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Outcry as castle sale nears



hwest castlePEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has confirmed the sale of the old Records Office at Haverfordwest Castle, causing an outcry from many residents, organisations and Haverfordwest Town Council.

Confirming the County Council’s position on the future of the historical site, a spokesperson said: “The former Records Office at Haverfordwest Castle was put up for sale two years ago. All offers were considered and a sale was agreed. However, the Town Council then applied to have the area surrounding the former Records Office formally registered as a town or village green.


“This led to a public inquiry which ruled that the Castle was not capable of registration as town or village green. While the application was being determined the proposed developer stood back. Now that the application has been determined he has reopened his interest and the sale is proceeding.” Though the County Council would not directly confirm the name of the buyer, The Herald was told last October by Councillor Mark Edwards that the purchaser was the developer Griffith-Roach Foundation. When asked how much the buyer was offering for the property, and how this compared to the £50,000 offer put forward by the Town Council, the spokesperson declined to comment, saying it was confidential, but did confirm the developer’s offer was ‘considerably higher’ than that of the Town Council. They were also asked if the market value for the property was being demanded, to which they said it had been offered on the open market and a decision was taken to ‘sell for best consideration’. However, in 2006, a Notice of Motion was considered by the Council relating to the General Disposal Consent (Wales) which came into force on December 31, 2003. The Motion specifically sought to recognise that in circumstances which benefited the promotion of social economic and environmental well-being, property or land can be released to community organisations at less than the best consideration. Lesley Turner of Haverfordwest Civic Society said: “The proposed sale, without public consultation, would deprive Haverfordwest of its heritage. We believe that this location should remain for the Town’s community use and for the benefit of tourism”. Barbara Shone, Deputy Chair of Trustees Board of Haverfordwest Museum, said: “In 1996 the County Council leased the Governor’s House to the Town Council on a 40-year lease, which doesn’t end till 2036. The Trustees of the Museum were formed in 1996 and they have a license to operate the Museum until then.”


 However, during a Cabinet meeting of January 9, 2012, the issue of the museum was discussed. In the Cabinet minutes it was said: “The County Council acquire the Haverfordwest Town Council’s lease of the Governors House on terms acceptable to the Directors of Development and that County Council officers be authorised to use compulsory purchase powers to achieve the acquisition should this prove necessary.” Haverfordwest mayor Roy Thomas also spoke with The Herald about the manner in which the County Council are pursuing the sale: “Frankly it comes as no surprise. The County Council, despite promises for greater transparency, remain secretive; they also appear to have disregarded the Town Council’s offer. “All I can say is the County Council have shown no improvement in their ability to look after the cultural well-being of our town. One has to hope that the Assembly Government and the National Audit Office is keeping a watch on this affair.” Haverfordwest Town Councillor, Sarah Llewellyn, summed up the feelings of many who are angry about the sale ‘behind closed doors’, and said: “We were obviously very disappointed by the Inspector’s decision. However, what became clear during the hearing was the strength of local feeling, and resentment at the high-handed manner in which the County Council chose to deal with an application that merely sought to secure free and unlimited public access to the Castle grounds for future generations. “I will be very interested to hear more regarding any further proposals to dispose of the old prison building, and anything else inside the Castle walls. It seems the County Council is keen to off-load a number of old, and currently empty buildings within our town, including the old prison building and Foley House, seeing them only in terms of their financial burden. “Both the County Council and the prospective developer need to be more up front this time round. People deserve to know about any proposals beforehand, and how plans are likely to affect them. It is not acceptable for the County Council to present matters such as these as ‘done deals’, and to be anything less than wholly transparent about how much money will be changing hands, and on what terms.”

The Council says in response to these concerns, and specifically the question of public access to the Castle grounds, the County Council said that this consideration was part of the on-going negotiations with the developer. Town Councillor, Thomas Tudor, said: “I would not support selling the Old Records Offices under market value, especially if the asking price had already been offered. And I would support the T o w n Council’s offer for the property bearing in mind that it has been the only offer for some time and when no one else was interested. “Taking advantage of the Town Council’s offer would have been a far more positive move rather than allowing the property to rot and decay and become more of a burden to the tax payers. If I cannot find out what the architect and developer is offering, I would then have to try to obtain the information by using the Freedom of Information Act.” One area of concern for taxpayers was how much the County Council had spent in opposing the Town Council’s application for village green status. When asked for a figure, the County Council said: “Our engagement with the Town Council on the vast majority of issues is very positive. However, different tiers of Government will occasionally have different views on matters. This is a matter which is now resolved”. The Herald understands, however, that a deal for the sale of the Castle has been discussed secretly in Cabinet and a decision reached.

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



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

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Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village



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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England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions



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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