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Bayview Stores scoop national Countryside Alliance award after impressing judges

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A PEMBROKESHIRE based business has been announced as a national winner in the hotly anticipated Countryside Alliance awards, known to many as the ‘Rural Oscars’.

From over 45,000 public nominations and votes- the awards most successful year to date- Bayview Stores won The Daily Telegraph Award for best Village Shop/ Post Office, after impressing judges and seeing off six other businesses from across the country in the same category.

This award celebrates the important role village shops play in rural communities. It commends those who go above and beyond the call of duty and are the hub of the community.

The awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food and farming, enterprise and heritage through small hard-working businesses.

Bayview Stores received the award at a busy ceremony in the House of Lords on Wednesday 17 May 2023, attended by government ministers, peers and MPs, including local MP, Stephen Crabb. The competition saw businesses from across the country, come together in friendly competition in their respective categories.

Earlier this year, Bayview Stores won the award for Welsh Village Shop Champion, after a public vote. After a further round of judging, the team can now add the national gong to their growing collection of titles.

Now in their 16th year the Countryside Alliance awards have become the definitive rural business award to win and are driven by public nomination and votes, offering customers the chance to rally around their favourite businesses, bringing communities together.

The categories for the Awards include: best butcher, best pub, best village shop, local food champions, and rural enterprise champions.

Speaking from the awards at the House of Lords, an emotional Gwyn Price, the store’s owner, said: “ This award means absolutely everything. It’s been 20 years in the making. Our staff are amazing and we thank the local community. I get up in the morning and consider myself the luckiest man in the world. It’s been a lot of hard work, especially through covid. We were working 14 hours shifts, every day and our community stuck by us. It truly does mean the world”.

Another Pembrokeshire based business, the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, received a Highly Commended award in the Rural Enterprise category. This award celebrates the imagination and ingenuity of individuals in the countryside supporting the rural economy. It commends those who have made a real contribution to the community through jobs and services and helped to enhance the local area.

Stephen Crabb MP said: “I was delighted to attend the Countryside Alliance Awards and help celebrate the success of two popular Pembrokeshire businesses from my constituency.

It’s vitally important that rural businesses are given the recognition they deserve, and I am thrilled that Gwyn Price and his family from Bayview Stores, and Mark Coles and the whole team at Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, were able to fly the flag for Pembrokeshire in these national awards.

They are two fantastic examples from our rural business community, and I am so pleased their hard work and dedication impressed the judges to secure this national status.”

Countryside Alliance awards Director, Sarah Lee said: “ As ever, our judges have had a particularly difficult time singling out winners from the array of fantastic businesses up for awards this year. The team at Bayview Stores have worked incredibly hard to earn this award and we wish them every success for the future. We also congratulate the fantastic team at the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, who are clearly treasured within their local community. The Countryside Alliance awards capture the huge public support for local, rural businesses who now, more than ever, depend on the public’s support. ”

Pictured: DEFRA Secretary Thérèse Coffey MP, Stephen Crabb MP and The Bayview Store team at the House of Lords, for use with article.

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Business

Saundersfoot centre site redevelopment scheme withdrawn

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PLANS for the redevelopment of an ‘eyesore’ piece of land in the centre of Saundersfoot, which the local community council feared would “set a precedence for future overdevelopment,” have been withdrawn.

The proposals for the vacant brownfield site between the rear of the former Cambrian Hotel building and the rear of the town houses in Milford Terrace were to create 24 new homes and a 445 square foot commercial unit space fronting on to Milford Street.

Its new developers said it would ‘fill the void’ and ‘re-establish a strong streetscape’.

An application to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park planners, by Ventura Properties (Saundersfoot) said it would feature one, two, three and four-bed town houses and apartments.

The site, currently used for informal car parking, is a mix of gravel and tarmac finished land that includes a small access road to the rear of the Cambrian Hotel, which would be maintained the applicants have said.

The proposal sought to complete the mixed development of houses, apartments, commercial space and the redevelopment of the Cambrian Hotel which was granted permission in 2012.

Although the previous developer delivered the town houses and alterations to the Cambrian Hotel, the remainder of the approved development of 16 residential dwellings was not completed.

The previous developer has sold the site to the current applicants on that basis.

The developers have previously stated: “Approximately half of the site remains undeveloped, under-utilised and is a clear ‘gap’ that contributes negatively to the amenity of the local centre. The plot stands vacant (brownfield), previously used as the car park for the old Cambrian Hotel and remains somewhat of an eyesore.

“This proposal seeks to fill the void left along the southern edge of Milford Street. It proposes commercial units to the ground floor and apartments over on the prominent local centre facing street frontage.”

A mix of town houses and apartments was proposed to the heart of the site.

However, concerns were raised by Saundersfoot Community Council, which did not support the scheme.

Issues raised included the impact on the character of the village’s conservation area, road safety issues, and “even more commercial buildings being offered in a village where new business properties are empty or applications for the change of use are being made to this Planning Authority”.

It warned: “If this application were to be approved by the Planning Authority, the Saundersfoot Community Council are concerned that it would set a precedence for future overdevelopment, which does not preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of a historic village within a conservation area.

“Saundersfoot Community Council does not support this planning application and requests that the planning authority consider refusal of such.”

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Business

Former Pembroke Barclays to become shopfront and residential apartments

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Plans to convert a former Barclays Bank branch on Pembroke’s Main Street to retail and residential apartments have been given the go-ahead.

Mr Zouras, through agent RPC Design & Architecture Ltd, sought permission from Pembrokeshire County Council for a change of use and conversion of the former Grade-II-listed bank at 35 Main Street to retail on the ground floor and residential apartments at the rear ground, first and second floors.

The branch closed in July 2019, the same year the bank’s Narberth and Milford Haven branches closed.

A supporting heritage statement said: “The three-storey building is currently vacant and was a former bank on the ground floor. The first floor was former staff rooms and male/female toilets. The second floor was used as storage. There is an existing outdoor paved area and private, off-road car parking to the rear for four to six cars.  The building is Grade II listed; designated in 2005.”

CADW’s listing says: “…earlier C19 terraced house, front remodelled in 1925 for Barclays Bank to plans by J. H. Morgan of Carmarthen. The building was then called Bank House, but it is not known how long it had been a bank.”

An officer report says: “The ground floor shopfront is six bays wide divided by faceted pilasters of ashlar stone – a hint towards the art-deco style. Heavy fielded panel doors to the left-hand bay. Heavy classical stucco window surrounds to upper floors, the middle window has a pediment above – conventional Edwardian Bank detail, old fashioned for the 1920s.”

The listed building application was conditionally approved by county planners.

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Business

How Small Businesses Can Build Strong Teams

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In the moving world of business today, small businesses encounter obstacles to staying competitive. A vital factor contributing to their success is the ability to form teams. Small businesses can unleash their potential and achieve sustainable growth by building motivated teams. This article will explore strategies small businesses can use to establish teams, foster a collaborative work atmosphere, and deliver outstanding outcomes.

Setting Clear Expectations

Establishing expectations is crucial for developing a team. Small businesses should clearly communicate their objectives, values, and performance metrics to ensure everyone starts on the same page. By defining roles and responsibilities, employees align with common goals and feel empowered to perform efficiently. Transparent communication also sets forth guidelines on deliverables, timelines, and quality standards, promoting accountability across the team. Tips for team building can also be exchanged and implemented for a stronger team with everyone’s opinions and values in mind.

Encouraging Continuous Learning

In today’s changing business environment, small businesses must emphasize learning within their teams. Encouraging employees to acquire skills and broaden their knowledge benefits both individuals and the organization. Organize workshops or training sessions regularly to address industry trends or explore areas that could enhance productivity. Initiatives such as these not only lift employees’ spirits but also enhance productivity by providing the team with valuable knowledge and skills.

Promoting Transparent Communication

Effective communication is crucial for teamwork. Small businesses should aim for an environment where all team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. By promoting open communication through team meetings and collaboration tools, businesses improve the flow of information within the organization.

Managers play a huge role in listening to team members’ opinions and concerns, which helps them feel valued and ultimately boosts job satisfaction. Encouraging interactions among colleagues fosters relationships, reduces stress, and promotes better collaboration.

Supporting Teamwork

In a market, collaboration among team members is essential for businesses aiming to grow. Encouraging functional collaboration can lead to innovative ideas and enhanced problem-solving abilities. Collaboration also creates a work environment where employees feel united and responsible for achieving shared goals.

Small business leaders should prioritize teamwork by organizing projects or team-building activities that promote trust and respect among colleagues. These activities could include brainstorming sessions, platforms for sharing knowledge, or participating in community service together. By fostering collaboration, small businesses are better prepared to tackle challenges as a group.

Recognizing and Appreciating Achievements

Acknowledging employees’ accomplishments boosts their dedication to the team and strengthens the connection between management and staff. Small businesses should implement a recognition program that highlights performance at both team levels. Publicly celebrating successes motivates employees and also encourages others to strive for greatness.

Offering Opportunities for Growth

Supporting development is the key to cultivating teams in small businesses. Providing growth opportunities like mentorship programs, skill enhancement workshops, or financial aid for education helps attract and retain talent. By investing in employee growth, businesses foster loyalty while grooming individuals to assume leadership roles in the future.

Inclusive Decision-Making Process

Small businesses can unlock the potential of their teams by involving all members in decision-making processes whenever possible. Encouraging inclusive decision-making empowers employees, giving them a sense of ownership over their work and fostering commitment to shared objectives. Embracing different perspectives enhances creativity and reduces biases, leading to well-informed decisions that benefit the organization.

Maximizing Employee Well-Being

Maintaining employee well-being is critical to building strong teams within small businesses. When employees feel supported and valued, their productivity and satisfaction levels significantly increase. Small businesses can prioritize employee well-being by implementing measures such as flexible work arrangements, promoting work-life balance, providing wellness programs, and fostering a positive work culture.

Flexible work arrangements allow employees to control their schedules, balancing personal responsibilities while meeting professional commitments. This flexibility can lead to higher job satisfaction and reduced stress levels among team members.

Closing Thoughts

Establishing teams is crucial for businesses seeking long-term success in a competitive landscape.By establishing guidelines encouraging education, nurturing open dialogue and teamwork, acknowledging accomplishments, offering avenues for development, and incorporating inclusive decision-making practices, companies can cultivate strong teams that excel at sparking creativity and attaining impressive outcomes. Robust teams not only assist enterprises in surmounting obstacles but also lay the groundwork for future expansion and success.

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