The modified layout will require the building of a new platform as part of a larger scale and longer term intention to build a new Corris station including an overall roof, which was a feature of the original station in the village.
Work on the new track layout will begin after the two days of Santa Trains which will take place on December 11 and 12. Santa train tickets can be purchased online from www.corris.co.uk
The dry and warm weather through most of September allowed more construction work on the embankment which will replace a lost section of the original trackbed south of Maespoeth Junction and eventually allow trains to run further southwards along the Dulas Valley.
Material continues to arrive from Dolgellau. Important work completed also included connecting the drainage layer below the embankment base with a drain to the Dulas, clearing the flood plain of debris from earlier site work and levelling of the topsoil in front of the stone filled gabions at the base of the embankment.
New build carriage number 24, which will offer first class accommodation and an observation section, is being worked on in the carriage shed at Maespoeth Junction. with the flooring complete and hardwood sections being fitted to the outside of the vehicle.
Donations to assist with the work at Corris station and/or the Southern Extension embankment can be made online via www.corris.co.uk or cheques payable to Corris Railway can be sent to Corris Railway, Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH. Donors are asked to indicate for which work their cheque donation is intended.
Corris Railway – major winter work planned on track layout and station platform.
>> Corris Railway on Visit Mid Wales
Establishing a statutory registration or licensing scheme for holiday accommodation operators in Wales
You may be aware that independent research agency, Strategic Research & Insight (SRI), have been commissioned by Welsh Government to explore establishing a statutory registration or licensing scheme for holiday accommodation operators in Wales.
MWT will be speaking to SRI to share the views of our membership.
MWT members, please help us to collate your responses by completing our short survey. Your views are really important.
>> Complete survey here by Friday 22nd October 2021.
SRI will be speaking to stakeholders as well as researching best practice in other countries, to consider:
Visit Wales said, "There are significant potential benefits of the scheme, including a level playing field for professional and amateur accommodation operators, and a much better oversight of the sector to inform decision-making in tourism, housing, environmental health and taxation. We also recognise there are wider views and considerations that need to be explored.
As it will not be possible for SRI to speak to all tourism businesses as part of this work, please feed any comments you have through your representative body; these will help form the decision on whether a scheme is implemented, and if so, how."
The first major tourism and hospitality conference held in Wales since the Covid-19 pandemic began in the UK last year is to go ahead in Llandrindod Wells in November.
MWT Cymru has announced that the 2021 Mid Wales Tourism and Hospitality Conference will be held at The Metropole Hotel on November 9 from 9.45am to 3.30pm
To help ensure a safe conference, everyone attending must have an up to date NHS Covid pass, details of which are available at https://covid-status.service.nhsx.nhs.uk/
“We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe at this year’s conference,” said Val Hawkins, MWT Cymru’s chief executive. “Whilst the success of the vaccine programme in Wales has provided us with the opportunity to meet in-person this year, we all must take steps to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
MWT Cymru is an independent organisation that represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and the Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd.
“The tourism and hospitality sector has been one of the economic sectors hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Mrs Hawkins. “The focus of this year’s conference is to explore how individual businesses, communities and organisations can pull together and rebuild as we move forward to 2022 and beyond.
“With the unlikely return of the international market to the levels seen pre-pandemic for another few years, destinations across the UK will be focusing their attention on the domestic and staycation trend. With increased destination competition, how will Mid Wales compete?
“Our conference provides an opportunity to cover topics that matter most to tourism and hospitality businesses. It is an event not to be missed, no matter how big or small your business is.
“The conference is designed to give businesses a clearer idea of what's going on, what's changing and what we can all do to better work together to keep Mid Wales at the forefront of people's minds.”
Delegates will hear from experts in their fields and have an opportunity to network with other tourism and hospitality professionals, industry leaders, suppliers and business support organisations.
The line-up of speakers for the conference, which is being sponsored by pan-Wales apprenticeship provider Cambrian Training Company and supported by Visit Wales, will be announced in the next two weeks. For more information and to book tickets visit www.midwalestourismconference.co.uk
MWT Cymru’s membership and marketing manager Claire Owen chats with Populate Social founder Dan Simmons at the Mid Wales Tourism Conference in 2019.
National Resources Wales (NRW) are seeking your views about biodiversity on your land along the Wales Coast Path. They would like to learn from your experience.
NRW are asking landowners and farmers in Wales, with land along, adjoining, or near to the Wales Coast Path, to complete this short multiple-choice 20 question survey. It should take about 15 minutes of your time. If you are able to participate, please can you do so by Friday 15th October 2021.
Click here to start the survey: https://forms.office.com/r/epuuEvwXc7
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Welsh Government, in collaboration with Gwynedd Council, have recently launched the ‘Ein Llwybrau Byw’ / Our Living Trails project which has the long-term aim to promote and restore biodiversity along the Wales Coast Path corridor. Binnies has been contracted by NRW to deliver this 9-month long project which also aims to promote greater connection between people and nature, so that more people understand the importance of a healthy and productive natural environment, and the benefits it brings to us.
Land along the 870-mile Wales Coast Path corridor includes farmland, open countryside, cliffs, meadows, beaches and urban environments. The land provides an important opportunity to address the challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and coastal ‘squeeze’ whilst supporting resilient profitable farming businesses and a healthy resilient society. The project will be working in partnership with landowners, as they will be an integral part of the project. It will investigate ‘best practice’ and recommend an approach to ‘scale up’ the roll out of biodiversity improvement projects along the Wales Coast Path corridor, and potentially other national trails and rights of way in Wales in coming years.
The views NRW receive as part of this survey will be collated to inform the project recommendations. They will also be collated and summarised to inform a Stakeholder Workshop in November 2021. All responses are anonymous. You are invited to provide your email address if you want to receive a copy of the project’s next newsletter which will contain a summary of the survey findings.
You can learn more about the project by watching this video: Watch video
Welsh Government has announced the appointment of Ashok Ahir as interim president and trustee of the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
Mr Ahir, 52, is deputy director of Cabinet Office communications for the UK Government. He joined the UK Government in Wales in July 2018 as the director of communications, having previously ran a successful bilingual communications agency based in Cardiff.
Before that, he worked for the BBC as a journalist, editor and programme maker in London and Cardiff. For more than a decade, he was responsible for BBC Cymru Wales’ politics team, overseeing coverage of Welsh politics on television, radio and on digital services.
Pedr ap Llwyd, the national library’s chief executive and librarian, welcomed the “excellent appointment” and thanked Meri Huws, the former interim president, for her contribution to the library.
“We are really looking forward to Ashok joining us, to benefiting from his broad experience and knowledge and to working with him over the coming months,” he said.
“In welcoming Ashok, I would like to thank Meri Huws, the former interim president, for the enormous contribution she has made to the library during the past two years and wish her, and the organisations she serves, well for the future.
“Ashok joins us at the start of a new and exciting chapter in our history as we launch our new Strategic Plan 2021-2026 – A library for Wales and the World - in a few weeks’ time.
“Regardless of the significant progress made during the last few years, we enter this new chapter with hunger and determination to achieve even more.
“Our plan points to a future where we will continue to use our unique range of skills and expertise to cultivate and care for the nation’s memory, lay the foundation for a knowledge economy, empower learning and research, be at the heart of national life and support Welsh Government’s public policy objectives.
“Ashok’s appointment will help us achieve our aims and strengthen the relationships with our partners around Wales for the benefit of everyone we serve. Today is certainly a day of celebration at the National Library of Wales.”
“Whilst it is with some sadness that I am stepping down, I warmly welcome Suzy Davies to the role,” he said. “With her distinguished background and in the knowledge that she will carry out the task with great gusto, I am confident that she will bring her own unique signature to the organisation.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to have made a contribution at such a challenging time and I wish to pay tribute to all tourism businesses and agencies in Wales for displaying such resilience in the face of profound adversity. We are hopefully sailing into calmer and more navigable waters now.
“My thanks also to all at the WTA for their support during the last three years, in particular the efforts of policy advocate, Adrian Greason-Walker for his valuable advice and counsel at all times.”
Mrs Davies was a regional Member of National Assembly for Wales for South Wales West from 2011 until earlier this year and served, for part of her time at the Senedd, as Shadow Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Welsh Language. She also chaired the Assembly’s Cross Party Group on Tourism.
After a career in both marketing and management, she became a solicitor and politician.
"Wales is ripe for further economic, environmentally savvy development and its visitor economy and tourism is core to that development,” she said. “After a lifelong desire for the world to see how wonderful this country is, I am excited to be joining such committed, experienced people who want to be part of a proud and successful Wales.
"The industry has risen to the challenge of Covid magnificently, but the surge in domestic visitor numbers this year cannot blind us to the fragility of the sector's infrastructure.
"Busy today is not the same as sustainable long term. We want the visitor economy to make a stable, balanced, desirable and valuable contribution to the nation's collective wellbeing. Tourism, hospitality, skills providers and local authorities - and Welsh Government - all recognise the challenges and the opportunities.
"WTA is the collective voice of the industry in Wales. Failure to listen to it will mean failure to meet those challenges or to capitalise on those opportunities - and none of us wants that.”
WTA board member, Barbara Griffiths, said: “Professor Campbell has gone above and beyond normal expectations over the last 18 months supporting the whole of the tourism industry in Wales, for which we are extremely grateful.
“We now look forward with great pleasure to working with Suzy Davies who has experience in the Senedd and whose family runs a tourism business.”
New WTA chair Suzy Davies with her predecessor Andrew Campbell.
A former police motorcyclist has swapped escorting members of the royal family and heads of state to launch the UK’s only fully licensed and insured motorcycle and sidecar tours.
Sean Westlake is now sharing the 30 years’ experience gained as a Dyfed Powys Police officer with customers who pay for unique full and half day tours of the stunning scenery and highways and byways of Mid and North Wales.
His new business, Mid Wales Tours - www.midwalestours.co.uk - offers a choice of eight-hour and four-hour tours of Ceredigion, Powys and Gwynedd, but Sean is happy to arrange bespoke tours if customers have a specific request.
The tours, which are for two people - one in the sidecar and the other riding pillion - cost £390 for a half day and £690 for a full day and Sean says they offer customers a unique perspective.
Customers are equipped with radios and Sean provides a commentary as they travel around the countryside. Helmets and wet weather clothing can also be provided if required.
Tours run between Easter and the end of October and, when weather permits, during the winter period. Sean is hoping they will be appeal to couples celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, or other special occasions. Get a taste of what’s on offer by viewing a video at https://vimeo.com/580694059 .
“My tours allow customers to experience the mountains, lakes, scenery and highways and byways from a totally different perspective,” he said. “They can smell, hear and see things that they wouldn’t if they were in an air-conditioned car. It’s all about the journey rather than the destination.
“I stop at lots of places for photo opportunities and travel along roads that most people wouldn’t go on. I love to show off our part of the world and, having spent 30 years as a police officer in Mid Wales, I have plenty of stories to share with customers.
“I have always considered myself really lucky to have been paid and trained to the nth degree by the police to ride motorcycles and I know most of the backroads in Mid and North West Wales. I feel it would be a waste if I didn’t put this training and knowledge to good use now.”
Sean, who lives in Aberystwyth, was stopped by the Covid-19 pandemic from launching his new business earlier. He has invested a great deal of time and money on his new business venture which is based on a Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC and its Watsonian Squire sidecar.
He had to go through a rigorous process, spanning eight months, to become the only fully licensed and insured motorcycle and sidecar tour in the UK. This process included qualifying as an official green badge Wales tourist guide for North Wales.
Sean has been organising guided tours in the UK and Europe for fellow motorcyclists for 15 years. He has been qualified to provide motorcycle training to test standard for almost 20 years and has been an examiner for the Institute of Advanced Motorists for 19 years.
He retired as a police traffic sergeant in 2012, having spent 25 years riding motorcycles to the highest advanced standard, including as a member of the VIP team that escorted members of the royal family and heads of state.
Recently, he has qualified to ride for Blood Bikes Wales which transfers blood supplies, plasma, documents and other items between hospitals around the clock for the NHS
To help promote his new venture, Sean has joined MWT Cymru, an independent organisation that represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and the Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd.
Val Hawkins, MWT Cymru’s chief executive, said: “As many thousands of staycation visitors have been discovering this summer, Mid Wales is a fantastic destination and what better way to explore our wonderful region than by motorcycle and sidecar.
“We are delighted that Mid Wales has the UK’s first fully licensed and insured motorcycle and sidecar tour and commend Sean for becoming a qualified Green Badge Guide. We wish him every success with his unique new venture.”
Sean Westlake with Mid Wales Tours customers.
S4C has reached an agreement to ensure that all the channel's programmes are protected and transferred to the National Library of Wales’ care as part of the National Broadcast Archive for Wales.
All S4C content, programmes and series which have been broadcast since the channel's launch in 1982 will be transferred to the Broadcast Archive at the library in Aberystwyth. The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The S4C archive is an important record of Welsh history and a source of information showcasing the development of the Welsh language and broadcasting in Wales.
Owen Evans, S4C's chief executive, said: “We are privileged to hand over our archive to the national library, to ensure that our programmes and content from the beginning are accessible to all.
“Our archive contains a wealth of history, information and entertainment, and it is vital that this material is available for the nation to study, protect and enjoy.”
The library's chief executive and librarian, Pedr ap Llwyd, said: "This is great news that will bring together the broadcasting heritage of Wales alongside all the other historical sources we have at the national library."
Dafydd Tudur, the library’s head of public access and programmes, said: "This will be the first National Broadcast Archive of its kind in the UK and this innovative project will bring Welsh broadcasters’ resources closer to the people.
“We hope to discover new ways of using this audio-visual archive as a historical and creative resource.”
The archive project also includes the BBC Wales archive, as well as the ITV Wales archive which was already protected by the library.
National Library of Wales.
A popular visitor attraction on the Powys-Shropshire border has unveiled its new café bar, which has doubled in size.
In response to customers wishing to dine at the café and demand for afternoon tea packages, Russell and Janet Cooke, owners of Kerry Vale Vineyard, near Montgomery, have restyled an upstairs wine tasting room with the addition of a new bar and coffee making area.
Doubling the café’s original size, the new room now seats up to 60 diners, allows the business to cater for larger parties and gives customers a bird’s eye view of the vineyard.
Russell said: “The cafe is busier than ever, and this summer we’ve been getting more booking requests than we could accommodate. We have such a loyal and established customer base it was really important to us to be able to meet all of their needs.
“The upstairs restyle has been taking shape over the last 18 months, but now, with our custom-made new bar and coffee preparation area, our expansion is complete.
“The growth gives us many more opportunities for the future, so the business will definitely keep evolving, but we will continue to concentrate on our core strengths of award winning wine, fabulous Shropshire Coffee, delicious freshly prepared food, home baking and friendly service.
“We look forward to showing people round the new and improved Vineyard Café.”
The attraction is open six days a week, offering scheduled tours of the award-winning vineyard and wine tasting on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information visit www.kerryvalevineyard.co.uk or follow the vineyard on Facebook, Instagram or Tiktok.
Russell Cooke in the new room.
Radiate Arts, a community interest company which is based near Llanidloes, has received nearly £10,000 to continue its work which supports ex-service personnel in Mid Wales.
The not-for-profit organisation received £9,973 from The National Lottery Community Fund to support its project ‘Working With The Hard Stuff’. The stone carving course provides a space for ex-army veterans to experience fellowship and supports their positive mental wellbeing.
The course is led by local artists Glenn Morris and Nick Lloyd in the Creative Hub at the Llyn Clywedog Visitor Centre.
Russell George, MS for Montgomeryshire, joined Radiate Arts to celebrate the funding and visited the ex-army personnel who are taking part in the course to experience first-hand the impact of the creative workshop.
Mr George said: “It was fantastic to see the positive impact Radiate Arts is having in the community and how art plays an important role for physical and mental wellbeing.
“The not-for-profit organisation delivers very welcome experiences for many in the local area of Llanidloes and beyond. It was clear to see how the creative and focused process helps with mindfulness and it is the perfect way to stay in the moment.
“I’m pleased to hear that they have secured funding to carry on with their work supporting the community here in Mid Wales and what a peaceful and inspirational spot overlooking the Clywedog Reservoir.”
Radiate Arts directors Pam Gordon and Ian Bellingham said they were thrilled to receive funding from The Lottery Community Fund to support creative workshops which generate positive impact within the community.
“With this fund, we can continue to run our weekly sessions and carry on delivering this service to those who need it,” they added. “It was great to have a conversation with Russell George around our vision and ways to promote wider leisure and tourism at the ‘Source of the River Severn’ here in Mid Wales.
“We are excited to continue ‘Working With The Hard Stuff’ as we continue to support the needs of those in our community.”
The resident artist at the Creative Hub, Amy Sterly, presented one of her prints depicting Clywedog Dam to Mr George.
Montgomeryshire MS Russell George looks at stone carving by Mark from the Working With The Hard Stuff project watched by Radiate Arts director Ian Bellingham.
Montgomeryshire MS Russell George receives a print of Clywedog Dam from Creative Hub resident artist Amy Sterly during his visit to Radiate Arts.
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