Why this Development?
In its current Corporate Plan, Ceredigion County Council has identified ‘boosting the economy’ as its top priority. The County Council’s new Economic Strategy outlines how it intends to achieve this and underlines the close relationship between economic prosperity and the county’s natural assets.
It is emphasised that Ceredigion has ‘many unique qualities and it is important that we celebrate these qualities and use them to create new opportunities.’ It is further emphasised that Ceredigion will be seen to grow in confidence ‘as it increasingly uses its assets – natural, physical and people – to develop and grow the economy.’
The County Council recognises that its ability to generate economic growth will depend to a large extent ‘on having a motivated, multi-skilled workforce to work in the enterprises that will drive that growth’. It is highlighted that the need for close collaboration between the local education service, the further education college, the universities and local training initiatives is more important than ever.
The Council notes that over 7000 Ceredigion residents are now employed in the tourism, food and hospitality industries. Similarly, the Growing Mid Wales Partnership recognises that 6.6% of employment in Ceredigion and Powys is associated with the sale of food or drink (compared to 5.8% across the UK) while there has been an increase of 11.5% in employment related to the food industry in Mid Wales between 2010 and 2017 (compared to the 9.9% increase seen across Wales over the same period.)
Looking to the future, therefore, it is clear that rural tourism and the food industry will have key roles to play in the process of regenerating and boosting Ceredigion’s economy.
With the impact of Covid-19 weighing heavily on us for years to come, people will be more likely than ever to invest in holidays in rural areas, where they will feel safe, healthy and contented, far from the pollution of the big cities and towns.
On this basis, Ceredigion’s economy should benefit greatly from its geographical location, natural resources and welcoming nature.
The Growing Mid Wales Partnership recognises this by noting that there is a real opportunity ‘to utilise our natural assets and resources to develop a unique selling point that strengthens tourism in the region.’ It further underlines that ‘Mid Wales has higher levels of sustainable practice built on the strengths of our natural and institutional assets – offering the opportunity for the region to excel in tourism focused on sustainability, the circular economy, in addition to supporting health and wellbeing actions.’
By being involved in local discussions, considering comments from community groups and considering a number of recently published regional economic strategies, Trinity Saint David has identified specific opportunities to contribute to the County Council’s strategic priorities over the next decade.
Establishing Canolfan Tir Glas will enable it to contribute considerably to the regeneration of Lampeter town, becoming a catalyst for a range of associated developments across the area.
Looking to the future, there is potential to link the proposed food village – with its emphasis on healthy eating and on the wealth of local food products – with a new development in the field of sport, fitness and physical education, where Lampeter would act as a central hub for the whole of Ceredigion and be home to its county and regional teams. With a little initiative, the land between Ysgol Bro Pedr and Pontfaen fields can easily be envisaged as home to a sports village that would include quality playing fields, a 4G training pitch, an indoor bowling centre and a dedicated running track.