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Haverfordwest

Work begins on £48.7m Haverfordwest High VC School

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Construction has officially begun on Pembrokeshire County Council’s biggest construction project to date.

A ‘Turf-Cutting’ ceremony was held on Thursday 26th November, at the construction site for the new Haverfordwest High VC School in Prendergast.

Held to mark the formal start of construction works, the traditional ceremony is thought to bring luck to the £48.7m project, which is being funded jointly by Pembrokeshire County Council and the Welsh Government as part of the 21st Century Schools & Colleges Programme.

The new school building, on the former Sir Thomas Picton School site, is due for completion in the summer of 2022.

The new-build will accommodate 1500 pupils aged 11-16 and 250 sixth form pupils.

Cllr Guy Woodham, Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Today is a landmark in the development of Haverfordwest High VC School.

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“It is a timely reminder that through the 21st Century Schools & Colleges Programme with Welsh Government we are investing in the future of our learners and our community.

“All our learners deserve the best provision we can provide with the £48.7m investment. I am grateful that we have been able to keep this significant project on track during the pandemic. We look forward to welcoming learners on to the new school site in September 2022.”

New sports facilities at the school will include an eight-court sports hall, a full-size floodlit 3G pitch, and two multi-use games areas. All will be available for community use outside school hours.

The existing athletics track, all-weather pitch and grass pitches will be retained.

Most traffic, including school buses, will enter the site via a new access road currently being built off the A40, which will lead directly to a coach parking zone and a new car park for staff and visitors.

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Rob Williams, Area Director for contractors Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are delighted to have begun work on the main building for the new Haverfordwest High VC School, an ambitious project which will deliver a modern learning campus and exceptional sports facilities to the local community.

“Despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have worked hard to bring the project to site safely and the completion date remains the same; ensuring that demand for school-places within the area can be met without delay.

“We are grateful to Pembrokeshire County Council and all of our project partners for helping us to reach this exciting milestone, and look forward to seeing the finished building.”

Haverfordwest High VC School Chair of Governors, Paul Lucas, added: “From the plans provided, this promises to be an imposing example of educational building excellence which accords with up to date environmental and planning requirements.

“It is now up to the Governors, Head Teacher and staff to turn these facilities and opportunities into a first class educational learning area of distinction.

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“Our thanks go to Morgan Sindall and their partners for the tremendous thought put into the project so far, and we must not forget the other interested parties – the Head, staff and of course the school council of pupils who have all put long hours into shaping our educational future in Haverfordwest.

“Thanks also go to Pembrokeshire County Council and the Education Department – as the project client – for listening to us and providing for our needs so that we can show what we really can do in this school of the future.

“We simply cannot wait to move in and are delighted that despite the poor hand of cards 2020 has dealt us, the project remains on track. Well done to all.”


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Art

National Gallery masterpiece visits Haverfordwest

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The Riverside Library, Gallery and Visitor Information in Haverfordwest is welcoming a very special exhibition this spring, thanks to the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour, sponsored by Christie’s.

Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study by Edgar Degas will form the centrepiece in an exhibition drawn from the National Welsh Portrait Collection at The National Library of Wales, which will be held at the Riverside Gallery, Haverfordwest.

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The exhibition will contextualise the painting through an exploration of the female form in art, and analyse the theory of the male gaze in portraits through the eyes of both female and male artists such as Seren Morgan Jones and Sir Kyffin Williams.

The exhibition will be open from 14 May – 3 September 2022 and will run alongside the current exhibition Pembrokeshire: Past & Present.

Mike Cavanagh, Head of Cultural, Leisure, Tourism and Registration Services for Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity finally to be part of the Masterpiece Tour after the pandemic forced us to put our plans on hold. The arrival of the Degas will have a huge impact on the community and the county’s many visitors, and will inspire, illuminate and raise ambition within the county.”

Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian at the National Library of Wales added: “It is wonderful to be able to work with Pembrokeshire County Council and the National Gallery to bring the ‘Masterpiece Tour’ to this region of Wales which gives the residents of Pembrokeshire and those visiting the area the opportunity to see the Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study by Edgar Degas.”

An exciting series of events and activities are being planned to support the exhibition, such as a special talk about the masterpiece painting by one of the National Gallery’s curators.

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Lead image: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas. Helene Rouart in her Father’s Study. (Image: The National Gallery, London)

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Haverfordwest

Are bungalows making a comeback? National housebuilder adds 3 single storey homes to Haverfordwest development

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Bungalows may be seen as housing for older people, but they’re a popular choice across a wide spectrum of house buyers according to Persimmon Homes – and demand is growing.

Persimmon is currently working on the second phase of its Merlins Lane scheme on Scarrowscant Lane in Haverfordwest, with 91 homes being built to take the overall total to 170.

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The national housebuilder has taken the unusual step of building bungalows at Merlins Lane as it believes there is growing demand for one-storey living.

Sharon Bouhali, Sales Director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “When people talk about bungalows they tend to think of older people as there is obviously the benefit of having no stairs to climb.

“But, actually, bungalows are a popular option for a variety of reasons, not least the flexible space they offer as they tend to have a bigger footprint than a tradition two-storey house.

“Bungalows can also be convenient for young families as parents don’t have to worry about their children falling down stairs.

“Maintenance is also easier as there are no high windows to clean and it’s easier to access the guttering and roof.

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“Perhaps most pertinently in the current climate, bungalows are more eco-friendly as they use less energy to heat, producing significant cost savings.”

Persimmon is building three Madison style properties at Merlins Lane, a versatile bungalow featuring a front-aspect living room leading into the kitchen, which has access to the well-sized garden.

There are two double bedrooms, a spacious bathroom with a bath and a separate shower, and two handy storage cupboards.

Work started at Merlins Lane in mid-2020 and has proved extremely popular.

(Lead image: Persimmon Homes)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Duo jailed for assaulting and robbing man in terrifying attack

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A man and a woman have been jailed for assaulting and robbing a vulnerable man at a railway station.

Rory Barnes, aged 23, of Ash Grove, Neyland, Milford Haven, and Hayley Talman, aged 30, of St Davids Close, Hubberston, Milford Haven, approached their victim at Haverfordwest Train Station at around 9pm on Sunday, 16 January.

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Talman first asked the man, who is disabled, if he knew anyone who did drugs, before Barnes got up close and invaded his personal space.

The victim moved away but was followed by Barnes a number of times, before he grabbed hold of the victim and told him he must ‘do flake’ because of the jacket he was wearing.

The victim once again walked away, this time to the front of the train station, however, Barnes stayed with him, asking for personal details such as name and address.

The victim once again moved away and went back onto the platform. Barnes again followed and sat down next to him and asked for a cigarette.

The victim then got up and walked to the front of the train station, with Talman and Barnes following him.

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Barnes then attacked the man, throwing him to the floor before getting on top of him and punching him twice to the head, before placing his hands into his coat pocket and removing a pouch of tobacco.

The victim then managed to run away towards the town centre, however, Barnes has chased after him.

He once again threw the man to the floor, shouting and swearing at him to give him everything he had.

Barnes has then punched him at another four or five times to the head area, and while he was on the floor, Barnes and Talman have gone through his pockets, with Barnes removing a debit card.

Barnes has then stated that he had a knife. He was searching his own pockets as if he was looking for something, with Talman saying the victim needed to listen as Barnes had a knife.

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Barnes has then asked Talman for the knife before telling the victim that if he reports the matter to police then he will find him and stab him.

At this point the victim was able to run away from the area.

Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police attended and promptly arrested Barnes and Talman, before launching a thorough investigation.

Senior Investigating Officer DS Tanya Grey said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for a vulnerable victim. Barnes and Talman subjected him to threats and intimidation before launching a violent attack.

“When the victim finally managed to get away from them he was running, fearing for his life as they had threatened him with a knife.

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“I would like to commend him for his bravery throughout the investigation.

“We’re pleased with the sentences handed to Barnes and Talman and hope this offers some solace to the victim.

“I would also like to commend our officers, from the initial response officers to the investigating team. Their professionalism helped ensure Barnes and Talman were handed these sentences.”

Barnes was sentenced to four years and nine months imprisonment, as well as a further 18 months to run consecutively for an incident in Cardiff. Talman was sentenced to three years and two months.

Both appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, 11th March 2022, having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing.

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(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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