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Pembroke

New funding for Pembroke regeneration scheme welcomed

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Pembrokeshire County Council has been successful in its bid to the UK Government Levelling Up Fund for its regeneration project at South Quay in Pembroke.

This £4.1million LUF award will enable the Council to develop a second phase of its South Quay plans.

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Rachel Moxey, the council’s Head of Economic Development and Regeneration said: “The announcement has given us a welcome opportunity for a progress update on phase 1, and to share our plans for phase 2 of the project,”

As part of its wider regeneration work across Pembrokeshire, the County Council embarked on an ambitious programme earlier this year to redevelop the historic and prominent South Quay site next to Pembroke Castle.

The work involves the restoration and re-use of three dilapidated Grade II listed buildings on the site, as well as enhancing the surrounding environment and improving access between the town centre, castle and the waterfront.

The first phase of work aims to create a new attraction celebrating the town’s legacy as the birthplace of the Tudor dynasty. The second phase will provide a new community hub for social care, continued education and supported employment. Together, the developments will provide a diverse and sustainable mix of new uses in the town.

The first phase of works is taking place at numbers 4, 5 and 6 Castle Terrace (the road between Pembroke Castle and the junction to Main Street).

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The scheme will provide a new Henry Tudor visitor centre, library and café; landscaping of the medieval ‘burgage’ gardens to provide tranquil and restful areas in the historic heart of the town as well as what the council describe as “major improvements to the public realm”.

Steve Jardine, the council’s Regeneration Manager said: “We were under no illusions that this was a very complex scheme, and as is often the case with such projects, a number of challenging issues have arisen as the preparatory works continue.”

Issues have included a roof collapse and clearance of contaminated debris, providing additional support to the existing structure and designing for additional demolition works identified during the enabling stage.

Recent work has included providing a protection system to the vaulted medieval cellars of No.4 Castle Terrace and strengthening the property at basement level, to allow for a safer working area within the front third of the building.

The next stage will attempt to make the building safer, in order to allow further investigation and inspection works to finalise the design of the regeneration scheme. This will include the installation of scaffolding to support the front façade during demolition of some of the walls.

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A revised timeline will see the remaining demolition and re-build completed by the end of August next year, followed immediately by the start of the construction of the new heritage centre, café and library, with completion planned for early 2024.

In common with many other schemes taking place at the current time, Brexit and the unforeseen impact of Covid have created time and financial implications for the project. The Council is nonetheless committed to staying on track to deliver on the overall scheme as an essential element of its strategy to breathe new life into Pembrokeshire’s towns.

Phase 1 has benefited from Welsh Government ‘Transforming Towns’ funding and investment from Pembrokeshire County Council.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “Repurposing and transforming our key town centres is one of the core elements of our economic development strategy. We are committed to regenerating the South Quay site into an attractive, sustainable and thriving development, of which Pembroke and Pembrokeshire will be very proud.”

The second phase of development involves the completion of South Quay’s regeneration scheme and is centred on numbers 7 and 8 Northgate Street.

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It will provide a community hub over three storeys, including a space for day opportunities , space for digital media, art and heritage craft activities, and learning and skills areas to support independent living for people of all ages

It was also feature environmental enhancements, including the restoration of the buildings, a new sunken garden and improvements to the parking area at South Quay, along with improved access between the Henry Tudor visitor centre and the waterfront

The development would enable the consolidation of adult social care in South Pembrokeshire, providing a modern, better-integrated, community focussed and more sustainable, inclusive day opportunities model in the heart of the town, and yielding savings to the public sector through the closure of existing, poorer quality facilities.

It will also support employment opportunities, which will be integrated within the operation of the new facility.

Jason Bennett, Head of Adult Social Care, said: “This innovative project is representative of our ambition to modernise social care, by offering inclusive services in the heart of our communities, helping people and families remain connected to their local area.”

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Cabinet member for Social Care, Cllr Tessa Hodgson said it was ‘fantastic to see this substantial investment in Pembroke’. 

“South Quay is a really innovative scheme designed to benefit all members of the community and is a result of the ambition and drive of Cabinet and the hard work and vision of the regeneration and social care teams at Pembrokeshire County Council,” she said.

Cllr Aaron Carey, County Councillor for Pembroke St Mary South which includes the South Quay site, added: “By introducing an additional offering to the town we can move towards our full potential and offer people, local and visitors alike, reasons to stay in our beautiful town for longer.”

(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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Business

Investment releases Industrial Valve Services’ untapped potential

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South Wales-based Industrial Valve Services (IVS) is eyeing further growth as it enters its fifth decade and celebrates five successful years since being acquired by Amcomri Group.

IVS, whose main site is in Swansea, was given a new lease of life when it was taken over by Amcomri Group which acquires and develops quality British engineering and manufacturing businesses.

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Investment in facilities and staff at the 40-year-old company, including the appointment of managing director Steve Jones, has resulted in significant growth.

IVS has seen strong demand for its valve repair, refurbishment and on-site maintenance services as industrial companies seek to extend the life of their existing equipment and monitor its condition.

Turnover has risen by 150 per cent and headcount has increased with IVS acquiring Reliance Control Systems in 2018 and a state-of-the-art workshop facility in Pembroke in 2021.

“IVS was standing still five years ago, but Amcomri Group recognised its potential and by working closely together we’ve taken some big strides forward,” explained Steve Jones.

“A fresh focus on customers, quality and our technical expertise has helped us to attract new business from across the UK and Europe. We’re now looking to build on this very solid foundation.”

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This transformation has been recognised by IVS’s customers, which range from multi-national companies to SMEs operating in industrial sectors including power, chemical, refining and food processing.

Hugh Whitcomb, CEO of Amcomri Group, said: “IVS is a fantastic company and we’re proud of its achievements over the past five years.

“The range of services IVS provides is increasingly relevant as our customers look to maximise both the life and returns of their industrial assets and we look forward to supporting its continuing expansion.”

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Dyfed Powys Police

Manslaughter conviction for Pembrokeshire man who attacked friend in his own home

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A man who inflicted fatal injuries on his friend during a violent attack in his victim’s own home has been convicted of manslaughter following a trial at Swansea Crown Court.

Nathaniel Nuttall, aged 32, of Tenby Court in Monkton, Pembroke, attacked neighbour and friend Lee Thomas in his maisonette – punching him to the floor before stamping on his head ‘several times’ on 13 October 2021.

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Nuttall, who lived above his victim, then called for an ambulance.

During the call, when asked if the patient was breathing, Nuttall replied: “He’s still breathing yeah, no he’s unconscious but he’s still breathing.”

Nuttall was asked what happened, to which he has responded: “Basically he started on me and I just punched him a few times in the face and stamped on his face several times”.

Following the call, the ambulance service contacted Dyfed-Powys Police, whose officers were first on the scene and found Mr Thomas unconscious in the living floor room, laying in a significant amount of blood.

His face was swollen and his breathing laboured. Paramedics arrived soon after and began working to save him.

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At this point, PC Cranmer asked Nuttall what had happened, and he replied: “I fing did it”. The officer then asked what had gone on and Nuttall said: “I don’t know, he was just like this stupid little boy and all this and I just went like pffft, f off out my face,” while miming a punching action.

Mr Thomas was conveyed to the Intensive Care Unit, University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff by the Wales Air Ambulance with serious head injuries. He subsequently died on the 10th November 2021 having never regained consciousness.

During a police interview, Nuttall provided a prepared statement and initially answered “no comment”, before stating that Mr Thomas had slapped him across the face, which Nuttall said was why he “punched him to the face a few times”, causing him to fall down.

Nuttall claimed he then kicked and stamped on Mr Thomas’ face approximately five times while he was laying on the floor.

When it was put to him, Nuttall accepted his force was excessive and not self-defence.

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Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police established that Mr Thomas had a number of underlying health concerns, had limited mobility, often requiring a walking stick to get around, with friends and family saying he was too weak to get into a fight, so would not have started one.

Nuttall was fully aware of Mr Thomas’ deteriorating health and claimed to be an ‘unofficial carer’.

The jury at Swansea Crown Court today returned a verdict of guilty for manslaughter after being unable to return a verdict for murder following a five-day trial.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Estelle Hopkin-Davies said: “Nuttall tried to argue self-defence but the level of injuries inflicted on his victim, whose head had been stamped on multiple times as he lay defenceless on his living room floor, just didn’t match his claims.

“This was a serious and prolonged attack that resulted in a 41-year-old man’s death.

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“What makes this case particularly upsetting is that Nuttall was fully aware of his friend’s underlying health and mobility problems but still went on to viciously assault him.

“We’re pleased to have secured this conviction, which we hope will give some closure to Mr Thomas’ loved ones.

“They have gone through an incredibly difficult time but have done so with dignity, which I commend.

“I would also like to thank my colleagues at Dyfed-Powys Police and the Crown Prosecution Service who have worked incredibly hard to secure this convection.”

Nuttall will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, 6 May.

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(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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Education

Planning permission granted for new Pembroke Welsh language primary school

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Pembrokeshire County Council’s Planning Committee has approved an application to build a new Welsh medium primary school in Pembroke.

The council say the school, named Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro, will provide Welsh-language education for 210 pupils aged 5-11 along with a 30-place nursery provision and a Cylch Meithrin for children under the age of three.

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It is planned for the school to open in September 2023 and it will be located on the site of the old Pembroke School at Bush Hill, near Henry Tudor School.

Subject to final funding approvals from Welsh Government, construction on the site would commence in May 2022.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Guy Woodham, said he was delighted the project had received planning permission.

“We’re really excited that this project is progressing and has been granted planning approval,” he said. “It’s great news for Pembroke and surrounding area, and will go a long way towards expanding Welsh language education locally.”

And he said the Council was proud of the achievements made to date in mid and south Pembrokeshire.

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“Having recognised the appetite for Welsh-language education, we opened Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby in 2016 and Ysgol Caer Elen in Haverfordwest in 2018 as a seedling 3-16 school, thereby offering additional secondary provision in Pembrokeshire,” he said.

“In 2023 we hope to open Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro, replacing the dual stream provision at Ysgol Gelli Aur.

“Furthermore, Ysgol Croesgoch is now providing Welsh medium provision and both Ysgol Wdig and Ysgol Ger y Llan in Letterston have become Welsh medium schools.”

Artist’s impression of the new Ysgol Bro Penfro (Image: Pembrokeshire Council)

Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for Environment and the Welsh Language, echoed Cllr Woodham’s comments in relation to the achievements made to date with regard to Welsh medium education.

“Children educated in Welsh at primary school have a wonderful life skill – the ability to communicate in two languages – as well as the enjoyment of a whole world of Welsh-language culture and great career opportunities when they’re older,” he said.

“It’s a great gift and I’m delighted at the progress being made.”

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Cllr Aaron Carey, Head of the Temporary Governing Body for Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Penfro, said: “I am very pleased that this important milestone has been reached in developing the school. A lot of work has already been put in by officers from PCC and the volunteers of the temporary governing body and I would like to extend my thanks to them all.”

(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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