledge of the tourism industry and believe the new hotel will play a key role in attracting new visitors to the area.
“The site is ideally located on the tourist route between England and West Wales and well placed to appeal to a new market,” she said.
“There has already been considerable investment in regeneration and development in the area, including the new Carmarthen Town shopping centre and these have created many new opportunities in the region.
“We also have a number of first class attractions on the doorstep such as the National Botanic Garden and the Ffos Las Racecourse and hope to work with these to bring new visitors to the area.
“We believe our plans will create significant economic benefits to the area. Our policy is to recruit locally and employ as many full time staff as possible and we will be creating up to 120 new jobs at the hotel.”
Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for regeneration Cllr Clive Scourfield welcoming the news said the hotel was a triumph of confidence in the county.
“It is quite brilliant to see our officers working so hard with a successful local business keen to tap into the tourism growth we have developed in the county over the last decade.”
Gryphon Leisure Ltd also plan to expand their relationship with Coleg Sir Gar which has a catering and hospitality department on the Carmarthen campus.
Ms Saunders said they were delighted with the site, which offered beautiful views across the valley, had excellent road and rail links, good access and ample space for car parking.
David Owen and Partners of Cardiff are developing architectural plans for the new Pensarn Park Hotel.
The Saunders bought Stradey Park ten years ago from a hotel chain and embarked an on-going investment programme and turned it into a 4 Star independent hotel.