Carmarthenshire’s director of regeneration and leisure Dave Gilbert has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The citation says that Mr Gilbert has received the award for ‘services to Regeneration and Skills and to the community in West Wales’.
Mr Gilbert, who joined Carmarthenshire County Council as director of regeneration and leisure nine years ago, said he felt very honoured to receive the OBE which had come as a surprise.
He said: “This recognises the efforts of our highly professional regeneration team. I lead the team but it’s the team that’s being recognised.
“We have had lots of physical regeneration projects such as the town centre scheme in Carmarthen and the one underway in Llanelli, and leisure developments at Parc y Scarlets, Ffos Las Racecourse and Carmarthen Leisure Centre.
“We have a very proactive approach to helping businesses in Carmarthenshire. It’s not just about physical regeneration projects; we also have a very strong community development team.”
Mr Gilbert said he believed the OBE was not just for the work in Carmarthenshire but for his regional role.
“I have also been heavily involved in the Regional Learning Partnership, which is a partnership of local authorities, further education and higher education in South West Wales. I think the Skills element of the citation refers to this,” he said.
He has been a board member of the Careers Company, and is a Governor of Coleg Sir Gâr, a council member of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce and a Trustee of the Wales Air Ambulance.
Before coming to Carmarthenshire Mr Gilbert was head of economic development at Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and previously worked for West Glamorgan County Council.
Mr Gilbert and his wife Diane have a 24-year-old daughter Lindsay who works for Herefordshire Council where he started his own career.
Executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “Since Dave Gilbert came to Carmarthenshire as director of regeneration and leisure he has done so much for the county. We owe him a debt of gratitude for all he’s done for the county.”
Council leader Cllr Kevin Madge said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Dave Gilbert has been awarded the OBE. In my 34 years in local government I do not know of anyone who deserves it more for the investment and jobs he has brought into Carmarthenshire.
“His legacy will be seen in Carmarthenshire for years to come.”
Chief Executive Mark James said: “Dave Gilbert has been instrumental in helping transform Carmarthenshire, with great regeneration of our town centres, industrial units, food parks, leisure schemes, environmental improvements and rural diversification.
“His award is very well deserved and further evidence of how Carmarthenshire is being recognised as making real improvement and a difference to its people and visitors.”