Carmarthenshire swept the board at the recent Constructing Excellence in Wales Awards.

Four local projects were honoured at the prestigious event at Cardiff’s City Hall, with one winning the coveted Chairman’s Special Award.

The Kachumbala Widows Cooperative Mill and Grain Store project captured the imagination of the chairman Richard Wilson, who said it provided an ‘exceptional opportunity’ for Carmarthenshire apprentices.

The project has seen a number of local men and women travel to Uganda to design and build a mill and grain store for a widows’ co-operative while passing on construction skills to local tradesmen.

It has been run by Constructing Carmarthenshire Together – a partnership of Carmarthenshire County Council, Coleg Sir Gâr and Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd (CCTAL) – as part of the Engineers for Overseas Development Carmarthenshire project to support the Salt Peter Trust.

More than £40,000 was raised by local construction companies to fund the venture.

Llanelli’s Ffwrnes Theatre, delivered by Betws-based TRJ Ltd, and Ysgol Y Ffwrnes under construction by WRW Ltd, were singled out as ‘demonstration projects’ – chosen by CEW as leading in the field of construction excellence.

Llanelli and Gwendraeth based building firm Lloyd & Gravell Ltd, a Carmarthenshire County Council framework contractor, won the SME of the Year.

Their commitment to apprenticeships and community benefit schemes helped them beat off huge competition from other construction firms in Wales, with judges commenting that they were a ‘fine example’ to others.

Councillor Colin Evans, Executive Board Member for Technical Services, said: “We are very proud of all that we have achieved here in Carmarthenshire.

"Our construction Framework, which has won awards in its own right, is the feeder for all these projects – it ensures we get the maximum benefit from our investment in infrastructure, as well as securing a better future for local businesses and our future workforce.”