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Pentre Awel Project Takes Shape with First Steel Structure

The demand for steel structures has witnessed a steady rise in recent years, driven by various factors across diverse sectors. In construction, steel’s versatility, durability, and cost-effectiveness make it a preferred choice for buildings, bridges, and infrastructure projects. Industries such as automotive and manufacturing rely on steel structures for robust frameworks, ensuring structural integrity and safety. Additionally, the growing trend towards sustainable construction has further fueled the demand for steel, given its recyclability and reduced environmental impact compared to traditional materials. As global infrastructure initiatives continue to expand, the demand for steel structures remains robust, solidifying its pivotal role in contemporary construction practices. In regard to this growing adaptation, Llanelli’s Pentre Awel project takes shape with the first steel structure.This multi million-pound development, led by Carmarthenshire Council, stands as the largest regeneration initiative in South West Wales.

Situated on the expansive 83-acre Delta Lakes site along the Llanelli coastline, Pentre Awel aims to integrate life science and business innovation, community healthcare, and modern leisure facilities. Notably, it is part-funded, receiving £40 million from the Swansea Bay City Deal.

The recently placed steel structure, the inaugural of five buildings, will host education and business development activities. Representatives from Carmarthenshire Council, Bouygues UK, and local contractors Shufflebottom and Dyfed Steels gathered to witness this noteworthy step forward.

The multi-million pound development is being delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council and is the largest regeneration scheme in south west Wales

Bouygues UK, spearheading the project, emphasizes collaboration with local subcontractors as part of its commitment to generating employment, training, and skills opportunities for the local community. Dyfed Steels contributes the reinforcement bar for the project’s foundations, while Shufflebottom provides the structural steel for the building.Peter Sharpe, Bouygues UK’s Pentre Awel project director, said the steel structure marks a significant part of the project.

He said: “This is a major construction milestone at Pentre Awel and an exciting one as we can really start to see the structure taking shape providing the scale of the project. Steel framing has a proven track record of providing sustainable benefits and it also offers significant cost benefits compared to alternative materials.

The adoption of steel framing in the Pentre Awel project holds multifaceted significance, encompassing structural integrity, sustainability, and economic considerations. Steel framing stands out as a strategic choice, leveraging its established track record to provide enduring benefits. The decision aligns with environmental consciousness and offers substantial cost advantages compared to alternative construction materials.

The inherent strength and durability of steel contribute to the structural robustness of Pentre Awel’s buildings. As the first steel structure takes form, it becomes a tangible representation of the project’s commitment to a foundation built on resilience. This resilience not only ensures the longevity of the structures but also reinforces their ability to withstand the dynamic demands of modern, multifunctional spaces.

Beyond structural considerations, the selection of steel resonates with sustainable building practices. Steel is a recyclable material, reducing the environmental impact of construction and aligning with contemporary standards of eco-friendly development. The longevity of steel structures minimizes the need for frequent replacements, further reducing the overall ecological footprint of the Pentre Awel project.

Moreover, the cost-effectiveness of steel framing emerges as a critical factor in the economic viability of the initiative. Peter Sharpe, Bouygues UK’s Pentre Awel Project Director, highlights the significant cost benefits associated with steel. This not only bolsters the financial efficiency of the project but also positions Pentre Awel as a model for achieving ambitious development goals within budget constraints.

In the broader context of construction, steel framing offers versatility in design and construction processes, allowing for innovative architectural solutions. Pentre Awel, by embracing steel, opens avenues for creative and efficient use of space, facilitating the integration of diverse functions within the buildings.

As the first steel structure takes shape, it becomes a symbolic milestone in Pentre Awel’s journey, embodying a commitment to excellence, sustainability, and responsible resource utilization. This strategic choice sets the tone for the entire project, establishing Pentre Awel not only as a regenerative force for the Llanelli coastline but also as a model for contemporary, forward-thinking construction practices in South West Wales.

Recognizing the pivotal role of local businesses, Cllr Darren Price, leader of Carmarthenshire Council, applauds the involvement of companies like Shufflebottom and Dyfed Steels. Their contribution extends beyond construction, injecting vitality into the local economy and exemplifying a commitment to regional growth.

Left-right: Peter Sharpe (Bouygues UK), Cllr Daren Price, Cllr Gareth John, Stephen Davies (Bouygues UK)

 Pentre Awel’s commitment to local involvement is reflected in its collaboration with various companies, including Green4Wales, Redsix Partnership, Gavin Griffiths Group, and others. This diverse participation extends across multiple trades, providing opportunities for a wide spectrum of businesses throughout the project’s duration.

As construction progresses, the project promises not only the physical transformation of the area but also a complementary program of apprenticeships, recruitment, and training. This joint effort between Carmarthenshire Council and Bouygues UK aims to maximize opportunities for local residents and businesses, fostering sustainable growth in the region.

The installation of the first steel structure marks a major milestone for the Pentre Awel project, showcasing tangible progress in its ambitious goal of revitalizing the Delta Lakes site and contributing to the economic and social development of Llanelli and South West Wales.

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