Fourth generation jeweller Paul Howells has completed the refurbishment of his 155-year-old family business, bringing an adjoining retail outlet back to life and safeguarding four jobs in the market town of Haverfordwest.
Established in 1866 by Paul’s great-grandfather, Howells Jewellers occupies a prime position on Quay Street in Haverfordwest.
A six-figure loan from the Development Bank of Wales and funding from Pembrokeshire County Council’s Houses into Homes Empty Property Scheme, designed to bring empty properties back in to use, has enabled the refurbishment of the double fronted shop and creation of four new apartments.
Offering views of the river, each of the two-bedroom apartments are to be rented to local people looking for quality accommodation in Haverfordwest.
Paul Howells said: “We’re really proud of our family business and enjoy the job that we do; helping our customers to choose the perfect jewellery. However, our building was in a bad state of repair and needed refurbishing in-order to secure the long-term success of the business and give the property a new lease of life. The funding from the Development Bank and Pembrokeshire Council has enabled us to restore the building with a smart new shop-front and four new apartments, safeguarding our future and helping the town to prosper.”
Richard Easton is a portfolio executive with the Development Bank of Wales. He said: “Buying jewellery is still one purchase that most people want to do in person rather than on-line so there remains strong demand for high-quality high street jewellers like Howells.
“With a very loyal following, Howells has been an integral part of Haverfordwest for over 155 years. Our investment has helped to protect this legacy, safeguard jobs, create new homes and support a sustainable and successful future for a long-standing and highly respected local business.”
The Wales Business Fund is part-funded by the ERDF through the Welsh Government. It was created specifically to support businesses with fewer than 250 employees based in Wales and those willing to move to Wales with loans and equity packages from £50,000 up to £2 million.
(Lead image: L-R Paul Howells, Howells Jewellers, Richard Easton, Development Bank of Wales)
Haverfordwest multi-storey car park to close ahead of transport hub construction work
The Haverfordwest multi-storey car park at Cartlett Road will close to the public on Monday 20th June and remain out of use while the existing facility is demolished and a new Public Transport Interchange built.
Pembrokeshire Council say that following the closure, work will begin on an initial strip out of the building ahead of full demolition.
The council say letters will be sent to nearby properties and businesses, and signs are to be placed at the car park to notify travellers of the closure. Existing signage leading to the facility will also be amended.
The project to create a new Public Transport Interchange is part of Pembrokeshire County Council’s wider regeneration work to revitalise Haverfordwest town centre.
The council say the current multi-storey car park is in a poor state of repair and is an unwelcoming space at the heart of the County Town.
It is also difficult to negotiate for larger, modern vehicles so is often under-utilised.
It adds that the new Public Transport Interchange will create “a seamless journey and a clear transition for passengers using the transport facilities – including integrated bus station – encouraging people to alight and explore the town centre”.
Cllr Rhys Sinnett, Cabinet Member for Residents Services said: “The Haverfordwest Public Transport Interchange is an important project for the County Town and a significant opportunity to provide a modern facility, sensitively designed in a gateway location.
“We will aim to keep disruption to a minimum throughout the demolition and rebuild and kindly request that members of the public plan ahead when visiting Haverfordwest to consider alternative parking sites.
“The bus station has been moved to what was the Bridgend Square car park to ensure that bus services can continue throughout the demolition and rebuild phase.”
(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)
£10k lottery grant to fund castle community engagement project
Pembrokeshire County Council has been awarded a £10,000 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to carry out Community Engagement on the future of Haverfordwest Castle.
This community engagement will inform planning over the future heritage redevelopment of the medieval castle.
The Council say they will engage with local people to ensure the project benefits the local community and shapes the castle’s future as a heritage asset for Haverfordwest.
They say this will aid their ongoing regeneration of the County Town and provide a popular space for local people and events.
A consultant will be appointed to assess local views; collate ideas and perspectives; capture local people’s memories and stories; identify audiences and ensure engagement with people of all ages and all sectors of the community.
Pembrokeshire Council say that further information will be made available following the appointment of the organisation that will undertake this important work.
Built in about 1110, Haverfordwest Castle dominates the County Town visually from its hilltop site.
It is a Grade 1 listed Scheduled Ancient Monument and the extensive castle fabric that survives, dates mostly from the 13th century.
The castle was once owned by Queen Eleanor of Castile and within the castle is the Georgian former county gaol and governor’s house, both Grade II listed.
Mike Cavanagh, Head of Culture, Leisure and Registration Services said: “We’re delighted to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players.
“The castle is an integral part of Haverfordwest’s rich history and this money will help ensure the community is at the forefront of shaping this magnificent piece of history to be an important part of the future too.”
(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)
Young carers urged to capture their lives on camera
Action for Children and the Royal Photographic Society have launched a new photography project challenging young carers to get creative and show what’s important in their lives.
Action for Children and the Royal Photographic Society, supported by Arts Council England have launched a nationwide photography project to celebrate young carers across the UK.
The charities who share HRH The Duchess of Cambridge as Patron are asking young carers to get creative to photograph what’s important to them in their lives and learn a fantastic new skill along the way.
Selected entries will form a nationwide photography exhibition entitled ‘Young Carers – A Life in Focus’. This will follow a series of free online workshops and resources available to all young carers across the UK, created by leading photographers, on how to take unique images on their mobile phone, device or camera.
Caiden Meacham (10) from Haverfordwest is supported by Action for Children’s young carers service in Pembrokeshire. He said: “I want to learn how to take good photos and can’t wait to learn. I like taking photos of lots of different things like nature and my pets which mean a lot to me.”
Vikki Phillips, service coordinator for Pembrokeshire Young Carers, added: “The project has generated a lot of excitement amongst our young people like Caiden. It’s a generation that love to take photographs and document their lives so this is a perfect opportunity to do that while learning new skills from experts in the field. I’d love to see some of their work showcased in the exhibition.
Celebrated photographer and visual artist Jo Bradford has produced the innovative and creative online workshops, which will cover technical topics such as composition through leading lines and interesting placements of subjects, lighting using objects you can find around your home to achieve professional results and editing using homemade filters and apps found on your phone.
With an estimated 800,000 children and young people across the UK caring for a family member with a disability, illness or mental health issue – some as young as five years old – Action for Children and the Royal Photographic Society are encouraging young carers to capture their thoughts, emotions and life experiences.
Typically, young carers help with practical tasks around the home such as cooking, housework and shopping; physical care, such as helping someone out of bed; and personal care, such as helping someone dress.
To launch the project, photographer Jo Bradford shares her top three tips for young carers to get them experimenting with their photographic skills:
- Shine a torch on reflective, shiny objects around your home to make interesting light patterns in your photographs. A CD, vase or glass can create a glimmer or reflection
- Use the objects in your home to create frames by placing them in the fore and background. Placing plants in the foreground could give a great jungle effect or a hole in some bubble wrap could make a fun frame for a face
- Get experimental with your phone settings – using the panorama setting and shaking your phone up and down can produce abstract patterns around you
Action for Children supports over 3,700 children and young people who are young carers across the UK, giving them advice and respite through short breaks, activities and the chance to connect with other young carers.
Melanie Armstrong, Chief Executive at Action for Children, said: “We see first-hand the impact of loneliness and stress on young carers, who are dedicating a large part of their childhood to helping loved ones. These children and young people are often desperate for a break from their duties so it’s important for them to have some fun by doing a hobby or something they enjoy.
“Our photography project will offer young carers the chance to do something for themselves while learning a new skill. We can’t wait to see the creative contributions later this year!”
Evan Dawson, Chief Executive of the Royal Photographic Society, adds: “There are thousands of inspirational young people in the UK performing regular caring duties for their loved ones, whilst also completing their education and somehow finding time to have a childhood.
“Every situation is different – but these remarkable lives are rarely seen in the media or understood by their peers. We will provide new photography skills to these young people, and help celebrate their vital contribution to UK communities.”
If you are a young carer in the UK, we’re asking you to take photographs of what’s important to you in your everyday life and we’d love to see them. Selected entries will be part of a nationwide exhibition called Young Carers – A Life in Focus.
For more information: https://rps.org/opportunities/young-carers-a-life-in-focus/
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