CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council chiefs have welcomed the news of funding from the Western Valleys Regeneration Area for the third phase of the Garnant Palais site regeneration.

The sum of £80,000 has been allocated by the Welsh Government from the Western Valleys Regeneration Area Fund.

The local authority’s physical regeneration department bought the Palais de Danse site in Garnant last spring from the Royal British Legion for £30,000 with funding from the same Welsh Government scheme.

The dilapidated building, also known as Haig Hall, is being demolished in order to remove an eyesore from the area.

The Palais opened on December 31, 1923, to be used as a cinema and dance hall which held regular dance competitions. It became the British Legion Hall in 1934.

Council leader Kevin Madge said: “The Palais had sadly become an eyesore and has already been demolished as part of the scheme. I’m looking forward to the next stage of transforming the site.”

The Palais site is situated between the confluence of two rivers close to the popular Amman Valley Cycleway, linking with the Amman and Loughor heritage trails.

Following a series of community consultation exercises the site was highlighted as needing a newuseful function and complete regeneration of the area.

Funding from several sources, including the county council’s Countryside Recreation Department, the Welsh Government and Cwmaman Town Council, has resulted in a cycle bridge being built over the River Aman, linking the site to Cwmaman Park.

Phase three will involve enhancing the area by creating a recreational amenity with landscaping and a parking plot.

There are also plans to build a bridge across the River Garnant to link with the riverside walk and hopefully encourage walkers, riders and cyclists to use the area as part of the local authority’s drive to attract more tourists.