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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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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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