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Hutchinson Thomas appoints first non-solicitor partners

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Hutchinson Thomas Solicitors, the full-service law firm with offices in Neath and Swansea, has promoted three members of its team to partner – two of which become the first non-solicitor fee earner partners in the firm’s history.

The three new partners are Sandra Pickering – who works in the firm’s probate department – Ros Street, and Christopher Edwards – who both work in the firm’s property department.

The internal promotion of Chartered Legal Executives Sandra Pickering and Ros Street sees a change to the hitherto traditional structure of the firm, by including, for the first time, staff who hold positions other than that of solicitor as partners.

The recent appointments mean that Hutchinson Thomas now consists of 16 partners and employs 61 staff.

Working within Hutchinson Thomas’ probate department, Sandra Pickering is a qualified Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives, and her areas of expertise are probate, wills, and lasting powers of attorney. Her promotion to partner comes as she celebrates 20 years with the firm this year.

New partner at Hutchinson Thomas, Sandra Pickering, said: “During my time at Hutchinson Thomas, the firm has always enabled me to keep up to date with the changes affecting the law in my area of practice by facilitating the necessary training. It’s also great to be able to share knowledge and experience as a team, and as colleagues we often discuss difficult cases together, in order to get the best outcomes for our clients.”

The other non-solicitor fee earner to be appointed partner at Hutchinson Thomas, chartered legal executive, Ros Street, has been with the firm for 25 years.

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Starting as a legal secretary when she first joined, Street transferred to the position of legal executive, and now works within its property department. Her specialist area is that of residential conveyancing.

Recently appointed partner at Hutchinson Thomas, Ros Street, added: “It is a huge step forward for Hutchinson Thomas to appoint its first non-solicitor fee earners as partners. I am immensely proud of what I have achieved and grateful that I work for a firm that has stood behind me at every step of the way.”

The third staff member to be made partner at Hutchinson Thomas is solicitor, Christopher Edwards, who has been at the firm since 2014. Working within the firm’s property department, Edwards is a specialist in residential conveyancing, commercial property, leasehold, and freehold transactions. His specialities also include acting for developers, as well as some of the more unusual areas of property law, such as claims for adverse possession of land.

Newly promoted partner at Hutchinson Thomas, Christopher Edwards, said: “I am delighted to become a partner at Hutchinson Thomas. Being able to bring my own ideas and experience and energy to the firm is something I am very much looking forward to in my new role. I hope I will be able to add something positive to an already well established and well-run legal practice.”    

Lead image: From left: New partners at Hutchinson Thomas – Sandra Pickering, Ros Street and Christopher Edwards

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Ammanford

Jenkins family set to grow Capel Hendre business as the UK’s leading manufacturer of chimney cowls and flue systems

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Midtec, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of chimney cowls and flue systems has completed the construction of 2500 square feet of additional manufacturing space at Capel Hendre Industrial Estate near Ammanford, using a £220,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales.

Formed in 2003 by Managing Director, Trefor Jenkins, Midtec first benefitted from investment from the Development Bank in 2005.

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They have since had several rounds of funding from the Development Bank to support growth plans and the next generation is looking to the future with the new additional space being used to house a state of the art ENSIS laser cutting machine, supplied by Amada.

Trefor said: “The ongoing support of the Development Bank means that we’ve been able to grow the business, drive efficiencies and invest in new market opportunities. We’ve also introduced new products including the MidCat, an innovative solution for reducing the pollution created by wood burning stoves and the only one of its kind in the UK.”

“Our latest investment in our technology means that we can now offer a laser cutting service that will help to improve our quality and production processes and save time on the turnaround of customer orders. We hope that this will play an important part in our future growth. Indeed, our turnover is on target to exceed £2 million this year and I’m delighted that my son Thomas and daughter Hannah are already playing a vital role in the business as we focus on our long-term sustainability.”

Midtec make chimney cowls and flue systems at their Capel Hendre manufacturing base
Midtec make chimney cowls and flue systems at their Capel Hendre manufacturing base

Richard Easton, a Portfolio Executive with the Development Bank, said: “Midtec is a family run and owned business that is known for its high quality and excellent customer service. With our continued support, Trefor, Thomas, Hannah and the team have created a modern manufacturing facility that has a really exciting future ahead.”

The loan came from the £204 million Wales Business Fund which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Government. Loans, mezzanine finance, and equity investments are available for deals between £50,000 and £2 million with terms ranging from one to seven years for small and medium-sized businesses (those with fewer than 250 employees) based in Wales, or willing to relocate to Wales.

Construction company TRJ of Ammanford carried out the building work, while Jamie Reynolds of Cennen Solutions has also been providing strategic support.

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Award-winning Pembrokeshire pub celebrates ultrafast broadband boost

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An award-winning pub in the heart of Pembrokeshire has been supplied with ultrafast fibre broadband in a move to boost connectivity in the area.

In 2010, Simon Vickers and Sian Mathias took over 300-year-old award-winning pub, The Griffin, moving from the city to their home roots with their two children for a lifestyle change. Accidental Chef, Simon, was also recently named Pub Chef of the Year 2021.

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The couple celebrated their new broadband connection last Friday (15th July), which has been supplied courtesy of Broadway Broadband.

They were joined by Pembrokeshire Council members Patrick Hannon and Michael Odlin as well as County Councillor Paul Miller, and members of the Broadway Broadband team.

Broadway Broadband has pledged to connect all 224 properties in Dale Village with ultrafast fibre broadband, in their aim to tackle the digital divide currently affecting remote, hard-to-reach areas of Wales.

The area surrounding The Griffin Inn had previously grappled with poor download speeds of around 5-10Mbps, with Superfast and Ultrafast packages completely unavailable. The package supplied by Broadway offers speeds of 100 Mbps for only £19.99 per month.

The new connection hopes to provide a boost for businesses and residents in the local area, who rely so heavily on the internet for day-to-day activity.

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Pembrokeshire Council members Patrick Hannon and Michael Odlin as well as County Councillor Paul Miller, and members of the Broadway Broadband team.

Simon Vickers/Sian Mathias, co-owner of The Griffin Inn, said: “We are over the moon to have now been connected by Broadway to fast broadband! This will bring much needed stability and speed to The Griffin Inn which relies on digital connectivity for almost all aspects of its daily running.

“On top of that, Dale Village is a popular tourist destination for families and water sport enthusiasts, so we hope our broadband upgrade will draw in more tourists looking for a ‘staycation’ holiday.”

Reece Simmons, Wales Regional Manager, Broadway Partners, said: “It has been great to witness first-hand the positive impact superfast, reliable broadband can have on local communities who previously have been disadvantaged by frustratingly slow internet speeds.

“The first connection in Dale Village at The Griffin Inn is a welcome first step in our goal to connect all the properties in the area with affordable, highspeed, reliable broadband and begin to bridge this connectivity gap we see across many rural areas”.

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Aldi retains title of ‘UK’s cheapest supermarket’

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As Brits continue to look for ways to cut household costs, consumer group Which? has yet again named Aldi as the cheapest UK supermarket.

With savings of £12.62 compared to the average Big Four basket, Aldi says its shoppers can be confident they’re getting the best deal.

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Which? conducted its monthly Cheapest Supermarket price comparison and looked at the cost of a basket of 47 items, including groceries and household essentials, with Aldi coming in cheapest at just £74.23.

The same shopping cost a whopping £16.91 more at Morrisons and £12.54 more at Tesco.

The independent consumer group’s research also found Aldi to be a massive £25.23 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket, Waitrose, for an equivalent basket of items.

The full results of the research are as follows:

RankRetailerAverage £
1Aldi74.23
2Lidl75.61
3Asda83.22
4Sainsbury’s86.27
5Tesco86.77
6Morrisons91.14
7Ocado95.33
8Waitrose99.46

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi, said: “We know that across the nation many families are finding things tough due to the cost of living crisis. At Aldi, we’re determined to help by keeping costs low and quality high for our customers. We’re thrilled to yet again be named the UK’s cheapest supermarket.”

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(Lead image: Aldi)

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