Narrator: The Millennium Coastal Park, South Wales. The beautiful Millennium Coastal Park has reclaimed a post-industrial wasteland for the people of South Wales.
Woman 1: Well, I remember the coastal park being developed, it was a glorious summer and you could cycle the sections that were already built, which were quite short at the time. I remember one day in particular when my Dad and I went cycling and he was telling me that they were going to build a track all the way to Burry Port and Llwynhendy. I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed and the conversation we had seems like only yesterday.
Man 1: It’s 14 miles of coastal parkland with such an array of different attractions within it, such as harbours, to golf courses to wildlife sanctuaries to beaches… I mean it’s got such an array of fantastic facilities.
Woman 1: The park’s also built on the land that was once a factory. My great-grandmother worked there after the war and my grandmother also worked there as a secretary, so as a family the area has a lot of history.
Man 1: It’s such a relaxed, beautiful area. Because it’s in an estuary, the environment changes all the time: the tide comes in, the tide goes out; scenery changes, it’s so big it’s never crowded. There’s busy areas, there’s quiet areas. There’s a cycle track with no traffic on it…
Woman 1: I love cycling and I walk quite a bit too. The views are amazing and it’s a safe environment for my daughter to be able to cycle and walk as well because with no traffic, and it’s almost guaranteed I’ll bump into someone I know, being raised in Llanelli.
Man 1: There’s everything to do. If you want to go fishing, there’s fishing. There’s cycling, there’s bird watching, there’s beaches – something for everyone.
Woman 1: The landscape has improved immensely. When you drive along the new link roads, the area looks really well developed now and it’s great to see the public using the area more and more. You know you have the opportunity. You know you have the opportunity to live and work there, which is a good thing to see, and for many years this area of Llanelli in particular was a wasteland.
Man 1: This whole 14 miles of coastline was industrial wasteland. Most of it is reclaimed land. It was reclaimed in the Victorian times for industry.
It’s been estimated there were 35 steelworks, ironworks, copperworks along this coastline. They all disappeared, it was left as a wasteland and now it’s a massive park.
Woman 1: It’s had a tremendous impact on the area. It’s great to walk around the seafront and stop for a latte for one, which you couldn’t do before. And as I mentioned earlier, the development work in terms of buildings and construction is great to see as well.
Man 1: This coastline probably now attracts well in excess of a million people a year. Hardly anybody visited this part of the world from outside this part of the world before, and now we’re getting tens of thousands of visitors.
Narrator: This is a Big Lottery Fund podcast, for more information go to: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
- Millennium Coastal Park
- Burry Estuary
- Reclaim industrial wasteland for coastal pathway
- Total cost:
- £27.5 million
- MC grant:
- £13.7 million
Transforming a post-industrial wasteland into a unique formation of tourist attractions, wildlife habitats and leisure facilities, the Millennium Coastal Park has lifted the fortunes of Llanelli and the surrounding area in the past 15 years.
The biggest land reclamation project in the UK, a 2,000 acre area has been converted into a parkland paradise that enhances the grandeur of the estuary and offers breathtaking views of the Gower Peninsula – the first designated area of outstanding natural beauty in the UK.
The Coastal Park includes a continuous traffic-free cycle path/footpath, the National Wetlands Centre for Wales and a championship links golf course.
The impact across Carmarthenshire has been enormous. Land next to the park has been developed into business parks, hotels and new homes, and the old harbour at nearby Burry Port along the estuary is now a thriving marina.
The Millennium Coastal Park attracts over one million visitors a year, which makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations throughout the UK, and in 2004 it beat over 700 other projects across the UK to win the Amazing Space Award at the National Lottery’s Helping Hand Awards.
“Few parts of Britain have undergone such a stunning transformation”
“Few parts of Britain have undergone such a stunning transformation,” argues Philip Holmes from the Welsh Development Agency. “The project has ‘given the coast back to the people’ and opened a prosperous new chapter for a town in economic decline.”
- The Park attracts over a million visitors a year
- It won the National Lottery’s Amazing Space Award in 2004
- It features a golf course designed by golf’s greatest player, Jack Nicklaus