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Plan to increase resilience to coastal fl ooding

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Still Shocking: Images from last years’ storms.

Still Shocking: Images from last years’ storms.

A DELIVERY plan to make Wales more resilient to coastal flooding was launched on Monday (Jan 5) by Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Since the devastating storms that hit communities along the coast of Wales 12 months ago the priority has been to repair and restore defences damaged in the storms. The delivery plan issued today outlines how the 47 recommendations made by NRW in April 2014, following an in-depth review into the impacts of last winter’s fl ooding, are being implemented. It details progress to-date and what more needs to be done, by all the organisations involved.

Five of the actions have already been completed with work on another 35 well under way, including: Ongoing work to evaluate improvements at locations around the coast of Wales which either experienced fl ooding or came close to fl ooding during last winter’s storms. For example, local improvements have been made for areas that fl ooded in Rhyl, with work ongoing to evaluate longer term options. The Welsh Government has launched its consultation on ‘Flood and Coastal Investment Programme’, which looks at how future investment in defences should be prioritised. Continued work developing fl ood plans for fl ood risk communities through NRW’s Flood Awareness Wales programme, including signing up a further 1,156 people to the free Floodline Warnings Direct service. A permanent offshore buoy deployed off the Pembrokeshire coast to improve fl ood forecasting. Preparatory work for a major coastal fl ooding exercise in March 2015.

Publication of the assessment of environmental change experienced during the storms. Work on the remaining seven recommendations will begin in January 2015. The storms in January 2014 caused millions of pounds worth of damage, hundreds of homes and businesses were fl ooded and even the natural environment and landscape of Wales were changed. But although the storms were devastating in many places, the existing coastal defences protected around 74,000 properties from fl ooding – avoiding an estimated £3 billion of damage. Also today – as part of the commitment in the plan to sustain investment in defences – the Welsh Government announces £1.9m towards a new flood defence for Rhyl.

The funding marks the final phase of the coastal defence scheme which, once completed, will mean a reduced flood risk to over 2,600 homes and businesses in the area. On a visit to Garford Road and West Rhyl coastal defence scheme, Carl Sargeant, the Minister for Natural Resources, said: “This term of Government will see over £245 million of Welsh Government investment in fl ood and coastal erosion risk management, supported by an additional £50 million from Europe. This demonstrates our commitment to protecting communities by managing the risks of flooding.

“I’d like to commend Natural Resources Wales, who have today published their delivery plan to take forward the recommendations contained within the Coastal Flooding Review. I am pleased to be able to announce an additional £150,000 of funding for NRW in the next financial year to assist in progressing the recommendations.

I look forward to continuing to work with them and relevant organisations across Wales to ensure that we do all that we can to mitigate against the effects of fl ooding and keep our communities safe” Jeremy Parr, Head of Flood Risk Management for NRW, told The Herald: “Although we are 12 months on from the storms which affected so many communities in Wales, people still continue to feel their impact. “And with the risk of coastal flooding likely to increase in the future due to climate change we are likely to see more extreme weather like this in the future so we all have to understand that increased risk and how we can prepare for when it happens again.

“The aim of this delivery plan is to make further improvements to the support to communities before, during and after a flood, working together with local authorities, the Welsh Government, emergency services and responders and with communities.” The delivery plan focuses on six areas: Sustained investment in coastal risk management, improved information on coastal fl ood defence systems, greater clarity of roles and responsibilities of agencies and authorities, assessment of skills and capacity, more support to communities to become more resilient, delivery of locally developed plans for coastal communities.

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Reminder from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to pre-book for attractions

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MEMBERS of the public are being reminded to pre-book their entry tickets before visiting two popular National Park Authority-run attractions.

To allow for social distancing on site, both Carew Castle and Tidal Mill and Castell Henllys Iron Age Village have been operating a pre-booking system since last summer.

Those wishing to visit should book their tickets online before arriving at the site. This applies to Annual Pass holders and others who qualify for free entry, such as wheelchair users and accompanying carers.

Carew Castle is open to pre-booked visitors between 10am and 4pm (Tidal Mill 11.30am – 5pm), while those wishing to visit Castell Henllys will be asked to book either a morning slot (10am-1pm) or an afternoon slot (2pm-5pm) before visiting the site.

Daisy Hughes, Visitor Services Manager at Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, said: “Over the past 12 months, we have made some changes to the site and how we operate to ensure that we keep you, our staff and our local community safe.

“All areas of the Castle and Tidal Mill are open, including the Walled Garden and play area. Nest Tearoom, which has plenty of outdoor undercover seating, will be serving light lunches and homemade cakes along with hot and cold drinks throughout the day, and the Castle and Mill Shops remain open – although face coverings must be worn and only card/contactless payments are currently being accepted.

“With the exception of Nest Tearoom, pre-booking is essential, though, and we’re asking all visitors to make sure they book their entry tickets in advance, in order to avoid any delays or disappointment when they arrive on site.”

Entry tickets for both Carew Castle and Castell Henllys can be purchased by visiting www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/events

A dynamic programme of events suitable for all the family will be running at both sites throughout the summer months. Visit the above website for more information and to book tickets.

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Salvage Hunters: New series is filming in Pembrokeshire, and they need help

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SALVAGE HUNTERS, the well-loved and most watched Quest TV and Discovery Network show, is on the hunt for locations to film at in the Pembrokeshire and the wider South West Wales area to feature in the upcoming series.

We follow decorative antiques expert Drew Pritchard as he travels around various locations in the UK and abroad on his quest to find and buy unusual objects with an interesting history.

Drew really visits everywhere – beautiful estates, old family businesses, barns and attic’s stuffed full of unwanted things, museums, factories, collectors and iconic religious sites buying all sorts along the way – from gorgeous country house furniture and railwayana to 6ft 1980s disco balls and anything in-between.

Now in its sixteenth series and airing to over half a million people in the UK and millions more worldwide, this is a great opportunity for you to promote your business or home to a broad audience, sell a few items that perhaps you no longer need, make some money and celebrate the history and heritage of the UK.

If you think you fit the bill or know somebody that might then please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with a member of our team.

Call us on 0203 179 0092 or alternatively send us an email to – salvagehunters@curvemedia.com

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Haverfordwest and Cardigan high streets listed as among the ten worst in Britain

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TWO west Wales high streets have been listed in a UK wide report detailing Britain’s worst high streets.

In the highly respected report Cardigan High Street has been listed as the 4th worst in Britain, whilst Haverfordwest has come 8th.

The Harper Dennis Hobbs rankings, which come out every two years, in sadly listed six Welsh High Streets in the worst 10 category.

Some retail centres have performed well since 2019 but most Welsh towns have fallen down the list.

Overall the performance in Wales was poor with a major drop in the average position of Welsh high streets on the UK list.

More shops in Haverfordwest’s town centre have closed since the coronavirus hit (Pic: File image)

The average rank was 797 – the worst of any nation and region in the UK, showing the huge challenge Welsh Government has to revive town centres. Six of the bottom ten UK high streets were in Wales.

Normally Harper Dennis Hobbs releases the full ranking but when the firm published its 2021 report in February, it only made the top 50 best-performing locations publicly available. Now, a copy of the full list shared with i lays bare the shopping centres and high streets that have fared worst over the past year.

Top of the worst list is Girvan in South Ayrshire.

Girvan is home to around 6,500 people and has suffered the same difficulties as many cities and towns across the UK when it comes to its high street’s declining appeal – but it is the area’s “very weak retail offer” and the large number of empty shops that helped seal its place at the bottom of the league table.

Haverfordwest in 2014. can you spot any differences to now?

“Girvan along with Haverfordwest and Cardigan all scored poorly due to a very weak retail offer [and] the towns have a relatively high vacancy rate,” said Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs.

Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at HDH, explained: “Our analysis is unique as we use variables that both consumers and retailers consider when assessing shopping locations to rank the top 1,000 retail centres in Great Britain. This Vitality Ranking looks very different from previous years as the ‘retail health’ of high streets across the country has seen contrasting fortunes since the start of the pandemic.

“The most vital retail centres currently provide services that are essential to people’s lives, such as grocers and pharmacies. These essential retailers have been able to trade throughout the strictest lockdowns, and consumers have not been willing or able to travel far to visit these stores. Shopping patterns have therefore changed significantly since the start of the pandemic, and consumers’ local high streets are benefitting at the expense of major destinations.”

Turning empty retail spaces in the town into homes or offices could help rejuvenate the area and bring “demand to the doors” of shops that survive, Mr Metherell said.

Cardigan High Street before Covid-19 (Pic Stay In Wales)

Top 10 best high streets 2021

  1. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
  2. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
  3. Tenterden, Kent
  4. Wimbledon Village, south-west London
  5. Marlborough, Wiltshire
  6. Sevenoaks, Kent
  7. Kingston upon Thames, Greater London
  8. Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
  9. Harpenden, Hertfordshire
  10. Ilkley, Bradford

Top 10 worst high streets 2021

  1. Girvan, South Ayrshire
  2. Bristol – Baldwin Street
  3. Chepstow, Monmouthshire
  4. Cardigan, Ceredigion
  5. Southsea, Portsmouth
  6. Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  7. Ammanford, Carmarthenshire
  8. Haverfordwest, Permbrokeshire
  9. Canning Town, east London
  10. Newtown, Powys

(Source: Harper Dennis Hobbs)

Cardigan High Street pictured in the early 2000’s before Currys left town (Pic Geograph)
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