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Mustang fights to stay afloat

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stay afloatOVER 100 jobs are at risk after Mustang Marine, the Pembroke Dock-based boat building facility, announced it could enter administration within days.

The plight of the troubled company was exclusively revealed in The Pembrokeshire Herald’s February 7 edition. It had been hoped that a cash inection involving the Welsh Government, Milford Haven Port Authority and a third party would keep Mustang afloat.

Managing Director Stewart Graves said:

“Unfortunately last week, after completing its review of the business, the external party withdrew its offer and without that party the long-term funding package could not proceed.

“The directors over the past few days have, with their professional advisers, sought other funding and are still trying to find a rescue package to secure the future of the business.

“It’s possible the company will go into administration later this week or early next week if a rescue package cannot be found.”

Mustang is currently taking professional advice from Grant Thornton, the international accountancy firm.Earlier this month Stewart Graves admitted that the business was growing extremely quickly and was therefore “tight for cash”.

He told the Herald on February 10: “There are no plans as we speak to call in the administrators to Mustang Marine Wales. “Our company is productively employing a hundred people and we have a pipeline of work to continue beyond the middle of the year.’

When asked at the time if the company was considering calling in the receivers, Mr Graves simply said: “No comment.”

In November the Herald reported on Economy Minister Edwina Hart opening a new construction hall at Mustang Marine as part of a planning expansion of the company. Mr Graves took over from Mr Kevin Lewis as managing Insolvency rumours denied director recently.

Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven, Alec Don told The Pembrokeshire Herald a few weeks ago:

“We are aware Mustang Marine is facing challenges as it undertakes two projects that are bigger than anything it has done before. We know these challenges have put some strain on their cash flow and appreciate this is concerning for local businesses. Mustang Marine is an important player in the local economy and we have been working hard with Mustang and with the Welsh Government to see the company through these challenges. It is important to point out that Mustang has a healthy order book and its customers are very impressed with its products. “

It now seems that the future is beak for the beleagured firm, who reportedly owe local businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Jamie Adams, said:

“This is a sad day for the employees of Mustang Marine and their families who now have to go through some days of uncertainty. I have the utmost sympathy for them.

“It was only a few months ago, in November, that the prospects for the company seemed so rosy with the Economy Minister Edwina Hart travelling to Pembroke Dock to open Mustang Marine’s new £1.5 million boat building construction hall.

“It was hailed as a new dawn for boat building in the town and I hope that a rescue package can still be put together even at this late hour.”

Councillor Adams said that the County Council’s Futureworks and Workdays teams would be contacting the company to arrange to meet staff and help them to find alternative employment should the company fail in the next few days.

Practical help which can be given includes identifying any future training needs which could assist in securing work or advice on compiling CVs.

Councillor Adams added: “We will be working in close collaboration with other agencies such as Jobcentre Plus to offer as much support as we can.”

Alec Don told The Pembrokeshire Herald yesterday:

“We are deeply concerned by news of a potential appointment of an Administrator to the business of Mustang Marine (Wales) Limited. As a 50% shareholder in the business, we have been and will continue to be working with the company and other stakeholders to see if a solution can be found that ensures this business can continue to operate. “An external third party did have a fully agreed package of support from the Welsh Government and the Port and it is disappointing that the third party decided not to proceed.

“We understand this situation is causing anxiety for the staff at Mustang. We need to remain positive that Mustang Marine will find a way through current challenges and that it will come out of this as a reinvigorated business with a sound plan.

“As a Trust Port we are committed to focussing on our core mission which is the operation and development of the port as well as to encourage and promote jobs and economic growth in the region. We will continue to work hard with Mustang Marine’s management and any Administrator to that end.”

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Entertainment

Blue Lagoon to open to the public for one day only as charity fundraiser

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A POPULAR leisure venue will be open to locals this summer with the aim of raising thousands of pounds for local charities.

The Blue Lagoon at Bluestone National Park Resort will throw its doors open to the public on August 27.

Six hundred tickets will be available for the local community to enjoy the tropical water park.

All ticket sales go to local charitable causes, with 75 per cent of funds going to a local charitable organisation and 25 per cent through the Bluestone Foundation.

On Tuesday, August 27, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home and Team Cruising Free will benefit from the fundraising created through ticket sales.

Paul Sartori provides end of life care and support at home for Pembrokeshire patients. Team Cruising Free will row the Atlantic in 2025, raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Paul Sartori.

The Bluestone Foundation, the charitable arm of Bluestone National Park Resort has generated funding totalling £17,500 for west Wales communities from its latest round of events and funding.

It has supported local groups with more than £250,000 since it was launched in 2010.

The Bluestone Foundation offers two avenues of support: the community events and the community fund. The community events at the Blue Lagoon raise funds and awareness for local charities.

This year, the foundation has already hosted events for Get the Boys a Lift and VC Gallery. As well as the August event, there will also be an event in October for Sammy Sized Gap, a local charity supporting young people with mental health issues.

“We are thrilled to see the positive impact our community events have on local organisations,” said Marten Lewis at the Bluestone Foundation. “The Blue Lagoon provides a unique and enjoyable setting for fundraising, and we are grateful for the community’s support.”

The community fund, which runs in three rounds this year, provides financial assistance to projects focused on economic, social, and environmental initiatives. The foundation recently allocated approximately £7,500 to three projects in its first round of funding and is currently reviewing applications for its second round which closes in July. A third round of funding will close on 17 October.

Among those to have benefited in the first round are the South Ridgeway Community Association in Manorbier to help develop a community garden and allotments; The Tenby Project, to support weekly sessions with a trained nutritionist on healthy eating for adults with learning difficulties; and Transition Bro Gwaun in Fishguard, to host community energy engagement events.

Tickets for the August event can be purchased at Eventbrite For more information about the Bluestone Foundation and its initiatives, visit www.pavs.org.uk/apply-for-funds.

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Entertainment

Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village

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GET ready for an electrifying day of music and fun as the Havens Events Crew proudly presents the highly anticipated Broad Haven Music Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, July 20, from 3 PM to 11:30 PM, this event promises a vibrant mix of live bands, local talent, and a delightful BBQ, making it an unmissable occasion for music lovers and families alike.

The festival, at Broad Haven School Field, will feature an impressive lineup of performers. Attendees can look forward to the acoustic melodies of Cadence Acoustic, the energetic rhythms of Coastal Horizon, and the dynamic performances by Loose Change. These local bands are set to deliver a variety of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival will offer a range of delicious BBQ options, perfect for enjoying a summer evening outdoors. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, the Broad Haven Music Festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the local culture, connect with the community, and enjoy high-quality entertainment.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Broad Haven Post Office and Lobster and Môr. Early acquisition is recommended to secure a spot at this popular event.

It promises to be a memorable day filled with music, food, and community spirit. The Broad Haven Music Festival is more than just a concert; it’s a celebration of local talent and a testament to the vibrant culture of our town. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

For more information, visit the Havens Events Crew’s official website or follow their social media pages for updates and announcements.


Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 20
  • Time: 3 PM – 11:30 PM
  • Location: Broad Haven School Field
  • Performers: Cadence Acoustic, Coastal Horizon, Loose Change
  • Tickets Available At: Broad Haven Post Office, Lobster and Môr

Be sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets soon – we look forward to seeing you there!

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News

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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