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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Golf club brings community hope
Jack Nicklaus
American golfer Jack Nicklaus is backing the venture
People in Llanelli are hoping a new luxury golf club in one of Wales' most deprived areas will boost their chances of getting jobs and better community facilities.

They are hopeful predictions that the luxury development will help kick-start regeneration in their community prove correct.

American golf legend Jack Nicklaus is behind the course at Machynys which was designed by his son Gary and is his company's first venture in Wales.

As well as an 18-hole championship course, a luxury 20m housing development is being built on the site. The first 10 properties are now on the market at between 145,000 and almost 280,000.

The golf course is certainly improving that area of town but my main concern is jobs
Councillor Hywell Phillips

This week plans for the clubhouse have been submitted to Carmarthenshire Council and include a restaurant, function and conference rooms as well as a health suite complete with sauna and gymnasium.

But while local councillors support the development, which they hope will attract further private investment, they still say more facilities are need to be provided for elderly, unemployed and younger people.

The Glanymor ward is one of the 10 most deprived in the country according to the Welsh assembly's Index of Multiple Deprivation, which takes into account factors such as unemployment, income, health, disability and education skills.

"The golf course is certainly improving that area of town but my main concern is jobs," said Llanelli town councillor Hywell Phillips.

"Hopefully when it is up and running there will be employment on and off the course.

"But we need more jobs as there some boys living here who have never had one since leaving school and that leads to other things."

The planned clubhouse
Plans for the golf clubhouse have been submitted to the council

He said basic facilities such as a community centre for the area were still lacking.

"We are trying to get a money for a new community hall in Seaside and there is a good committee working quite hard," he added.

"It would be a multi-purpose hall for all different groups and if we could get that it would be tremendous as there is nothing similar in the area."

Grant funding was being looked at both the assembly and county council, he said.

The golf course development forms part of Carmarthenshire Council's 450m master plan for the regeneration of the Llanelli to Pembrey peninsula.

It has been sited on the town's Millennium Coastal Park and the authority says it will boost tourism, particularly in the build-up to Wales staging the 2010 Ryder Cup.

Chief executive Mark James believes the course will transform the area over the next few years but says a lot of money is already being spent there.

Building work
Building work on the 172 houses is underway

"The Glanymor ward qualifies for Communities First status as it one of Wales' most deprived areas," he explained.

"It has already received huge investment through this for several schemes including a playground and skateboard park with a youth shelter, new lighting and CCTV at Morfa Park.

Money has also been spent in grants to residents to help them do home improvements, and future developments could include a multi-plex cinema and bowling alley.

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11 Dec 01  |  Wales

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