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Town centre location revealed for Carmarthen’s exciting new Hwb development

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THE FORMER Debenhams department store in St Catherine’s Walk has been revealed as the preferred location for the exciting new Carmarthen Hwb, which will bring together a range of health, wellbeing, learning and cultural services in the heart of the town centre.

Carmarthenshire County Council, working with Hywel Dda University Health Board and University of Wales Trinity Saint David, are progressing at pace with plans to deliver their key strategic project after securing over £15million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund.

The development, which is earmarked for over £3.5million match funding from Carmarthenshire County Council’s capital programme, aims to support people of all ages to access key services all under one roof.

Bringing the prominent redundant retail unit back into use, the project will support the transformation and economic resilience of the town centre by delivering a new mix of services to the high street, attracting more people and helping increase footfall for neighbouring shops and businesses.

People will be able to call in to the Carmarthen Hwb to access health and social care services, a state of the art gym; access to employment support and public services; as well as university facilities and lifelong learning opportunities.

It is hoped the Hwb will also become a new publicly-accessible and central home for some of Carmarthenshire’s museum collections, an exciting exhibition space, and a welcome point for visitors to the town.

Carmarthenshire County Council is progressing well with talks to secure the building and with funding and key partners all on board, hopes to begin transforming the space by the end of this year with completion expected in Spring 2024.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to transform the high street and benefit the people and businesses of Carmarthenshire. It fits perfectly with our aspirations to repurpose Carmarthen town centre – a need highlighted in the Carmarthen town centre recovery plan which we have recently endorsed.

“Not only will the Hwb support the vibrancy and sustainability of our town centre, it will improve the quality of life for local people and create an attraction for our many visitors.

“We are now working at full steam to deliver this project. We’ve got the funding lined up, and partners on board. We’re holding very positive talks with the owners of St Catherine’s Walk, and we’re already out to tender for contractors to design the Hwb and progress the scheme through planning.

“This is a significant prominent building occupying a prime spot in Carmarthen town centre and we’re excited to be bringing it back in to use with something so unique.”

The re-development of the former department store will bring almost 6,000 square metres of prime commercial space back into use.

Lee Davies, Director of Strategic Development and Operational Planning for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “The health board is excited to support the development of a centre for health, wellbeing, culture and learning in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council and University of Wales Trinity St David, which aligns with our Healthier Mid and West Wales Strategy and improves the quality of life for the residents of Carmarthen and the wider catchment area. 

“The project will help to promote preventative healthcare and creatively link this with arts, learning, community, health, sports and leisure services.”

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, added: “The University is delighted to be part of this exciting project.  It offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with partners to revitalise our town centres by offering a mix of leisure, cultural and education opportunities to benefit residents and businesses.  The University looks forward to working with Carmarthenshire County Council on realising the vision for the Carmarthen Hwb.”

The Carmarthen Hwb project is being delivered alongside a similar Hwb project at South Quay, in Pembroke town centre, which formed part of the bid to the Levelling Up Fund.

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Carmarthenshire cheese maker secures Co-op listing

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Caws Cenarth award

A CHEESEMAKER from Carmarthenshire has secured its first listing with the Co-op as part of the retailer’s continued focus on local and community sourcing.

Family-owned Caws Cenarth, which has cheese making in the family dating back to 1903, will now see two of its cheeses listed in more than 20 Co-op stores across the region.

Made on farm in Glyneithinog, Caws Cenarth will supply Co-op with its Organic Caerffili – which has a light and lemony taste with hints of sea salt – and, one of its best known cheeses the Organic Perl Las Mini – which is described as a blue cheese, golden in colour, with a creamy, gently salty taste that grows stronger with maturity.

Carwyn Adams, whose parents rekindled the family tradition for cheese making in 1987 with the creation of Caws Cenarth, said: “We are absolutely thrilled. I shop in our local Co-op and regularly thought how nice it would be to see our cheese on the shelf and, now that is to become a reality. Working with Co-op will support our business development, and raise awareness of our cheeses, not only across the region, but also further afield as visitors to the area often look for local produce to take back home with them as gifts or to remind them of their stay in the area.”

Jo Wadsworth, Co-op’s Community Buying Manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome Caws Cenarth onto our shelves. We know that our Members and customers value the quality and provenance of locally produced food and drink and, here at the Co-op we are focussed on supporting local suppliers as part of our commitment to creating value and making a difference in our local communities.”

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The 10 powerful stain removers you already have in your kitchen

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DID you know that you can remove grass stains with bicarbonate of soda, and that milk can work wonders with juice and ink stains? 

If your fabric has a tannin stain, don’t use soap on it – and if you have protein stains such as milk or egg, then cold water and soap are the answer.

These tips and many more are included in a new, free e-book from natural cleaning product company ALLAVARE. 

The company’s founder Ed Willes has put together his definitive cleaning guide which will enable you to save money and protect the environment while removing stains with ease.

ALLAVARE makes all its products at its headquarters in rural West Wales and sells them via its website and in selected shops across the UK. The business has its roots in a book of “cleaning remedies” created in the last century by housemaid Bette Smith. 

Bette grew up in London and went into service in 1922 at the age of 14. Starting out in Belgravia, she went on to clean in some of the UK’s most prestigious houses. She made her own cleaning products following formulas passed on by her mother, and collected them together in a book.

Bette became good friends with Ed’s mum Vanessa Willes and the secret formulas in “Bette’s Book” were first produced commercially by Vanessa’s company, Mangle & Wringer. 

Now, having moved from the Cotswolds to a farm in Llandeilo, Vanessa has handed Bette’s Book and the company to Ed, who has rebranded it as ALLAVARE (from the Latin “to wash”) and launched an extended range of products based on Bette’s cleaning remedies.

All ALLAVARE’s products are sustainable and contain no harsh chemicals, petrochemical ingredients, fillers, artificial fragrances or dyes. They rely on simple, natural ingredients such as lemon juice, vinegar and coconut oil. With an eye for recycling, they come in metal tins and refillable glass bottles.

Now, by sharing many of Bette’s secrets in an e-book, Ed hopes to help his customers get even more out of natural cleaning.

Ed Willes said: “We believe in helping our customers save money and protect the environment, so I decided to share many of the secrets from Bette’s Book with your customers for free. Her cleaning ‘remedies’ as she called them are simple and effective, and more people should have the chance to share in this knowledge. The e-book outlines the key types of stain and how to tackle them using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard – and it includes recipes for cleaning scrubs and sprays, loo cleaner, floor cleaner and more.”

To download the full e-book head here: https://allavare.co.uk/pages/natural-cleaning-guide-ebook

10 natural stain removers and how to use them

Bicarbonate of soda

Use for: mud, grass and perspiration

A fantastic natural stain remover. It is safe and non-toxic and works on most surfaces to clean and deodorise them. In the laundry it can be added to hand washed items to help break down protein stains. As a stain remover, make into a paste with a little water and leave on for 30 – 60 minutes.

Cornflour

Use for: grease stains

Sprinkle onto fabric and rub gently. Leave for 30 – 60 minutes and brush off. Launder as normal.

Glycerine

Use for: tannin stains

Mix glycerine 50:50 with water and work into the back of the stain. Leave for 30 minutes. Launder as normal.

Milk

Use for: juice stains and washable inks

The original enzyme cleaner.

Lemon juice

Use as a: mild bleach

Apply directly to the stain and leave to dry. This is particularly effective on white fabrics and if left in the sun works doubly fast. On coloured fabrics a colour test is recommended.

Eucalyptus oil

Use for: grease stains, oil and tar

A naturally distilled oil. Add a few drops directly to the stain and leave for 10-15 minutes. Rub gently for thick tar stains. Air dry and repeat if the stain isn’t completely removed.

Soda water

Use for: tannin stains

Great remedy for coffee, tea, wine and other tannin stains.

Soap

Use for: grease stains

Great for collars and cuffs where it can be rubbed on prior to washing in hot water. Never use soap on tannin stains.

Washing up liquid

Use for: grease stains

It should preferably be a colourless, biodegradable, plant based detergent, which is fragrance free. Apply directly and agitate the fabric. Rinse in hot water.

White vinegar

Use as: a mild bleach

Perfect for use on urine stains as a deodoriser, mud and grass. Soak for 1 – 2 hours. On coloured fabric a colour test is recommended.

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Transport for Wales release statement about rail strike impact on services

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THE BIGGSET rail strike in 30 years is predicted to bring the rail network across the UK to a halt later this month as thousands of staff stage a mutli-day walkout.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) has announced the strike action will take place on Tuesday 21 June, Thursday 23 June and Saturday 25 June, which will significantly disrupt the rail network across the whole of the UK.

More than 40,000 staff from Network Rail and 13 train operators are expected to take part.

Transport for Wales (TfW) is not one of the operators in dispute with the RMT however services across Wales will be seriously disrupted.

A TfW spokesperson said: “The industrial action resulting from the dispute between RMT and Network Rail means we will be unable to operate our rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.”

“The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended, with the exception of services on the Core Valley Lines (CVL) north of Radyr in South Wales.”

“There is also expected to be disruption on the days prior and after the industrial action. We will release more information as soon as possible.”

“Customers with existing tickets for travel from Monday 20th June to Sunday 26th June can use those tickets anytime between now and the 20th. Alternatively, customers may claim a full refund by contacting customer.relations@tfwrail.wales”

“In the meantime, we are suspending sales of Advance tickets for the first three strike dates to minimise the number of people disrupted. Customers should continue to check our website, and the websites of other operators, for updates.”

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