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Historic Harbour awarded EU funding boost

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A FUNDING announcement by the First Minister, Carwyn Jones yesterday (Jan 8) signalled a major step forward in the redevelopment of Saundersfoot Harbour and in realising its ambition of becoming high quality international destination for marine tourism. The First Minister visited Saundersfoot to announce that the project to redevelop the harbour has been awarded £463,500 European Regional Development Funding towards a £927,000 total project cost. Additional funding of £200,000 has also been secured via the Tourism Infrastructure Support Scheme fund.

The project extends Visit Wales’ existing coastal tourism activity funded via the EU Coastal Tourism Project working with the Saundersfoot Trust Port to further develop the facilities within Saundersfoot, making it an iconic tourism destination for South West Wales. The First Minister said: “I’m delighted to make this announcement today and to see the plans that the Harbour Commission has for future development and to raise the profile of Saundersfoot Harbour. Improved access is key to competing on an international stage.

“I’m also delighted to see that the plans aim to make the most of the area’s rich maritime heritage by establishing a heritage trail and interpretation installations around the walkway. Tourism is a vital employer in Pembrokeshire, sustaining the local economy and culture and this development will create 24 jobs in the area. “I wish all partners every success for the future.” Philip Evans, Chair of the Harbour Commission said: “This first phase of Marine Infrastructure is a critical installation that nearly doubles our mooring capacity and also triggers the exciting Marine Centre of Excellence programme which will bring 55 new jobs directly into this Port. “Our strategy, and indeed challenge, was to create an Internationally recognised iconic leisure and commercial harbour. Thanks to the vision, ambition and support of Wales Government this £4m. programme is now achievable and will be delivered by the Commissioners and Executive Team here in Saundersfoot.’’

Visit Wales Coastal Tourism project has seen three Coastal Tourism Centres of Excellence receive a total of £18.3m of funding (£8.2m ERDF) since 2010. The three centres are Pembrokeshire, Aberdaron and Swansea Bay. Completion of the Saundersfoot Harbour project in spring 2015 will complete the project. The First Minister told Herald reporter, Joelle Olivia: “I’m here to look at the new project to revamp Saundersfoot harbour; to make sure that’s it’s easier for people to use in terms of boats but also great plans that have been put forward to redevelop the harbour for tourists.

Asked if it will benefit the village Mr Jones said: “I think it will be a great benefit. I’ve been here many times over the years, were in the St Brides Hotel now this is a fantastic place. “It’s really been done up very well over the years and of course we know that people come to Saundersfoot, they spend time on the beach, they don’t necessarily goes as far as the harbour and what this new development will do is bring people into the harbour, learn more about the harbour’s history and of course there will be facilities for people to enjoy.”

Our reporter asked if there were potential economic benefits to Saundersfoot, and the First Minister said: “Absolutely, no doubt about it. I think new businesses will spring up around this development, they’ll employ people and of course that can only benefit the local economy.” The minister added: “We came here in 2006 /2007 with the family. We stayed just round the corner there, and the last time I’ve been in Saundersfoot was in the 70’s in this hotel and the change is fantastic. “You know, really even seeing there is new businesses starting here, you can see businesses being refurbished, redeveloped there’s a real sense of get up and go in Saundersfoot and its started with an extent with this hotel and the way it was refurbished and you can see it now flowing down into the town itself and of course the harbours is the next step.”

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Brand new features unveiled at Scolton Manor Park

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ONE of Pembrokeshire’s best-loved family destinations has announced it will be unveiling several new attractions in June, ready for the summer holidays.  

Among the new features at Scolton Manor are an eco-explorer village, a 1.2km woodland cycle track, an outdoor pirate ship play area and a dedicated railway attraction complete with steam train locomotive ‘Margaret’ and ‘Scolton Express’ play train.

Mark Thomas, manager of Scolton Manor Park, said the team were looking forward to showing visitors the new attractions.

“We’re delighted with our new facilities and believe they will perfectly complement the attractions we have here already at Scolton,” he said.

The woodland eco-explorer village aims to give children more opportunities for outside play and spark their enthusiasm to discover more about the natural world.  

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Culture and Leisure, said the village is perfect for all young explorers from toddlers right through to older children.

“Children love playing outside and we want to inspire them through their play to not only find out more about biodiversity and the environment but also how to care for it,” he said.

“As well as eco-explorer areas, games and activities there will be fun tips on how they can reuse, reduce and recycle more and protect the environment.”

The eco-explorer village is funded by a £50,000 grant from the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme and £25,000 grant from Community Facilities Programme (Welsh Government), in partnership with the Pembrokeshire Beekeepers’ Association.

Mark Thomas said the current attractions at Scolton have also proved very popular since the outdoor areas at the park re-opened to the public earlier this spring.

As well as an adventure play area for older children which includes a 30-metre zip wire, a spinning climbing web and ‘super swings’,  younger visitors can enjoy the wooden playground, sensory musical play area and woodland play features.

“The many and varied attractions at Scolton enhance its role as a community facility while providing a wide range of countryside experiences at a lower cost,” said Mark.

“The new features in particular will also help to continue the development of the site into a must-visit tourist attraction within mid and North Pembrokeshire.”

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Public engagement exercise over new hospital between St Clears and Narberth

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HYWEL DDA is asking the people of Pembrokeshire to help it further shape and deliver future services by taking part in a six-week engagement exercise.

Since the publication of its strategy, A Healthier Mid and West Wales: Our Future Generations Living Well in 2018, the health board has worked with partners to provide care and develop services. However, the coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on health and care services. As a result, the health board now wants to learn from the public about how the pandemic has affected their health and care, and access to it.

This week, Hywel Dda UHB has been distributing a discussion document for the public to consider, along with a questionnaire for completion.

Hywel Dda UHB is also asking for the public’s feedback in relation to its long-term strategy to develop and build a new hospital in the south of the Hywel Dda area, somewhere between and including St Clears, in Carmarthenshire, and Narberth, in Pembrokeshire.

This location is the most central for most of the population in the south of the Hywel Dda area, and it was determined through the public consultation held in 2018.

The public is also being asked to nominate sites for a new hospital based four criteria:

The nominated site must be within the zone between and including St Clears in Carmarthenshire and Narberth in Pembrokeshire. This location is the most central to most of the population in the south of the Hywel Dda area.

The nominated site should be a minimum of 35 acres of reasonably developable land.

The nominated site should have realistic prospects of obtaining planning permission for a new hospital.

There should be appropriate transport infrastructure for a major hospital site.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “The global pandemic has had a major impact on all areas of our lives so it’s crucial that the health board considers, reflects and learns from this extraordinary period. This engagement exercise will allow the public to tell us in their own words how COVID-19 has affected their health and care, and access to it.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to participate because the feedback we receive will play a major role in helping shape future services. This in turn will allow us to deliver on our long-term commitment for a healthier mid and west Wales.

“I would also stress that this engagement exercise is part of an ongoing process. Over the coming months and years, we plan to engage with the public, stakeholders and partners on a wide variety of issues, such as service models. Everyone will have their chance to give their views and opinions because we are committed to continuous engagement with the public to ensure we provide the best possible care.”

The engagement exercise will run until Monday June 21.

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Paul Sartori taking action to support climate with National Lottery grant of nearly £14,000

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LOCAL hospice at home charity, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, is taking action to support the climate with the installation of solar panels at its main head office in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

The charity which delivers end of life care services across Pembrokeshire, has been awarded a grant to fund the purchase and installation of solar panels at Paul Sartori House, Winch Lane. This investment is part of an ongoing commitment to address the climate emergency and the charity joins many others who are taking action. Paul Sartori was one of 35 community groups, who were selected to take part in the Climate Action Boost scheme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Working alongside Renew Wales, a partner in the initiative, the group explored methods to help tackle the causes and consequences of climate change, and to operate more sustainably. A number of options were discussed to reduce their impact on the environment and Renew Wales helped the charity to develop an environmental action plan, which is to be implemented over the coming months. The scheme available to cover a variety of environmental reduction activities, including renewable energy, reducing consumption, local food and reduced or less impactful travel.

Paul Sartori Hospice at Home wouldn’t normally be associated with environmental activity. Through regular consultation over many months, the charity has been really encouraged by what they have learnt.

“We have invested a lot of time in developing the plan; discussed a number of alternatives along the way, but feel that the solar panel installation will have the biggest impact for the charity in the long term”, said Sandra Dade, Charity Manager. “The National Lottery Climate Action Boost has really inspired our charity to minimise our impacton the environment and we will continue this journey,” added Sandra.

Jemma Nurse, Funding Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund said, “The climate emergency is everyone’s business, which is why The National Lottery Community Fund is acting to support and inspire communities to minimise their own impact on the environment. We are proud to be a significant funder of environmental projects and Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, along with the other groups participating in Climate Action Boost, will play a valuable part in building our knowledge so we can share our learning with other funders across Wales and the UK.”

The services provided by the Paul Sartori Hospice at Home enable people in the later stages of any life-limiting illness to be cared for and to die at home with dignity, independence, pain free and surrounded by those they hold most dear, if that is their wish.

All of the services are free of charge, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, thanks to the generosity of the Pembrokeshire Community. Further information on the charity and its services can be obtained by visiting their website www.paulsartori.org, or by phoning 01437 763223.

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