Businesses and organisations across Mid Wales are being urged to complete an important survey on employment and skills which will help guide future provision.
The survey results will help Mid Wales Regional Skills Partnership inform Welsh Government on the skills landscape across the region and connect skills funding with employer demand. The survey runs until Sunday, August 14.
In 2019, the Welsh Regional Skills Partnerships (RSPs) launched its three-year Employment and Skills Plans which have been used to understand and shape the skills priorities for employers across respective regions and influence the provision offered through the further education and work-based learning sectors.
Councillor Wyn Thomas, Cabinet Member for Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills at Ceredigion County Council and Councillor David Selby, Cabinet Member for a More Prosperous Powys at Powys County Council, issued a joint statement.
“Over the last three years, there has been a significant change in the skills required by employers to drive forward their businesses in a post-pandemic world,” they said. “It is more important than ever that we ensure people can gain the skills employers are looking for through our colleges, universities and apprenticeships.
“We encourage all businesses and organisations across the region to complete the employment and skills survey to help inform our new Employment and Skills Plan for 2022-2025.”
To take part in the survey, visit https://www.haveyoursaypowys.wales/employment-and-skills
The results of the survey will help the Mid Wales RSP inform Welsh Government on the skills landscape across the region and connect skills funding with employer demand.
Businesses/organisations based in other regions, are invited to complete their local RSP skills survey:
New Zealand’s World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon has entered the Get Connected Rali Ceredigion on September 3 and 4.
The Rally Argentina winner, former Production WRC Champion and five-times New Zealand rally champion will drive a Hyundai i20 N, similar to the car he is currently using to contest selected events in this year’s WRC Rally 2 Championship, when he lines up in Aberystwyth to start Wales’ only International status rally.
With Paddon a competitor and ambassador with the Tour European Rally (TER) series - and this year’s Get Connected Rali Ceredigion a round of its prestigious six-round calendar - he was eager to find out more about the rally that broke new ground when it first took place in 2019.
“We’re very pleased to be concluding our European tour with Rali Ceredigion, an event I’ve heard a great deal about,” he said. “I have spent some time in the area in the past with Wales Rally GB but normally on the gravel forestry stages, so I’m looking forward to experiencing Welsh tarmac and really appreciate the warm welcome we’ve received in response to our entry.”
Organisers are delighted that the reigning New Zealand rally champion has opted to compete in this year’s event.
Chairman of the organising committee Phil Pugh said: “It’s great that Hayden, a driver with such a world-class standing, will be joining us this year. It just shows how far the reputation of our event has spread, bearing in mind we’ve only held the rally once.
“We are sure that his appearance will appeal to spectators and see an increase in the publicity surrounding our event, which in-turn will help us to engage with a greater audience, not just in the UK but on the other side of the world too!”
With sustainability and environmental considerations key pillars of this year’s Get Connected Rali Ceredigion, Paddon’s interest in the event is even more significant, as he and his team have been intrinsically involved with an important EV rally car project.
Based on a Hyundai Kona, Paddon Rallysport designed and built a fully-electric rally car that was revealed to the world in November 2020. Following an extensive test and development programme, this game-changing vehicle made its competition debut on New Zealand’s South Island where, with Paddon at the wheel, it won the 4km Waimate Hillclimb.
Paddon will drive a Hyundai i20 N, supplied and run by successful Dumfries-based motorsport preparation specialists Albatec. The co-driver is yet to be announced.
For the latest news and further details about the event, visit: www.raliceredigion.co.uk
Fiona Bruce and Runjeet Singh at Powis Castle and Garden for Antiques Roadshow. Image credit: BBC
Thousands of fans of the popular BBC television series Antiques Roadshow braved the heat to show their family heirlooms and car boot treasures to experts at National Trust Cymru’s Powis Castle and Garden.
Filming of the 45th series of the Roadshow started a few months ago and, for the first time in the show’s history, eager members of the public were invited to apply for tickets to ensure they could attend.
Amber heat warnings didn’t stop the fun, as enthusiasts from around the country made the trip to see how much their prized possessions would be worth, and to be in with a chance of being filmed for the programme.
Shane Logan, Powis Castle and Garden’s general manager, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with the BBC to bring the Antiques Roadshow to Welshpool.
“A huge thank you goes to the volunteer stewards and staff who endured a long day in hot conditions to ensure the smooth-running of the event. It’s safe to say we’re all excited to see the show air on TV soon.”
Several items from Powis Castle’s world-class collection and internationally renowned garden were filmed for three episodes of the much-loved show, as well as items brought along by ticketholders.
The public will have to wait until the show airs on BBC One to find out what discoveries were made.
Filming took place in the Edwardian Formal Garden, famous for its lawns, rosebeds and century old apple trees, with views of the medieval castle and 17th century Italianate terraces in the distance.
First broadcast in 1979, the Antiques Roadshow remains one of the most popular factual programmes on BBC One, with some six million people regularly watching on Sunday evenings.
Powis Castle and Garden is open daily throughout summer. For opening times, admission prices and more information, visit: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle-and-garden
Keeping cool and hydrated were the main challenges on the first two days of the Royal Welsh Show.
A heatwave and thousands of visitors welcomed the 2022 Royal Welsh Show back to the showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells on Monday.
After a three-year break, this year’s show is the first since 2019, and the atmosphere around the showground was buzzing with exhibitors, traders and visitors finally able to return to the pinnacle event of the agricultural calendar.
Addressing visitors at the opening ceremony, Mr Harry Fetherstonhaugh OBE said how proud he was to be Royal Welsh Agricultural Society president during Clwyd’s feature county year.
“It has truly been a joy and a privilege to have made so many new friends through my 45 years of stewarding at the Royal Welsh,” he said.
The show was officially opened by Emyr Jones and Rhys Williams, both of whom are part of a joint young entrants venture at Coed Coch, home of Mr Fetherstonhaugh.
“This wonderful show is close to my heart, and I never once imagined that I would be in this honoured position, so thank you very much to the Royal Welsh Show and in particular to Harry for the privilege of addressing you today at the beginning of what’s going to be a fabulous week,” said Rhys.
Emyr and Rhys first met Mr Fetherstonhaugh six years ago when they were given the opportunity to join him and establish a joint venture at the home farm on the Coed Coch estate.
Rhys spoke about how access to land is the biggest hurdle preventing the next generation of farmers from running their own farming businesses and how joint ventures such as the one at Coed Coch can be part of the solution.
Rhys has worked in agriculture throughout his life, starting in agricultural education before moving on to farm business consultancy work. He actively works on the family farm on the Llyn Peninsula as well as being involved in the joint venture in sustainable farming at Coed Coch.
The show kicked off with its impressive 12-hour programme of entertainment and displays in the main ring, including the spectacular musical drive performance from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, Paul Hannam with his thrilling Quad Bike Stunt Show, the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team, the Regimental Band of the Royal Welsh, Black Mountains Falconry, Tristar Carriage Driving and Meirion Owen and his sheepdogs.
The RWAS has launched a Rural Leadership Programme this year. Aimed at inspiring future leaders in agriculture, the programme is an opportunity to develop leadership skills at such an important time for the sector.
The programme involves an action-packed course of training, mentoring, support and guidance over three intensive residential sessions. Fourteen candidates were announced during Monday’s awards ceremony.
RWAS chief executive Steve Hughson said: “Despite the challenges of the weather, the first day of the Royal Welsh was a huge success, with thousands enjoying the wide range of livestock, displays and trade stands on site.
“We are excited that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal is visiting to see the very best that Wales has to offer. As the weather improves, we look forward to three more days and increasing attendance.”
Newlyweds Paul Boyles and Kay Clark took the unusual step of inviting their ‘best man’ on honeymoon with them to Mid Wales following their wedding in May.
Rather than playing gooseberry, as you might expect, the best man was very much part of the wedding and the honeymoon. After all, he was the happy couple’s beloved …. horse!
King Erik, a 17.2hh former racehorse, took guests by surprise when he walked down the aisle to deliver the wedding rings attached to his saddle.
When Paul came up with the idea of having Erik at the wedding, he enlisted the help of a friend, Stephanie Marshall. Erik, with Stephanie in the saddle, arrived at the outdoor wedding venue to the Black Beauty theme.
“I decided not to have an official best man, but no one knew,” Paul told Horse & Hound magazine. “When I was asked for the rings, I fumbled around, pretended I’d forgotten them and then turned round to say: ‘Please welcome my best man’ and Erik made his entrance.
“He walked up the aisle and brought the rings, in a little treat bag on the saddle, then stood there while we finished the service and walked down the aisle behind us.”
When it came to the best man’s speech, Paul arranged a “live video link” to the yard, where Erik was back in his field. He played recordings of him whinnying, to cheers from the guests.
Paul and Kay then headed off for a hacking honeymoon at Brandy House Farm, a tourism and equine holidays business at Felindre, near Knighton, with Erik and another horse borrowed from a friend.
“We did 11 days of hacking and it was absolutely amazing,” said Paul. “Brandy House Farm was the most perfect location and venue for our honeymoon. Miles and miles of hacking from the doorstep and second to none facilities for the horses.”
Medina Brock, who runs Brandy House Farm with her husband, Richard, said they were delighted to host the honeymoon for the happy couple and their horses.
“We loved meeting King Eric who has become quite the celebrity and was taking his fame all in his stride,” she said. “Of course, it was lovely to meet Paul and Kay too and we were delighted that they chose Brandy House Farm to spend their honeymoon and to enjoy some of the riding this beautiful part of Mid-Wales has to offer.”
Brandy House Farm - www.brandyhousefarm.co.uk - provides cottage accommodation, POD camping, glamping and wild camping. Guests are also encouraged to bring their horses with them on holiday, as the business offers on-site DIY livery, nine stables and individual turnout paddocks.
Brandy House Farm is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent company representing more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
Picture caption: Paul and Kay with King Erik on their wedding day.
“My work is an expression of my engagement with that heritage, filtered through an autistic outsider’s perspective and influenced by my experiences with mental illness, while drawing upon my own research into history, folklore and landscape,” he said
Joseph’s work seeks to un-earth the obscure stories that have come to haunt the British landscape through folklore, superstitions and mythology. He shares his own interpretations of these tales as living, vital and present in the world we inhabit.
Second prize, donated by The Friends of The Tabernacle, went to Kim Dewsbury with her oil painting titled ‘Moving Home’.
Kim has returned to her passion for painting, after spending many years organising and curating exhibitions in North Wales where she lives.
Excited by all the possibilities opening up in her painting, she said: “Inspired by my rural surroundings, I value that first hand contact with nature. My sketchbooks are filled with walks, insects, clouds and natural ephemera.
“Patterns and textures fascinate me: the velvety skin of a peach, the undulating folds of a distant hillside, the patina of a well-thumbed book. Everything has a story to tell”.
Third prize, donated by Wendy Fuller, went to Alex Boyd Jones with her charcoal on paper work titled ‘On the Black Hill (The Vision #2)’.
Alex’s emerging creative practice follows an enjoyable and rewarding career working in the public sector as a curator for 20 years in various galleries across the UK. In 2021, she decided to invest more time in her own work and focus full time on her practice from a home studio in Montgomery.
“Through drawing and painting, I aspire to create work that evokes a specific moment or gives time to the overlooked so that there is space to reflect on the places we inhabit or frequent,” she said.
Daphne Hurn, Halcyon Hinde, Pauline Bradley, Gareth Lloyd Hughes, Julie Davies, Valerie Thompson, Caroline Maddison, David Alderslade, Gwen Owen, Alison Ross, Phil Wheeler, Robert Price, Alys Gwynedd and Jonathan Retallick were highly commended.
In the 11 year and under category, the winner was Tansi Butler, five, with her pencil and watercolour painting titled “Beehive”.
Tansi Butler’s winning pencil and watercolour painting titled “Beehive.
Tansi enjoys creating bold and striking images using pencils, crayons and watercolour paints. She loves nature, animals, birds and flowers and these are the subject of a lot of her pictures.
Lok Yiu Yoel, nine, Rosa Butler, nine, Jamie Smart, six, Ava Hussein, 11 and Iolo Williams, seven, were highly commended.
Winner in the 12 to 17 years category was Jude Westermann, 17, with his acrylic painting titled “Kitchen Table”. Studying art and design at Coleg Ceredigion, he is a student of Roy Marsden.
“I have been lucky enough to have been able to have drawn or painted pretty much every day since I was very young, as I was home educated up until age 14,” said Jude.
“I think this gave me the freedom to explore and it has benefited me now as I have a keen interest in the creative arts, some of which I play and explore in.”
Jude also makes short films and break dances competitively at a national level. He is particularly interested in the work of Lucian Freud and Paul Gauguin and hopes to continue studying fine art at university.
Evie Chapman, 15, Dyfed Childs, 14 and Kyra Williams, 14, were highly commended.
Jude Westermann’s winning acrylic ‘Kitchen Table’ in the 12 to 17 years category.
Hot weather protocols have been introduced for next week’s Royal Welsh Show, which is set to attract many thousands of visitors to Mid Wales during the heatwave.
The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) is taking additional precautions and working with partners to mitigate the heat risks and improve the safety of people and animals during the four-day show, which begins on Monday, July 18.
To safeguard people visiting, exhibiting and working at the event, the RWAS has introduced the following:
Additional safety measures are being put in place in collaboration with Builth Wells Safety Advisory Group. Everyone visiting the show is urged to follow Public Health Wales advice.
Numerous provisions are also being made within the livestock section. Additional water will be available and fans have been installed in all the livestock buildings with new, upgraded fans in the most vulnerable areas.
Arrival times for livestock have been amended to welcome stock in the early morning and late evenings, to avoid queues at the hottest times of the day.
RWAS vets will be on call during the set up and duration of the event, with stewards also on hand to help with any issues that may occur.
Temperatures in the livestock buildings will be monitored continuously to support real-time decisions. Consideration will also be given to class timings, which can be changed if necessary.
The RWAS says it’s working in partnership with the Met Office, Dŵr Cymru, Public Health Wales, Chief Veterinary Officer, local authority and all blue light services to ensure that the show is a great success, despite the predicted weather.
Royal Welsh Show organisers are preparing for the heatwave.
Image: © Hawlfraint y Goron / © Crown copyright (2022) Cymru Wales.
A new strategy to help create jobs and spread economic prosperity by encouraging a wide range of successful, sustainable and authentically Welsh events right across Wales has been launched by the Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething.
The National Events Strategy for Wales 2022 to 2030 builds on the unprecedented growth of events in Wales over the past two decades.
During that time, Wales has supported events of all shapes and sizes, including major international events such as the Ryder Cup in 2010, Womex 2013, the NATO summit in 2014, Ashes Tests, the UEFA Champions League Final in 2017, and stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2018. We have also attracted world-leading business events such as the International Golf Travel Market and seen the development of distinctive home-grown festivals such as Focus Wales, Tafwyl and Steelhouse.
The new strategy has been developed in partnership with the events industry and is designed to encourage outstanding, cross-Wales events that support the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of people, places and the planet. It is aimed at ensuring that events expand on the contribution they make to the seven goals of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.
The strategy seeks to encourage events of all shapes and sizes that are located in every corner of Wales, spread across all seasons and representative of Welsh culture. Event Wales will now work in partnership with the sector representatives to develop an implementation plan.
Read the announcement in full on Gov.Wales and take a look at This is Events in Wales.
The National Library in Aberystwyth is promising a hive of activity at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Tregaron from July 30 to August 6.
The library’s stand will include a unique exhibition and cinema where visitors can relax and enjoy viewing treasures from its vast moving images collection.
An exciting and diverse programme of events for families and adults will be held on our stand during the week, including gigs with artists such as Parisa Fouladi, Owen Shiers, Mari Mathias, Ynys, Izzy & Eädyth and Plu.
Other sessions will focus on health and wellbeing, including Clocsffit with Tudur Phillips and a circus workshop.
An event will be held in partnership with the charity Meddwl and singer Miriam Isaac to raise awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing.
Literary sessions with partners include a special event on Monday, August 1 with chief poet Gwenallt Llwyd Ifan, who is originally from Tregaron. He will present a sequence of poems, recently commissioned by the library in partnership with Barddas, which are based on and inspired by the current exhibition A Oes Heddwch?
The library will also have a presence in other areas of the Maes with diverse and fascinating presentations in the societies stands, Y Lle Celf and Tŷ Gwerin.
The library’s shop will launch a series of specially commissioned products by the artists Valeriane Leblond and Ruth Jên, together with unique items based on national collections, including some relating to the Tregaron area.
Pedr ap Llwyd, the library’s chief executive and librarian, said: “We very much look forward to seeing people from far and wide visiting us on the Maes and in the library building as we welcome one of Europe's biggest cultural festivals here to Ceredigion.
“After a long wait, we look forward to a special and memorable occasion and we have prepared a varied and exciting programme of events, celebrating our language and culture for families, on our stand and in other areas of the Maes in Tregaron.”
Picture caption: Pedr ap Llwyd, the National Library of Wales’ chief executive and librarian.
The race director for Britain’s leading UCI Women’s WorldTour event has praised the warm reception the world’s best cyclists received when visiting Mid Wales last month.
Stage four of the Women’s Tour started from Wrexham before entering Powys at Rhydycroesau. The 148-kilometre route included Llansilin and Penybontfawr before an anti-clockwise loop of Lake Vyrnwy.
It then wound its way towards the finish line in Broad Street, Welshpool, via Llanfihangel, Dolanog, Castle Caereinion, Berriew, Montgomery, Forden and Leighton.
The race was covered live on the Eurosport Player and the GCN+ app was available globally.
“We enjoyed a great reception from Welshpool and would like to thank everyone in the town for welcoming us so warmly,” said race director Mick Bennett. “It was fantastic to see the way that Powys County Council had engaged the schools and businesses in the town.
“The route through Mid Wales certainly proved as testing as anticipated and created great racing and a thrilling finish with Grace Brown taking the win and the race lead on the day.”
The warm reception given to the race in Mid Wales was also praised by Val Hawkins, chief executive of MWT Cymru, a membership organisation that represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
“It was fantastic to see the Women’s Tour receive such a warm welcome in Mid Wales,” she said. “Coverage of this race has helped to showcase our towns, villages and beautiful countryside, including the iconic Lake Vyrnwy, to a worldwide audience.
“Having film footage of the region broadcast on national television will hopefully encourage viewers to come and experience, unwind and explore Mid Wales which is renowned for its travel routes, nature, wellbeing, landscape and stunning coastline and beaches.”
The Women’s Tour stage four finish in Welshpool.
Riders cross Lake Vyrnwy dam during stage four of the Women’s Tour.
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