McDonald's to open again in Llanelli town centre for first time in more than 20 years

Picture of street with inset photo of McDonald's sign
-Credit: (Image: Adrian White/PA)

Fast-food giant McDonald’s wants to move back into Llanelli and open a town centre restaurant after an absence of more than 20 years. The company used to have a presence in the heart of Llanelli back in the late 1990s, before its outlet in Vaughan Street closed in 2002.

Since then, the only McDonald’s in the area has been the one located at Parc Trostre outside the town. But now the food chain wants to re-open at its former site situated in the middle of a pedestrianised main thoroughfare for shoppers in Llanelli. You can keep up to date with the latest Carmarthenshire news by signing up to the local newsletter here.

The building was previously occupied by McDonald’s between 1998 and 2002 and since then the company has sub-leased the property to banking giant HSBC, which has run a branch at the site for the past 22 years. The bank now wants to move to the nearby St Elli Shopping Centre to take up a unit previously occupied by Argos, which closed down in 2021.

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A formal planning application for that move has been lodged with Carmarthenshire Council, and HSBC hopes, subject to approval, to open its new branch at the shopping centre in January 2025 if not sooner. As for McDonald’s opening in its place in Vaughan Street, ‘change of use’ planning permission was granted in January this year to allow the building to be used as a restaurant and takeaway. McDonald’s has a lease agreement on the building until June, 2033, but it has not confirmed when the town centre unit is likely to open.

HSBC has said the Vaughan Street branch will remain open until it moves to St Elli Shopping Centre, and that it intends to ensure a smooth transition for its customers when it does make the move. The bank has historic links to Llanelli dating back to 1874 through the Swansea Bank, and this year celebrated 150 years of trading in the town.

Mark Fearn, HSBC UK’s local director, said: “We are continuing to invest tens of millions of pounds into our branch network and are committed to having a branch in Llanelli for the long term. We are looking forward to opening our new branch in Llanelli, potentially in January, or earlier if we can, where customers will be able to enjoy the best accessibility, latest design and state-of the-art technology, providing them with a world class banking experience.”