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Three Welsh frims selected for ORE Catapult’s floating offshore programme

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LEDWOOD MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, Mainstay Marine Solutions and CELSA Steel UK have been named as the three Welsh companies selected to take part in the first Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR) programme in Wales.

F4OR Wales will be delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, in partnership with Floventis Energy, the developer of Llŷr 1 and 2 in the Celtic Sea and is specifically designed to support local companies bidding for work in the floating offshore wind industry.

Davood Sabaei, F4OR project manager at ORE Catapult, told The Herald: “After a huge response to our call for Welsh companies, we are excited to announce the three excellent companies chosen for F4OR Wales that are leading the way in becoming part of a world-class supply chain. This is the first time that our F4OR programme has been tailored exclusively for the floating wind market, and F4OR Wales has been designed to give businesses the skills and expertise to deliver success in this rapidly growing sector.”

Cardiff-based CELSA is Europe’s leading producer of circular and low-emission steel, and it recycles ferrous scrap to produce steel in electric arc furnaces, using energy-efficient technology. F4OR will give CELSA the opportunity to develop expertise in the renewable energy sector and is now preparing to supply materials, fabrication, and installation services as part of the floating offshore wind supply chain.

Mainstay Marine Solutions is based in Pembroke Dock and has a long legacy of boat building, engineering, and marine services. Their facilities include workshops, new build halls, a wet basin, five slipways, and a 160t hoist, and their 65-strong team includes naval architects, engineers, welders, fabricators, fitters and painters.

Also based in Pembroke Dock, Ledwood Mechanical Engineering employs 250 and provides mechanical and fabrication services to the energy and petrochemical sectors. Having been granted Fit for Nuclear status by the Nuclear AMRC, Ledwood is currently working on the UK’s nuclear new build programme including equipment installation, delivery of stainless steelwork ducting and the erection of carbon steelwork.

Nick Revell, Managing Director of Ledwood Mechanical Engineering, added: “It’s an honour to have been selected for F4OR Wales, alongside Mainstay and CELSA, and we look forward to preparing our business for the emerging floating offshore wind industry. We’ve seen first-hand the benefit that industry programmes can have, as Fit For Nuclear helped us prepare to bid for and win work in the nuclear supply chain; benchmarking our performance against the standards demanded by the nuclear industry’s top tiers and driving business improvements through a tailored action plan.

“Our heritage means that we have a unique understanding of the opportunities for renewable energy in South West Wales and we’re keen to use our transferable skills and capabilities to support projects like Llŷr 1 and 2 to generate long-term sustainable employment locally.”

Cian Conroy, Head of Project Development UK & Ireland for Floventis Energy, told The Herald: “Test and demonstration projects like Llŷr 1 and 2 are what will build a floating offshore wind industry in Wales, so it is critical that we work with the supply chain to maximise the opportunity.

“We’re delighted that so many great companies took the time to apply for the programme and look forward to working with Ledwood, Celsa and Mainstay Marine on the F4OR programme over the coming months to prepare them for forthcoming opportunities in the Celtic Sea and beyond.”

Plans for future F4OR Wales cohorts are already in the pipeline and further details will be announced in the coming months.

F4OR is a 12-18 month programme, designed alongside industry experts, and it has experienced widespread success across the UK since it started in 2019. To date, five F4OR regional programmes have been delivered in the North East of Scotland, North East of England, East Anglia and Suffolk, alongside national programmes run across Scotland and UK-wide. Over 110 companies have been supported, with participants experiencing an average 28% increase in turnover and many securing a wide range of new contracts.

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Business

Plans for new Pembrokeshire ‘staycation’ dog daycare kennel

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A RESUBMITTED scheme for a twice-refused south Pembrokeshire dog boarding and day care centre, later dismissed on appeal, has been lodged with county planners.

Michelle Surname Bramwell, of Little Langdon, near Kilgetty, has resubmitted re-sited plans for a commercial dog boarding and day care centre with upgrade to access, parking and ecological enhancements at Little Langdon following the previously-refused application and appeal.

Kilgetty-Begelly Community Council support the application but asked for conditions relating to the access and increase in traffic at times be considered.

A supporting statement by agent Hayston Developments & Planning Ltd said: “Two previous applications to establish such a facility have recently been refused by the council with the latter application having also been dismissed at appeal in October 2023.

“In dismissing the appeal, although the Inspector concluded that such a business in this location could be acceptable in principle, the Inspector expressed concerns over the scale, siting and visual impact of the proposed development and how possible outdoor noise disturbance from associated activities could be satisfactorily controlled, such as through mitigation measures.

“This further application seeks to fully address the concerns expressed by both the council and the appeal Inspector. Therefore, significant revisions have been made to the layout and design details of the proposed development.”

Key changes include re-siting the development away from the lane, changes to the appearance, a reduction in size, and planting and landscaping, said Hayston.

It added: “One of the key benefits of such a proposal, as fully acknowledged by the appeal Inspector, was that with the proximity of several local visitor attractions it would provide a useful service to their customers, amongst other clients.

“As part of the appeal application, it was contended that with staycation on the rise and the increase in pet ownership, boarding kennels and day care services are in demand.

“The proposal would allow tourists to visit, knowing their dogs can board within a reasonable distance of their holiday accommodation. It would allow tourists to visit nearby attractions which quite often have no-pets policies, such as Oakwood, Manor Wildlife Park, the Dinosaur Park, Heatherton and Folly Farm.

“Further, there is a B & B facility at Langdon Farm Guest House located a short distance to the south of the application property which has a no pet policy.

“In our view, the establishment of this boarding kennels and day care facility would only benefit the economy of the local area.”

Hayston said that support for the application had been received from local holiday businesses including Celtic Holiday Parks, Reynalton; Hill Park Caravans, Pentlepoir; Stone Pitt Holiday Park, Begelly; and Langdon Guest house nearby.

The application will be considered by county planners at a later date.

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Business

Milford Waterfront major events partnership with Round Table

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FOLLOWING on from its successful partnership in 2023, Milford Waterfront is supporting Milford Haven Round Table as its Major Events Partner this year.

The partnership means that the group of local volunteers will be supported in their calendar of events throughout the year, which will enable them to raise funds for local good causes, as well as creating fantastic events for visitors and the local community to enjoy.

Upcoming events this year include:

  • The Big Beer Festival – Saturday 25th May
  • Milford Haven Carnival – Saturday 6th July
  • Fireworks Extravaganza Event – Tuesday 5th November

Speaking about the partnership, Natalie Hunt, Destination Manager at Milford Waterfront said: “We are very pleased to be continuing our strong partnership with the Milford Haven Round Table.

“The events they arrange for Milford Haven are always showstoppers that bring so much fun to the area. We are sure everyone will join us in our excitement to bring them back this year!”

Rob Allen, Chair of the Milford Haven Round Table added: “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Milford Waterfront for their unwavering support of Milford Haven Round Table. Their commitment to community involvement enriches our events and fosters stronger connections within Milford Haven.

“We eagerly anticipate collaborating with them on future endeavors to further enhance our community together.”

Former volunteers and family members of those involved in past years are especially welcomed. We look forward to seeing you.

See the website www.pdht.org also Facebook and X for further details.

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Business

Civil Aviation Authority highlights importance of aerospace industry in Wales

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CUTTING-EDGE technology, aircraft maintenance advancements, and pioneering aircraft recycling initiatives were seen by the UK Civil Aviation Authority as part of its engagement in Wales this week.

The visit by the regulator’s Chair Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief Executive Rob Bishton, and the UK Civil Aviation Authority Board highlights the pivotal role Wales plays in shaping the future of air transport safety and sustainable operations.

GE Aerospace, British Airways Maintenance, Wales Air Ambulance, and ecube were all visited as part of the two-day engagement.

The visit coincided with a Civil Aviation Authority Board meeting held in Cardiff on Wednesday, and forms part of the regulator’s commitment to strengthening ties with its stakeholders across the UK’s aviation and aerospace industry.

Sir Stephen Hillier, Chair of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

“The UK’s aerospace industry is always evolving, and the industry in Wales plays an integral role in this evolution. As the regulator, it is vital that we keep pace with the rapidly changing technologies and needs of consumers in order to support our mission of protecting people and enabling aerospace.

“Our outreach work in Wales and across the UK is more important than ever, and we continue to engage with all stakeholders across the country to make aviation safer, greener, and better for passengers and the public, both home and abroad.”

Sir Stephen, Rob Bishton, and Board members toured the engine test facility at the GE Aerospace site, which has been maintaining and overhauling Boeing and Airbus aircraft engines for more than 80 years.

The Civil Aviation Authority delegation also saw how the British Airways outfitter British Airways Maintenance engineering team are overhauling and upgrading their airline’s 777 and 787 aircraft.

In addition, the Board saw the largest air ambulance operation in the UK, Wales Air Ambulance, and ecube, a global aircraft storage, disassembly, and recycling and upcycling company, visited as part of the Civil Aviation Authority’s commitment to a greener future in aviation.

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