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Survey works will help decide future options for UK’s oldest tinplate works

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SURVEY works are underway to determine future options for Kidwelly Industrial Museum, the UK’s oldest and only surviving tinplate works. 

The Kidwelly Industrial Museum Trust took the difficult decision to close the museum in 2017 and the 13-acre site is now under the management of Carmarthenshire County Council’s museums service CofGâr.

Tinplate was manufactured in Kidwelly for over two centuries. Wales almost had the global monopoly on tinplate production with over 80 per cent of world production based in South Wales in the 1890s.

Kidwelly Industrial Museum is nationally important, and the remaining original structures and machinery are protected by law.

Surveys are now being carried out to assess and update on the condition of the listed buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments to find out what needs to be done to protect them for the future.  Thousands of artefacts important to the museum are also being assessed. This will provide the basis for understanding future options, costs and potential funding bids.

The council, in collaboration with Kidwelly Town Council and local stakeholders, will engage and consult with the public to consider plans and options and the historic site.

Future plans will look to preserve the tinplate heritage whilst also looking at opportunities to improve access to the natural environment around the site and alternative uses for underused buildings. 

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism Cllr Gareth John said: “Carmarthenshire County Council is committed to preserving Carmarthenshire’s heritage and we know that developing a future for Kidwelly Industrial Museum will be a long project over many years.

“The council’s wider museum service is being transformed through investment and building local partnerships and this recipe for success will be the model for Kidwelly Industrial Museum too.

“Our long-term investment in our museums delivers far-reaching benefits for people, businesses, and education. We recognise that our heritage is extremely important and is part of our cynefin – our culture, our identity, and our sense of place.”

The survey work will continue into late summer with a report for the Cabinet to consider later in the year. This will be followed by a public engagement and consultation exercise to help develop an options appraisal for the museum.

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Business

Development Bank backs Carmarthenshire manufacturer

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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.

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.”

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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Entertainment

Open-air theatre returns to Pembrey Country Park this summer

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ALFRESCO theatre is returning to Pembrey Country Park this summer.

Theatrau Sir Gâr is hosting an exciting programme of outdoor theatre shows at the country park from August 11-23.

‘Theatrau Sir Gâr yn y Parc’ includes a varied line-up of family entertainment including two Proms in the Park events, comedy clubs, children’s theatre, live music from The Welsh Whisperer, an evening of classical music with Welsh tenor Rhys Meirion plus two amazing tribute acts, Shape of You – The Music of Ed Sheeran, and Woman Like Me – The Little Mix Show plus much, much more!

A temporary outdoor stage will be created at Pembrey Country Park especially for the event. No seating is provided and instead audiences are invited to bring their own outdoor chairs or blankets to sit on as part of this open-air theatre experience.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism Cllr Gareth John said: “We are delighted to bring this outdoor theatre experience to Pembrey Country Park once again this year for both local residents and visitors to enjoy.

“With a variety of shows to choose from, there really is something for everyone. And what better way to enjoy some live entertainment than in the beautiful surroundings of the country park.”

The full line-up includes:

• August 11, 7.30pm –  Rhys Meirion with Sioned Terry

• August 12, 7.30pm –  Carys Eleri: Discorét

• August 13, 12pm / 2pm / 4pm – Dance in the Park

• August 14, 2.30pm – Family Prom in the Park

• August 14 , 7.30pm – West End Prom in the Park

• August 16, 7.30pm – Welsh Whisperer a’r Hambon Band

• August 17 & 18, 11.30am & 2.30 – The Rascally Diner

• August 19, 7pm – Shape of You – The Music of Ed Sheeran

• August 20, 11.30am & 2.30pm – The Great Insect Games

• August 20, 5pm – Kids Comedy Club

• August 20, 7.30pm – Comedy Club (adults)

• August 21, 12pm & 3pm – Picnic in the Park. With special guest appearance from, Hey Duggee!

• August 22 & 23, 10.30am – 4pm – The Curious Case of Aberlliw (interactive family trail).

• August 23, 7pm – Woman Like Me – The Little Mix Show

Book tickets online at www.theatrausirgar.co.uk or call the box office on 0345 226 3510.

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News

Fixed penalty notices issued by Council for illegally dumping refuse

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IN AN EFFORT to clamp down on fly-tipping and to keep Carmarthenshire clean, a total of £1,450 in fixed penalty notice fines has been issued during July 2022.

It includes:

  • A £125 fixed penalty notice has been issued for dumping a black bag of domestic waste at Penygroes Recycling site.
  • A £400 fixed penalty notice was issued for dumping several black bags of coal ash in a layby on the A40, on the outskirts of Llandeilo.
  • A £125 fixed penalty notice was issued to a Llanelli resident for disposing of a black bag of household waste on the ground by the glass recycling receptacles in Old Lodge estate.
  • A £400 fixed penalty notice was issued to a Carmarthen resident for illegally depositing builders’ waste by residents only recycling containers in Alltwalis, Carmarthen.
  • A £400 fixed penalty notice was issued to a Kidwelly resident for dumping cardboard boxes on the ground at Morrisons recycling centre, Carmarthen.
  • Cllr Aled Vaughan Owen, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Decarbonisation and Sustainability, said: “There is no excuse for illegally dumping waste. The issuing of these fixed penalty notices is a clear indication that Carmarthenshire County Council will seek to prosecute those offenders who illegally dump waste.

“In addition to weekly bin collections, Carmarthenshire County Council also has recycling centres at Nantycaws (Carmarthen), Trostre (Llanelli), Wernddu (Ammanford) and Whitland so there are plenty of ways to responsibly dispose of rubbish in our county.

“We live in a beautiful part of Wales and we all need to play our part in keeping Carmarthenshire a pleasant place to live, work and welcome visitors to.”

For further information about Carmarthenshire County Council’s waste disposal services, please visit carmarthenshire.gov.wales/recycling

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