A BRAND new tourism venture in Llandovery is the first project to benefit from a share of a major £1.56m tourism grant.

The community-owned Level Crossing in Llandovery, the previously unoccupied North Western pub, is being leased by the Level Crossing community interest company and has been renovated to become a 50 bed bunkhouse offering hostel style accommodation.

The building will also provide a training venue, hosting catering and hospitality courses, linking in with local colleges.

It is one of many projects in the county, aiming to develop or create tourism attractions and facilities, to benefit from the Strengthening the Tourism Appeal of Rural Carmarthenshire (STARC) grant which was funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013.

The scheme, delivered by Carmarthenshire Council’s Physical Regeneration division, is aimed at strengthening the county's position as a year round premier tourist destination.

Councillor Meryl Gravell, said: “Tourism is an important part of Carmarthenshire’s economy and I’m delighted that the scheme to upgrade tourist facilities and to make them ‘greener’ is proving to be such a success.

Pictured at the official opening of the Level Crossing are, from left,: Sally Griffiths assistant manager; David White, director; Gill Wright, director; Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Meryl Gravell; Jane Royall, director; Neo Neophyton, owner, and Jessica Price, manager.

Pic Jeff Connell.