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'Rallying call' to save historic market hall

By Carmarthen Journal  |  Posted: January 18, 2012

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A PUBLIC meeting in Llandeilo tomorrow has been hailed as a "rallying cry" to save one of the town's historic buildings.

It will be held to agree plans to set up a community group to revive the town's old market hall as a provisions market.

Graham Broad, a member of the town's transition group which has organised the meeting, said the project would keep Llandeilo's identity intact and stop it becoming a clone town.

He added that their ideas were in direct competition with the plans for a new Sainsbury's supermarket to the north of the town, which are currently under consideration.

"If the Sainsbury's development does go ahead, it could be a death-knell for any future for the provisions market," he said.

Mr Broad warned against new development like the supermarket.

"Llandeilo is well on its way to becoming just 'anywhere'," he added.

"The balance will have tipped and will forever be so.

"All these one-size-fits-all schemes are just downright ugly, impersonal and apocalyptic in their impact."

Instead he has strongly backed the idea of a provisions market, which would be based at the old market hall and run by a community group.

The hall is currently owned by Carmarthenshire Council but last year attracted interest from housing group Gwalia to build flats on the site.

Gerry Gold, also a member of the Transition Group, said he felt the idea of a community group could work.

He said: "We are confident that this will result in a group to carry out a feasibility study ad prepare planning proposals to ensure this wonderful historic building remains in public ownership and is brought back to life."

He said the idea had come from Dai Jones, who lives in Llandeilo, and would be modelled on the successful Dryslwyn community shop.

Mr Gold added: "For some time we've been discussing how the community could respond to the effects of the deepening economic crisis.

"Dai was inspired by the success of the Dryslwyn community in reversing the 2008 decision to close their post office and shop.

"They went beyond protest and took matters into their own hands. The community is now thriving."

The public meeting will be held at 7.30pm tomorrow at Llandeilo Rugby Club and is open for anyone to attend.

graeme.wilkinson@swwmedia.co.uk

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