South West Wales

Speed record beach at Pendine set for £7m revamp

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Media captionBlue Bird was returned to Pendine in 2015 by Sir Malcolm Campbell's grandson Don Wales

The beach area where Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the land speed record in the legendary Blue Bird could be on track for a £7m revamp.

Plans have been made for an attraction at Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire, including a Sands of Speed museum, an events facility and a 42-bed hostel.

The project has been given £3m of European Union funds as part of the £7m total investment in the area.

There were five land speed record bids at Pendine between 1924 and 1927.

Sir Malcolm made three record attempts in total - the quickest in Blue Bird in February 1927 where he reached 174.22mph (280.38 km/h).

Welshman JG Parry-Thomas made two attempts in his car Babs - but became the first driver to be killed in a world land speed record attempt driving at 170mph (270 km/h) in March 1927.

Carmarthenshire council has been working on a regeneration plan to address the "physical and commercial decline" of Pendine on the Carmarthen Bay coast since 2010.

Image caption The Blue Bird reached a speed of more than 170mph

A new £800,000 promenade and a £1m commercial block with public toilets and external showers has already been built and now the authorities want to complete the £7m scheme.

"Projects such as this in Pendine will give people compelling reasons to visit Wales and I look forward to plans which I have seen today coming to fruition - this will be a major boost for Carmarthenshire and south west Wales," said tourism minister Lord Elis Thomas.

Visit Wales hopes the regeneration will boost the local economy by £3.3m a year.

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