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Port of Milford Haven purchases St Brides Spa Hotel in Saundersfoot

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THE PORT of Milford Haven has today (May 28) announced that it has completed on the purchase of St Brides Spa Hotel, in Saundersfoot – one of Pembrokeshire’s most prestige hotels. 

The investment includes a management agreement with The Celtic Collection to manage and operate the hotel on the Port’s behalf.  Together with Ty Hotel Milford Waterfront, this adds another quality offering to the Port’s hospitality and tourism portfolio and strengthens the range of profitable investments linked to its diversification strategy. 

For over ten years, the Port has been actively pursuing a strategic objective to reduce its dependency on the oil and gas sector and seek out additional revenue streams that provide long term, stable, financial resilience for the business. 

Tom Sawyer, Chief Executive at the Port of Milford Haven, said: “We are proud to, once again, be partnering with The Celtic Collection to deliver another high-quality hospitality and tourism offer in Pembrokeshire. This latest investment in St Brides Spa Hotel allows us, through our partnership, to promote the fantastic coastal community of Saundersfoot and support Visit Pembrokeshire’s ambition for the county to become a top 5 UK destination choice.”

“Historically, we have been highly dependent on the oil and gas sector, a commodities market that is prone to fluctuation and outside of our control.  But over the last decade, though a diversification strategy focused on developing and building our business based upon high levels of expertise and excellent facilities, we have successfully created new opportunities in port services, renewables and engineering at Pembroke Port, and hospitality and tourism at Milford Waterfront.

“The continuing success and growth of St Brides Spa Hotel brings economic, social and cultural benefits to the whole of Pembrokeshire whilst at the same time strengthening the Port’s financial resilience.  This is exactly what our Trust Port status is about: investing profits for the benefit of future generations.

“This investment in no way undermines our ability to invest in our core purpose to operate the UK’s largest energy port safely, effectively and responsibly, which will always remain our primary focus.”

The transition to the new ownership and management will be seamless with no detrimental impact on guests and the jobs of all current St Brides team members safeguarded.

The Celtic Collection Chief Executive Ian Edwards said: “We are excited to be taking on the management of St Brides Spa Hotel and expanding our partnership with the Port of Milford Haven to deliver more exceptional hospitality in Pembrokeshire. St Brides is a very successful business that has established itself as a spa destination of real prestige in a wonderful location. We look forward to working with the hotel’s talented and experienced team of staff and welcoming them into the Celtic Collection family as we seek to build on this strong platform and grow the business further.

“We know all about the beauty and the draw of Pembrokeshire to visitors from all over the world from our experience of the last two years operating and growing the Tŷ Hotel Milford Waterfront. This is a fantastic opportunity to immerse ourselves further in the Pembrokeshire community, working closely with local suppliers and businesses, and delivering positive impacts for the local economy.”

The Port of Milford Haven worked with Hugh James for legal support during the purchase. Gerallt Jones, Partner and Head of the Corporate/Commercial team, Hugh James commented: “We’re thrilled to collaborate again with The Port of Milford Haven to support further investment in the hospitality and tourism sector in South Wales. After supporting the Port on its first hotel investment at Milford Waterfront, we have no doubt that the acquisition of St Brides Spa Hotel, with its iconic infinity pool known around the world, will be equally as successful. We’re excited to see the diversification of the Port and the additional benefits its partnership with The Celtic Collection will bring to this stunning coastal area.”

Outgoing owners Andrew and Lindsey Evans, who have operated St Brides Spa Hotel for the past 24 years, said: “We would like to thank the fantastic team at St Brides for their dedicated service and commitment to making the hotel such an amazing place to stay. We would also like to thank our loyal guests and clients, and all the local businesses we have partnered with to benefit the community and promote Saundersfoot and Pembrokeshire as an outstanding tourist destination. We know that we leave our team, our guests and our partners in very good hands with the Port of Milford Haven and The Celtic Collection and we wish them every success with the continued growth of the business.”

St Brides becomes the eighth hotel in The Celtic Collection portfolio with a ninth to open at Tŷ Hotel Newport in June.

Is the purchase of a hotel in south Pembrokeshire within the remit of what the Port of Milford Haven should be doing? – The Herald explains.

The Milford Haven Port Authority (MHPA) operates as a Trust Port, which means it reinvests all profits back into the port and its related activities. The statutory duties of MHPA, as outlined in the Milford Haven Port Authority Act 2002, include regulating and maintaining navigation, conserving natural beauty, and providing port and harbor services.

While the Acts give MHPA powers to manage and develop the port and its surrounding areas, they do not explicitly mention investments such as purchasing property far from the port area. However, as a commercial entity, MHPA might consider investments that provide economic returns to support its operations and development projects. Therefore, buying a hotel in Saundersfoot could be seen as a strategic investment if it aligns with their broader goals of supporting regional economic growth and sustainability​

Business

First Cymru bus workers secure 11.6% pay increase

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UNITE, the UK’s leading union, has secured an inflation busting 11.6 per cent pay increase for bus drivers employed by First Cymru.

The 300 plus drivers operate buses in South and West Wales working from depots in Swansea, Bridgend, Ammanford, Port Talbot, Carmarthen and Haverfordwest.

The pay deal, which was hammered out through long and detailed negotiations, will see pay increase by 11.6 per cent over a six month period. In addition, there will also be improvements in overtime and weekend rates.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an excellent result and demonstrates the power of having Unite in your corner to improve jobs, pay and conditions.”

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Sarah Davies said: “Unite will be looking to build on this significant pay deal in future negotiations.

“Our members at First Cymru recognise the importance of being represented by Unite and all workers looking for a better deal should join Unite and get their colleagues to join too.”

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Crime

Police appeal for information following assault at railway station

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OFFICERS in Pembrokeshire are investigating a report of an assault on a woman that happened outside Haverfordwest Railway Station at approximately 8:10pm on Monday (Jun 17).

One man, aged 49, was arrested on suspicion of common assault and remains in police custody.

Did you witness the assault or have any information that could help officers with their investigation? If so, get in touch:

🖥️ | https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline

📧 | [email protected]

💬 | Direct message us on social media

📞 | 101

Quote ref: 24*537044

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News

Busy weekend for the rescue team at HM Coastguard Dale

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HM Coastguard Dale said they were paged at 05.35 HRS to assist police in the Milford Haven area on Sunday (Jun 16).

Police received a call at 5am, raising concern for the welfare of an individual.

The individual is now safe they said.

Angle Lifeboat RNLI also attended the incident

Then at 10.13 HRS the team were called on again after a vessel reported a person face down on a cliff near Wooltack point. The team made their way to the scene and rendezvous with NCI Wooltack Point. It was quickly ascertained that this was a false call with good intentions. Team then stood down.

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