THE CONSTRUCTION of Yr Egin – the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s new digital and media centre – reached a milestone on September 18 with a ‘topping out’ ceremony held on the site in Carmarthen.
The practice of ‘topping out’ is a tradition in the construction industry and celebrates a significant point in the construction phase when the building reaches its highest point.
During the ceremony held at the top of the building, Professor Medwin Hughes DL, UWTSD’s Vice Chancellor was joined by key partners in this exciting initiative including Ian Jones, S4C Chief Executive; Steve Nicholls from Kier Group; Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader and Mark James, Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council; as well as representation from the Welsh Government, which has provided £3million funding towards the new centre.
“Today is a very important milestone in the construction of the Yr Egin development,” said Professor Hughes. “The building has reached its highest point and clearly indicates the realisation of the University’s exciting and bold vision to develop a creative and digital cluster that will greatly benefit the county, the region and the creative industries across Wales.
“Co-locating a range of creative, digital and cultural practitioners within the same building – with S4C at its core as the main anchor tenant – will create opportunities, encourage innovation and enable job creation in this key priority sector.”
Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is an ambitious and transformational development that will be home to S4C’s main headquarters as well as a number of companies and organisations working with the creative and digital industries.
S4C Chief Executive Ian Jones said: “With just over a year to go until we relocate our headquarters to Canolfan S4C Yr Egin today is a significant milestone.
“Seeing Yr Egin take shape underlines our commitment to ensuring that S4C will have offices in three locations across Wales by the end of 2018.
“Our internal preparations for the move to Carmarthen are well underway and we look forward to the prospect of creating numerous employment opportunities from the first quarter of 2018 onwards.”
The design of the 3,700 square metre building has already received the support of the Design Commission for Wales with the internal layout of the building focused around a public foyer and atrium that overarches the three floors. There will be a specific focus on the broadcasting and performance on the ground floor, with a range of offices for S4C and other partners on the other two floors. The University will also create new enterprise incubation units, offering access to opportunities, facilities, events and industry networks.
Regional construction company Kier Group Plc are the main contractors for Canolfan S4C yr Egin and are responsible for managing the construction of the new centre. The company’s Operations Director, Jason Taylor praised the project team for the hard work and progress they had made: “It has been a real pleasure to meet the university staff, the anchor tenant S4C and local councillors today to show them around the site. The project is gathering momentum and taking shape allowing us all to visualise the flagship Yr Egin building with its surrounding featured landscapes.
“Collaborative working relationships is a core part of the success of this project and a shared ethos between UWTSD, S4C and Kier. Throughout the construction process we have been working hard with our local supply chain partners to provide employment and up skilling opportunities. The project is also being utilised as a learning initiative for local schools and colleges.
“I would like to personally thank our site team for their efforts to ensure that the roof was complete for this ‘topping out’ celebration which enables them to progress internal works heading for completion. Kier are very proud to be part of this project and we look forward to seeing the completion of this creative Welsh digital hub in 2018.”
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates said: “Once complete this new facility will help to deliver the infrastructure needed to support the University’s vision of a cluster of creative businesses in Carmarthen. This in turn will help to inject new life into the local economy, bring additional and high quality jobs to Carmarthen and enhance Wales’ growing reputation as an enabler of talent, imagination and productivity. It also supports our wider commitment to promoting Welsh as a living and vibrant language and will help cement links between academia and creative businesses.”
Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is a development that will transform and shape the creative and digital industries in South West Wales and beyond. It will also be a centre that will be at the heart of the community providing opportunities for local people to enjoy the building and its resources – a cafe, auditorium and performance stages.
Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “From winning the S4C contract to securing the City Deal investment, the Yr Egin development is well on track and we’re excited to be part of the journey.
“This is a fantastic development for the whole of the Swansea Bay City Region, especially so in Carmarthenshire, with the creation of exciting new jobs in the creative sector that I’m sure will act as a catalyst for further opportunities.”
Canolfan S4C Yr Egin’s design team is a partnership between the Rural Office for Architecture (ROA), a company based in Newcastle Emlyn, and BDP (Building Design Partnership), an international company of architects, engineers and designers, with local architect, Niall Maxwell leading on the project.
The building will be complete by next summer.
Man denies £7,000 burglary
A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.
Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.
Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.
Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.
Campaigners urge air gun licensing following cat shootings
CATS PROTECTION is urging the UK’s cat lovers to join a call on the Westminster government to introduce air gun licensing in Wales and England, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without licence.
The government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulation, including licensing, which closes on February 6, making this the ideal time for cat lovers to make their voices heard by sending an e-mail to the Home Office.
To take part people should visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsult
Victims of air gun shootings include Jalapeno, a black-and-white cat from Bridgend who was shot in the eye, and Chaos, a black-and-white cat from South Wales who was shot between her eyes, shattering the bones in her nose.
Luckily both Jalapeno and Chaos survived their injuries after receiving emergency veterinary care.
However, in March 2017, a cat from Barry was fatally shot, as was a cat from Llanell in August 2017.
“Shocking air gun attacks like the ones on Jalapeno and Chaos are by no means rare,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.
“Our monitoring of UK press reports shows that three cats are killed or injured by an air gun each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported. Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in Wales and England where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.
“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”
Cats Protection believes that if licensing were introduced, it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats.
The charity wants to ensure that cats in Wales and England are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.
Jacqui added: “Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in Wales and England, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue. Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.
Police crack down on drink and drug driving
NEARLY 100 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police for drink and drug driving in December, as a result of the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.
The month-long operation against driving under the influence ran from Friday, December 1, and police forces across the country used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.
98 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police.
Supt. Huw Meredith, Specialist Operations, said: “We adopt a proactive, targeted and intelligence-led approach to drink and drug driving, using specialist Roads Policing resources and response officers.
“The number of arrests indicates that sadly some are prepared to risk the lives of others and themselves by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
“Our message is the same all year round – don’t drink/take drugs and drive.”
In 2017 Dyfed-Powys Police arrested 452 people for drink and drug driving.
Operation Snap also launched in December, allowing members of the public throughout Wales to submit footage and images showing traffic offences being committed – from driving dangerously or carelessly to contravening solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving or ignoring traffic lights.
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