More than 100 jobs could be created with the announcement of a proposed 100-bedroom four-star hotel on the outskirts of Carmarthen.
This week the Welsh Assembly Government completed the sale of a 7.5-acre site in Parc Pensarn to Gryphon Leisure Ltd – whose directors, Angela Saunders and brother Barry Saunders, run the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli.
It is hoped the new four-star hotel, which is subject to planning permission, would result in a “£12 million capital investment” as well as providing a significant boost to the local economy.
The aim is to develop the hotel in two phases – with the first comprising of 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. It is expected the function suite will accommodate 450 people and attract conferences, exhibitions and events to the area.
Minister for the Economy and Transport Ieuan Wyn Jones, who has said small-medium enterprises as being vital to the Welsh economy, described the proposal as encouraging.
He said: “I am 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.
“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.”
Gryphon Leisure Ltd director Mrs Saunders said her company would be looking to recruit as many local people as possible.
“We believe our plans will create significant economic benefits to the area,” she added.
“Our policy is to recruit locally and employ as many full time staff as possible. We will be creating up to 120 new jobs at the hotel.”
Gryphon Leisure Ltd also plans to expand its relationship with local college Coleg Sir Gar, which has a catering and hospitality department on the Carmarthen campus.
Clive Scourfield, Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for regeneration, said the proposed hotel was a “triumph of confidence in the county”.
He said: “It is 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.”
Cardiff architectural firm David Owen and Partners will draw up blueprints for the hotel, which is expected to go before Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning department in the autumn.