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Shufflebottom enjoys a landmark moment at Pentre Awel

Shufflebottom enjoyed a landmark moment in our long company history when, on 29th February, we celebrated the completion of the steel structure for the first zone of Carmarthenshire’s flagship, multi-million-pound development at Pentre Awel, Llanelli, being delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Numbers count. And we are proud to state that, working with lead contractor, Bouygues UK, we have delivered 1,300 tonnes of steel-work to provide the inner strength for this bold and ambitious ground-breaking development. When finished, the total of four planned zones at the 83-acre site will see the bringing together of business, research, community healthcare and modern leisure facilities all at this prime location along Llanelli’s coastline to promote the health, wealth and wellbeing of the local area.

Pentre Awel is a landmark project for us at Shufflebottom in terms of scope and scale and recognition of our capacity to deliver. It is also a landmark project for Carmarthenshire, demanding a total of £90 million investment projected to inject £467 million into the local economy and create 1,800 jobs over the next fifteen years. It is the largest regeneration scheme in south-west Wales.

It was therefore so satisfying when Shufflebottom Directors, Wesley Shufflebottom and Alex Shufflebottom, were invited along with sixty-plus guests, to the site at Pentre Awel for the very special ‘topping out’ ceremony. We were interested to listen to Peter Sharpe, Bouygues UK Project Director at Pentre Awel, explain the significance of ‘topping out.’ We were told that the phrase is believed to date back to pre-Dark Age Scandinavia, where folklore suggests that there was a practice of placing a tree on top of a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits of their displaced ancestors. In recognition of this, a tree was central to the ceremony and Pentre Awel which will be planted on site as an homage to the spirit of ‘topping out’ folklore.

We didn’t sense any tree-dwelling spirits or displaced ancestors on site at entre Awel but what we did witness was a fantastic transformation: it was hard to think that less than 12-months ago construction had not started and now, the vision for such a prestigious project has become a reality and is making its mark on the Llanelli skyline.

The completed project will make its mark not only on the skyline but on the people of the area. Many of those people are our very own staff here at Shufflebottom who live within sight of the development, have watched it grow, and will soon be using its facilities. We were struck by the emotional resonance of this.

In fact the whole day evoked a lot of pleasant emotions for us. Like Bouygues UK, we at Shufflebottom understand that the success of a project like this is its delivery on time and on budget, and this, in turn, is dependent on the quality of the people in the supply chain. It was so pleasing that we were awarded the accolade of ‘contractor of the month’ not once, but twice, at Pentre Awel during the 12-month construction period. And there was more: the day saw the giving out of just one special award and that went to us, too. It was ‘The Top Performer Award’ and wonderful things were said about the company that made it hard not feel pleased with ourselves.

Wesley Shufflebottom, Director, who has been looking after Shufflebottom’s performance and contribution to the Pentre Awel project since its inception, responded to the award by saying this:

“We are so proud to be recognised with this award. It acknowledges Shufflebottom’s approach to dealing with our customers and how we always try to go the extra mile.”

Shufflebottom would also like to acknowledge the dedication of Bouygues UK in using local sub-contractors as part of its commitment to provide employment, training and skills’ opportunities to local people and under-represented groups. We share those same social and sustainability values and know that the true ‘value’ of the project will be seen in the local economy long after the physical construction phases are completed. This sustainability is at the physical heart of the development too, with Shufflebottom’s structural steel for the frame having an 80% recycled content. 

We were thrilled then to hear praise coming from many quarters:

Peter Sharpe, Bouygues UK Project Director at Pentre Awel, took time to comment saying:

“The completion of the steel structure marks a significant milestone in this project…. In just 12-months the site has been transformed as the development has rapidly taken shape….the completion of the steel-frames for all buildings has been a key activity.”

At Shufflebottom we couldn’t be more pleased that as a home-grown Carmarthenshire company we’re at the heart of this exciting development of such importance. The project will realise 21st century ambitions for Carmarthenshire County Council. Importantly, it also endorses our ambition and capacity to deliver on projects of such scope and scale and positions us as a company ready to deliver those 21st century ambitions.