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Newport’s community shop launches share offer to raise vital funds

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A COMMUNITY shop committee in North Pembrokeshire has launched a share offer this week (May 30).

Havards Shop, Newport, has been operating as a traditional ironmonger from the same site in Newport, Pembrokeshire since 1881. Today it provides a wide range of everyday items including hand tools, nails and screws, key cutting, cookware and crockery, gardening equipment, outdoor clothing, walking boots and wetsuits.

The aim is to raise sufficient funds to buy Havards to save this historic institution for the community and also help preserve the character and self-sufficiency of the town.

If the share offer is successful, Havards will operate as a cooperative community shop, owned by the members for the benefit of the community and future generations.

A total of £475,000 is needed to buy the shop and all money raised will be used to buy the building and the shop’s stock as well as to provide set-up funds and working capital.

The good news is that anyone can become part of the venture by investing and buying shares or gifting money to the fund.

Shares will cost £1 each – the minimum shareholding is £200 (i.e. 200 shares) with a maximum shareholding of £33,000 (i.e. 33,000 shares) or 10% of the total share capital raised, whichever is the greater. A Share Save option is available allowing anyone to build a shareholding.

The Share Offer to raise funds to buy Havards will open from Monday the 30th of May 2022.

Everyone buying a share will become a Member of the Society, giving them a say in how it runs with each member having one vote no matter how many shares they buy.

Clive Hooper from the fundraising organisers, Siop Havards Gymunedol Tydrath/SHGT said “this is an opportunity for residents of Newport and the local area as well as visitors and friends wherever they may be, to be part of the future of the town helping to preserve a unique example of a shop that can provide almost everything you need, right on your doorstep”

Cris Tomos of PLANED Community development charity noted “It is fantastic that there has been such a positive response from questionnaires and meetings that have taken place over the past few months. There is a full business plan and share offer document on the bilingual website. We plan to offer a good return on investment and are applying for the Social Investment Tax relief, which once clinched will allow qualifying taxpayers to have 30% of their investment back as a tax refund. So if you ever wished to be a co-owner of a hardware shop such as Havards in Tydrath, now’s your chance, while ensuring the shop remains open to the community for decades to come!”  

All information regarding how to purchase shares in the Havards Community Shop is available at: https://www.siophavards.cymru/invest.htm

All background on Havards, its history and the business plan can be read here: www.siophavards.cymru

Business

Tata workers Port Talbot rally ahead of industrial action to stop shutdown

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A RALLY will be held outside of the Port Talbot steelworks on Monday (17 June) ahead of industrial action beginning the following day to stop Tata unnecessarily closing its blast furnaces and cutting 2,800 jobs.

Around 1,500 Tata steelworkers based in Port Talbot and Newport Llanwern will begin working to rule as well as taking part in a continuous overtime ban from 18 June. The industrial action will severely disrupt and delay Tata’s operations and order book. Strike action will be scheduled if the company does not row back on its plans.

The overtime ban and work to rule is the first time in 40 years that there has been industrial action in the UK steel industry.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Tata’s workers are taking this industrial action because they know the company’s claim that jobs cannot be retained in South Wales during the transition to green steel is a lie. They are standing up and fighting for a better future, one in which Tata’s British business can take full advantage of the coming green steel boom and not be sacrificed to benefit its operations abroad.

“The current government have backed Tata’s disastrous deal for Britain without even getting any job guarantees. But in less than a month, Tata will almost certainly be dealing with a new political reality. Labour has told Tata to wait for the £3 billion steel investment fund, a commitment secured by Unite. That is what it must do. Unite will use every weapon in its armoury to ensure that it does.”

The rally will feature speeches and contributions from worker representatives and Unite national lead officer Onay Kasab.

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RWE launches pre-application consultation for RWE Pembroke Battery

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TO support their decarbonisation ambitions as part of Pembroke Net Zero Centre, RWE is progressing proposals to develop a battery energy storage system on its land adjacent to Pembroke Power Station. 

Battery energy storage plays a crucial role in the integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, into the power grid, excess renewable energy can be stored and fed into the grid when needed. Electricity is consumed in real time and this technology will, where possible, enable homes and businesses to be powered by renewable energy.  

The consultation on RWE’s plans launches Monday 17 June 2024 and will end on Monday 15 July 2024. RWE is asking the community for their views on these plans and has launched a consultation where local people can provide feedback on the planning application. 

The proposed development would be located on a 5.1 hectare area to the south of the current power station and would comprise 212 Battery Containers, 106 Power Conversion Systems (PCS) enabling connectivity to the grid, and associated infrastructure. 

The battery would have a maximum charge / discharge power of 350 megawatts and would connect via underground cables to the grid at the adjacent National Grid 400 kV substation. Once fully operational, Pembroke Battery would be capable of storing enough electricity to meet the average daily domestic energy needs of more than 72,0001 typical UK homes. 

In line with RWE’s commitment to protect and enhance local environments, the company has pledged to deliver various biodiversity measures as part of the proposals. Field margins will be enhanced by species-rich meadow planting, native woodland and scrub planting, while a new large pond will be provided and managed to support local wildlife. The periphery of the development site will also be further enhanced with bat and bird boxes, insect hotels and reptile hibernation shelters around the field edges. A Habitat Management Plan will ensure the habitats created are managed sensitively in support of local wildlife for the lifetime of the project.

Commenting on the proposals, Richard Little, Pembroke Net Zero Centre Director, said: “RWE Pembroke Battery represents the next step in our plans to invest in new innovative energy technologies, as part of our vision for Pembroke Net Zero Centre. We would like to thank those who engaged with us in our Green Hydrogen consultation and encourage the community to get involved with the consultation process, learn more about our battery energy storage proposals, and have their say on the proposals.” 

Members of the community can contact the project team and leave feedback via the project website rwe.pembrokenetzerocentre.co.uk/battery, telephone 01646 370090, email [email protected] or by writing to ’Freepost PNZC Consultation’.  

Local people can also join RWE at an in-person event at South Pembrokeshire Golf Club on 24th June 2024 between 2pm and 7pm to speak with project team members, ask questions and provide feedback. 

Pembroke Net Zero Centre has a critical role to play in Wales’ and the UK’s pathway to Net Zero. By decarbonising its current operations at Pembroke Power Station, while investing in new innovative technologies, such as battery energy storage and hydrogen generation, RWE can establish Pembroke at the forefront of South Wales’ low carbon future.

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115 new homes being built in Haverfordwest by Lovell and Pobl Group

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IN big news for housing in Pembrokeshire, leading partnerships developer Lovell, in collaboration with housing association Pobl Group, has embarked on a £28.65 million project in Haverfordwest. This development, named Augustus Grange, promises to deliver 115 new homes, of which 69% will be affordable.

Contracts have been finalised for the mixed tenure development, situated off St David’s Road, just six miles from the picturesque Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Augustus Grange will feature a mix of two and three-bedroom homes, catering to a variety of needs and budgets. Of the 115 homes, 36 will be available for open market sale, while 79 will be affordable – with 37 offered through Shared Ownership and 42 designated for social rent.

Construction has now commenced, with Lovell aiming for a 2026 completion date. Prospective buyers can expect the first homes to hit the market in summer 2024, and the development’s showhomes are anticipated to open later this year.

James Duffett, Regional Managing Director at Lovell, expressed his enthusiasm for the project: “This is a hugely exciting announcement for us at Lovell. Pobl is one of our long-standing partners and we are delighted to be working with them once again to deliver 115 homes in Haverfordwest.

“Augustus Grange is a very significant development, showcasing the success of our expansion plans across South Wales. We’re looking forward to providing the area with high-quality homes set within a vibrant new community.”

Adam Roberts, Head of Development (West) at Pobl, highlighted the importance of affordable housing in the area: “We know that people living in Pembrokeshire are often priced out of homes in their local market, so we are proud to be partnering with Lovell to increase the supply of affordable homes to rent and buy in this great location. With blue flag beaches within a 15-minute drive and all the amenities of Haverfordwest on your doorstep, Augustus Grange will be a great place to set up home.”

Haverfordwest, a historic county town, offers future residents a blend of rich heritage and modern conveniences. The town centre is home to the 12th-century Haverfordwest Castle and the scenic Western Cleddau river. With its beautiful coastal landscapes, a variety of shops and restaurants, and excellent commuter links by both road and rail, Haverfordwest presents an ideal setting for the new development.

Lovell has been a prominent figure in the partnership housing sector for over 50 years, renowned for building thriving communities. For further information, visit Lovell’s website.

To learn more about Pobl, visit Pobl’s website.

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