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Climate Minister visits Pembrokeshire’s pioneering marine energy projects

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THE WELSH GOVERNMENT Minister for Climate Change Julie James MS has been to see first-hand the work being done in Pembrokeshire to protect our coastline and support Wales’ transition to Net Zero.

Ms James was invited to Pembroke Dock to meet members of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum (PCF) team, a community interest company set up to support sustainable development and to preserve coastal and marine environments for future generations.

As part of her visit, the minister was taken on a boat tour around the Milford Haven Waterway and visited sites within the Marine Energy Test Area (META), a project managed by PCF.

META offers energy developers the chance to test wave energy, tidal energy, and floating offshore wind devices in pre-consented, real sea conditions and is the first and only facility of its kind in Wales.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum was set up in 1996 as an independent body after the Sea Empress disaster, which saw 72,000 tonnes of oil spilled into Pembrokeshire waters. The tragic event highlighted the need to address issues facing the coastline and coastal communities in Wales.

As a stakeholder support organisation, PCF prides itself on being able to connect communities, businesses, organisations and decision-makers, several of whom were present at Thursday’s event.

Working to reduce the impact of climate change is a priority for PCF, which runs several pioneering initiatives around outdoor health, sustainable recreation, climate adaptation, wildlife protection and education.

Jetske Germing, Managing Director of PCF said, “We were delighted to welcome the Minister for Climate Change to Pembrokeshire this week to meet the team and some of our key partners in person.

Coastal communities in Pembrokeshire are on the frontline of a changing climate and growing pressures on natural resources; solutions require a dynamic, independent coastal platform to bring the relevant people together.

PCF’s work contributes directly to the Welsh Government’s sustainability and climate change goals and legislation, including the Net Zero Wales plan and the UK’s commitment to cut emissions and reach Net Zero by 2050. It’s fantastic to be able to show the minister first-hand the vitally important work that goes on here and around the county every day.”

As well as meeting members of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum team, Thursday’s visit was also an opportunity for the minister to meet some of PCF’s key partners and stakeholders from the community.

Guests included members of the Pembrokeshire Local Nature Partnership, representatives from the Outdoor Charter Group Partnership, the Port of Milford Haven and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. Floating offshore wind project developers Blue Gem Wind and Floventis also attended.

James Parkin, Director of Nature and Tourism at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority said, “It was a pleasure to represent the Park Authority and welcome the Minister for Climate Change to Pembrokeshire, showcasing the importance of partnership working in responding to recreational pressures in our National Park.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum plays an integral part in delivering the Marine Code and Outdoor Charter work, as part of their wider role in supporting our collective efforts to provide sustainable coastal solutions. As a National Park Authority, we value their significant contribution to protecting our iconic coastline.”

Marine renewable energy is another of Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum’s priorities, through its Marine Energy Wales (MEW) project, dedicated to establishing Wales as a global trailblazer and realising its energy potential.

As a membership organisation it acts as a single point of contact for the industry, connecting the sector with politicians and key stakeholders. It also delivers education and training in local schools and colleges.

The waters around Wales have some of the best wave, tidal and wind energy resources in Europe, along with many valuable protected habitats. It’s estimated that within the next five years, marine energy could deliver more than £600 million to Wales and create thousands of jobs, particularly within the Floating Offshore Wind industry.

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£1m boost for marine, fisheries and aquaculture industry in Wales

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£1 MILLION of Welsh Government funding is being made available to boost the marine, fisheries and aquaculture industry in Wales, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced.

The support comes from the Welsh Marine and Fisheries Scheme, with the application window for this funding opening today. The scheme aims to ensure environmentally and economically sustainable growth in the sector and help coastal communities prosper into the future.

Those in the industry can apply for funding for a wide range of activities from 11 separate categories.

These include, but are not limited to, funding to increase the potential of aquaculture sites and equipment on vessels aimed at reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency, and professional advice for businesses ranging from marine environment sustainability to business and marketing strategies. Applicants could also apply for funding for projects to carry out research on health safety and wellbeing needs for the sector.

The maximum grant award is £100,000, with the minimum grant award being £500. The application window closes on 10 May and successful applicants will be notified during July.

Applicants must be registered with Rural Payments Wales (RPW) Online, where the application and claims processes can be found. Details of the scheme, including guidance, can be found on the Welsh Government’s website – www.gov.wales/marine-fisheries-grants

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “I am pleased to be able to make £1 million available to support our marine, fisheries and aquaculture industry.

“The Welsh Marine and Fisheries Scheme offers funding for a broad range of actions which can be vital in helping businesses to take advantage of opportunities and grow.

“I encourage everyone with an interest to visit the Welsh Government’s website to learn more about the scheme and apply by the closing date of 10 May.”

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St David’s Day boost: Pembs creamery launches new Welsh milk price

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PEMBROKESHIRE CREAMERY, which is set to begin production this spring, has used St Davids’ Day to launch its new milk price for Welsh milk.

Using the industry-recognised Liquid Standard Litre the company has announced an April milk price of 38.5 pence per litre.

Pembrokeshire Creamery will be the only liquid milk bottling facility in Wales certified to supply Welsh supermarkets. Ultimately this will be local Welsh milk, produced, processed and distributed from this new development.

Eliminating the need for transporting milk to England for processing, Pembrokeshire Creamery significantly reduces food miles, streamlines the supply chain, creates new skilled jobs in Pembrokeshire, and bolsters local farming communities. This efficiency enables Pembrokeshire Creamery to offer producers who have already committed, and those following the project as it develops, a competitive milk price from April 2024.

Mark McQuade, managing director, Pembrokeshire Creamery said: “It seemed fitting, on St David’s Day, to launch an April milk price for Welsh milk which we hope will be sufficiently competitive to attract farmers from across the region to consider us as a potential customer.

“We will be the only BRC Certified facility to offer Welsh milk that is also bottled in Wales enabling us to offer an authentically Welsh milk supply for Welsh supermarket stores.

“This unique selling point gives Pembrokeshire Creamery, and the farmers who work with us, a strong point of difference in meeting the needs of both retailers and consumers who increasingly value locally-sourced produce,” he said.

The development of Pembrokeshire Creamery has been supported by the Welsh Government and the EU RDP-funded Food Business Investment Scheme. Additional funding has been supplied by HSBC.

(Cover Image: Mark Sinclair)

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Indian baker inspired to make Welsh cakes in Mumbai

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A BAKER based in India has been impressing locals after trying her hand at Welsh cakes, finding inspiration in an old family recipe.

Desiree Bradford, who runs the Goodie Bag Co based in Mumbai, has enjoyed baking the much-loved Welsh treats, despite having no idea what they were supposed to taste like beforehand.

Born and raised in Mumbai, she was given an old family recipe by Mitchell Theaker, a Welsh native who recently moved to the country as the Welsh Government’s head of India.

Desiree said: “It definitely made me nervous; trying to recreate something that Mitch has had since childhood, it was a big ask.

“Also, I had no idea what it actually tastes like. I did enjoy the process – learning about it – that it was meant to be a hardy food for the miners, who carried them in their pockets.

“Mitch was very encouraging with his feedback and after a few trials – I hope I can do some justice to the Welsh cakes.”

She’s also created a fusion to celebrate the coming together of the two nations, in addition to the original recipe – an Indian-inspired rose, cardamom and pistachio flavour.

St David’s Day is being celebrated in Mumbai as the Welsh Government announces that 2024 is the year of Wales in India.

Year-long celebrations will bring the two nations together through a series of events, stories and activities which celebrate the two nations of culture and innovation.  

Food is playing a key part in the celebrations – both throughout the year and at the St David’s Day events.

Alongside showcasing popular brands, such as Penderyn whisky and Calon Wen cheese to a global market, Desiree made more than 1,000 Welsh cakes ready for the St David’s Day celebrations in Mumbai.

Desiree, who also loves to ride motorcycles in her spare time, wasn’t actually sure what the cakes were supposed to taste like. She said: “The first time I made Welsh cakes, I could not gauge if it was supposed to taste like a cookie or a pancake or a scone.

“I had to watch lots of videos on dos and don’ts, it does take some time to understand just how much to cook it, so it doesn’t get dry.

“Since then I have been enjoying the Welsh cakes – especially when they are straight off the pan.”

The recipe came from Mitchell’s grandmother, who was from Ynyshir, and he believes she probably got the recipe from her mother.

Mitchell said: “My grandmother lived in Ynyshir, Rhondda all her life.

“Seeing her Welsh cake recipe, being baked in Mumbai with such love for our Saint David’s Day events, well, it’s really touching.

“To us it’s more than just a set of instructions; it’s a piece of our family’s heart and history that Desiree has honoured so beautifully.

“The timeless appeal of genuine, traditional, home-cooked goodness. It’s a beautiful bridge between our two countries.”

Baking Welsh cakes has even inspired her to learn more about our nation, and even attempt to try more Welsh classics.

“I honestly can’t say that I know much about Wales, but I am definitely inspired to visit and curious to try some other Welsh favourites like the Bara Brith.”

For the latest news and updates on Wales in India, follow @WalesInIndia on twitter and Wales in India on LinkedIn.

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