The prestigious British Rally Championship (BRC) is set to return with a revised calendar of events. The iconic Oulton Park Circuit will provide the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship with a history-making opening round of the 2021 season as the series commences with the Neil Howard Stages in association with Graham Coffey & Co. Solicitors on 31st May.
Despite announcing its six-round calendar of events just last week (16th March), British Rally Championship organisers have since been offered the opportunity to open the season at the Cheshire circuit in May, bringing an additional asphalt event to the schedule.
Opening the series during the past two years, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally switches to October 30, providing imposing forest stages made famous by Wales Rally GB from its base in Llandudno.
BRC manager Iain Campbell said: “It’s been an extremely tough time for all forms of motorsport over the past 12 months or so and the British Rally Championship hasn’t escaped the challenges caused by the pandemic.
“But we have been working very hard behind the scenes to create a calendar worthy of the British Championship title and I truly believe we have come up with an exciting, challenging yet cost-effective offering for our BRC top-flight, Juniors and National competitors.
“I’d like to thank all of the events in the calendar that have worked with us and it goes without saying that we are all looking forward to finally getting the season underway.”
Regulations and registrations for the eagerly anticipated new season will be available soon. All the latest championship news can be found at www.britishrallychampionship.co.uk
Aberdovey-based Tom Cave in action in the British Rally Championship in 2019.
Following an exceptional period of growth, Focus Newtown Enterprise Hub has achieved record figures in February, highlighting the increase in demand for business support for new and existing businesses.
In 28 days, the hub team welcomed more than 450 virtual event attendees with 179 of those being new, completed 21.5 hours of workshops over 10 events, 23 hours of one-to-one support with their business advisor and achieved 100 sign-ups on just one event.
“February was a fantastic month full of inspiring events for the hub. We welcomed new faces and supported so many new businesses,” commented hub manager, Holly Jones.
“We’ve also held our first virtual conference, She Can Start, with over 100 sign-ups, which is a personal best for a single hub event in Newtown. As well as this, we’ve completed a three-day online masterclass dedicated to building websites, launched a five-week Instagram workshop that is seeing 80 plus attendees sign up each week, and we’re getting ready to reopen the hub for co-working as soon as government restrictions ease.”
However, it’s not just February that’s been successful for the hub. Over the last 12 months, three new members of staff have been employed to support the increased demand for hub services.
Lucie Andrews has joined as the new Enterprise Hub engagement coordinator. She is responsible for co-ordinating and promoting a comprehensive engagement programme for the hub, as well as engaging with the community and establishing key relationships.
Co-ordinators. Their role is to be the first point of contact to new clients and to signpost them to the various services the Hub offers.
Focus Newtown Enterprise Hub is an innovative space to incubate and accelerate new and growing businesses based at Royal Welsh Warehouse, Newtown. The hub is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
The ‘She Can Start’ virtual conference held by Focus Newtown Enterprise Hub.
The deadline for the Next Tourism Generation Competition has been extended until Friday 30 April 2021 to enable as many people as possible to take part.
What should the future of tourism in Wales look like? What skills and training will the next generation of tourism professionals need to support this sustainable development? If you can answer these questions you could be a winner in 2021!
The Next Tourism Generation competition is open to students enrolled in Wales on courses that have a component relating to tourism or hospitality AND to young people who work in the industry including 16-25 year olds who have been furloughed or recently been made redundant.
There are four categories, and entrants should make reference to one area in their response:
Julian was senior partner in Wales Holidays, a letting agency for more than 500 self-catering cottages, from 1978 to 2013, recognising tourism’s wider value and benefit to Wales.
He was volunteer chair of the WTA for eight years from 2002-‘10, a role he relished and was able to represent the industry in the Senedd and Westminster. He was tireless in championing the value and wider economic benefits of tourism.
One of Julian’s most memorable experiences as WTA chair was having afternoon tea and a discussion about tourism with the Prince of Wales on board the Royal train between Carmarthen and Cardiff.
Amongst his many roles, he was a member of the Wales Advisory Tourism Panel from 2007-’11, advising ministers for tourism within the Welsh Government and was also a founder member of the Wales Association of Self Catering Operators (WASCO).
Julian remained active in his retirement, using his vast knowledge to provide content and itineraries for MWT Cymru and the Visit Mid Wales website.
WTA’s current volunteer chair, Andrew Campbell said: “Julian’s passing is a very sad loss to tourism in Wales. He was a most influential figure who strove to make a difference and succeeded.
“When I became WTA chair, he reached out to wish me well, a gesture fully in keeping with his gentlemanly approach to life... courteous and thoughtful at all times, qualities that define our industry.”
Val Hawkins, MWT Cymru’s chief executive, who worked closely with Julian for decades, said: “The tourism sector in Wales has benefited greatly from Julian’s wisdom and passion for more than 40 years.
“He was a Life Member of Mid Wales Tourism and we were all delighted when he was awarded an OBE in 2006 in recognition of his contribution to tourism and. We shall all miss Julian.”
Jonathan Jones, CBE, former Visit Wales tourism and marketing director and chief executive of the former Wales Tourist Board, said: “Julian was so influential in the world of self-catering and also the wider tourism field.
“Although very softly spoken, he had an iron will and a great business brain. Wales tourism is a poorer place without him.”
Picture caption: The late Julian Burrell.
Menter Mon’s Wage Subsidy Scheme is restarting on the 1st of April 2021.
This scheme is to help with taking on new staff age 25+ in Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, and Anglesey (who meet the qualifying criteria) Please see links below to more information about the scheme.
Based on the Living Wage rate, Menter Mon will pay 50% of their wage for up to 26 weeks.
Certain conditions apply, including the person must be 25 + and currently unemployed.
If you would like to discuss the scheme further please contact Rachel on 07881 873 087 or email Rachel@mentermon.com
From March 27, when the ‘stay local’ travel restrictions will also be lifted by the Welsh Government, people living within Wales will be able to enjoy a holiday break within the country. Only one household from within Wales can book to stay in accommodation.
Visitors from other UK nations will still have to abide by their restrictions, meaning that non-essential travel to Wales and overnight stays are not allowed until April 12 at the earliest.
Val Hawkins, MWT’s chief executive, said: “We welcome the Welsh Government’s announcement which will allow our members with self-contained accommodation, including caravan parks, to reopen to visitors from within Wales in time for Easter.
“Wales is the first country in the UK to relax the Covid-19 restrictions in this way and that is due to the hard work and discipline of local communities within Wales to drive down the infection rate.
“Some of our members with self-contained accommodation have been gearing up to reopen in time for Easter, but not all will be reopening, as there are still significant restrictions in place.
“Our advice to people who plan to visit Mid Wales after March 27 is to ensure that you book directly with self-contained accommodation that has Covid-secure measures in place and has ‘Good to go’ accreditation.
“The safety of local communities is the first priority for all our members. Self-contained accommodation will only be allowed to take bookings from a single household until the restrictions are further relaxed.
“Whilst there will still be significant restrictions in place, it’s a long-awaited opportunity for people living within Wales, who have been in the current lockdown for three months, to escape to the outdoors and there is nowhere better than Mid Wales to boost your health and wellbeing.
“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Mid Wales from other parts of the UK when it’s safe to do so.”
Picture caption: Val Hawkins welcomes the Welsh Government’s announcement.
Several areas of Ceredigion could soon have access to some of the fastest internet speeds in the UK following a number of suppliers proposing Fibre to the Premises projects (FTTP) across the County.
This comes following a pilot project launched by UK Government last year, the Broadband Upgrade Fund. Through the hard work and dedication of several Community Coordinators and with the support of Ceredigion County Council Officers, suppliers have outlined plans to make ultra-reliable and gigabit-capable full fibre broadband available to hundreds homes and businesses across Ceredigion.
A number of communities have been identified by private suppliers for developing potential schemes, and work will be underway in the coming months to further explore and plan developments in the following areas: Llanrhystud, Llanon, Cross Inn, Pennant, Cilcennin, Bethania, Penuwch, Llanwnnen, Llanybydder, Cwrt-Newydd, Tan y Groes, Penrhiw-pal, Ffostrasol, Beulah, Sarnau, Tresaith, Cefn Llwyd, Rhos y Garth, Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, Ystumtuen, Aber Ffrwd, Cwmrheidol, Pontarfynach, Ponterwyd, Pontrhydfendigaid, Goginan, Bow Street, Tal y Bont, Clarach, Borth, Tre’r Ddol and Eglwys Fach.
For each community project area, a Community Co-ordinator has been identified to help facilitate proposals between the private suppliers and local community. The Council encourages everyone to check with their local Community Co-ordinators to confirm if projects will be taking place in their area and if they are eligible to access improved services. Residents and businesses in neighbouring communities can also be included if there is enough demand and are also encouraged to enquire with the local co-ordinators.
Eligible properties within project areas can be upgraded by suppliers through the use of the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme provided by UK Government in addition to the Welsh Government ‘Top Up’ Fund. This means that eligible residential properties and business properties can claim up to £3,000 and £7,000 respectively for the cost of upgrading their current broadband connection. Property owners are not required to contribute to upgrade to FTTP infrastructure, though will be required to pay the usual monthly costs associated with other broadband connections. The more properties sign up to the scheme, the larger the fund available to meet the infrastructure costs.
Councillor Clive Davies, Digital Champion for Ceredigion County Council provided his support for the proposals being developed, stating that “Full fibre or fibre to the premises is more reliable and resilient with consistent speeds. With large lengths of copper cable ceasing to be used over the coming years it is important that as many people and businesses in Ceredigion take up this opportunity. Fibre provides future proofing, capable of meeting growing data needs from new technologies as well as home working and schooling demands”.
“It is important to note that residents and business in these areas have to be proactive to engage with their local co-ordinators and register their interest in the schemes proposed. The Council cannot recommend or support individual projects from private suppliers, but our officers can ensure you are put in touch with the local Community Co-ordinators”.
These countywide fibre projects will be managed and deployed through private suppliers and once members of the public and businesses are aware of range of suppliers now operating in their area through their Community Co-ordinators, enquiries should be directed to them. Council officers will also continue to be pro-active in supporting and providing advice where appropriate.
Further information about the work of the Council and a useful guide to help improve connectivity can be found on the Council website: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/coronavirus-covid-19/5-steps-to-better-connectivity/
For more information, or to find out who your local Community Co-Ordinator is, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A successful micro distillery near Machynlleth was the toast of Wales at the 2021 World Gin Awards.
Dyfi Distillery, based at Corris Craft Centre, a hub for thriving independent craft producers near Machynlleth, triumphed in all three categories it entered, winning ‘Best in Country’ awards.
The multi-award winning distillery’s Dyfi Original was named Best Welsh Dry Gin, while Pollination Gin scooped Best Welsh Contemporary Gin and Navigation Gin was named the Best Welsh Matured Gin.
In the sister competition, Icons of Gin, Dyfi Distillery was shortlisted for the worldwide award of Craft Producer of the Year.
“We’re a bit bowled over,” said Danny Cameron, who co-founded the distillery with his brother Pete more than five years ago. “Given what thriving and high quality gin producers we have across Wales just now, it’s a remarkable result.”
One of the UK’s most prestigious craft gin producers, the distillery operates from within the Dyfi UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and is, unusually for a distillery of its size, frequently open to passing visitors.
Pollination Gin, winner of the Best Welsh Contemporary Gin award.
Remember Me includes Andrew’s eclectic mix of objects, many collected from his travels, and has a distinctly Welsh theme, representing nature and his interpretation of humanity’s treatment of the planet.
The cross features a resin casting of the Green Man’s face at its centre, surrounded by bronze painted leaves mounted on a blue and green mirrored sun base.
A rising blue sun tops the pieces and the shaft of the cross is decorated with pieces of varnished mulberry wood taken from a fallen 400-year-old tree in the Archdeaconry garden in St Davids Cathedral Close, home to the Rev Sophie Whitmarsh.
The tree pieces have red mirror discs embedded, representing the bleeding of nature and various stones gifted to Andrew from countries around the world - from all four Home Nations to as far afield as Russia, Australia, India, Thailand and Morocco.
Remember Me includes three statues of people holding planet earth in their hands, a metallic plaque of the Welsh Dragon, a sculpture of St David, a pair of hands which flash with red light and a white dove made in Andrew’s signature style of mosaic pieces of mirror, glass and resin.
“This sculptural cross project comes with a message to everyone to ‘Be Aware’, as it deals with human’s disregard for their home planet – Earth,” explained Andrew. “I call it a Living Organism of the Planet and it was inspired by my visit to St Davids.”
As soon as travel restrictions allow, the cross will be transported to St Davids to be displayed at the cathedral. The Very Rev Dr Sarah Rowland Jones, Dean of St Davids, said: “In giving Andrew the mulberry wood, we had no idea it would return here, and yet what could be more apt than a cross?
“Its glorious design presents us with, dare I say, a provocative as well as often all too necessary invitation to look at the cross with fresh eyes. It drives home the twin realities that the sins Jesus bore there include humanity’s maltreatment of our planet, and the redemption he won embraces all of creation.”
This project came about due to a connection between Andrew Logan and Sophie Whitmarsh, who met many years ago at an exhibition at Roche Court in Salisbury. They bumped into each other again in St Davids last summer where Sophie is now curate and minor canon at the cathedral.
She is delighted to be involved in this venture. “It was such a wonderful surprise to see Andrew exploring the cathedral grounds and a pleasure to be able to show him the beautiful architecture and the history of this remarkable site in which people have worshipped since the sixth century,” she said.
“Andrew has drawn inspiration from so many aspects of St David and having the cross here for a time will add to the already world renowned cultural, historical and spiritual significance of St Davids Cathedral and city. ”
The sculpture itself will hopefully be installed ready for viewing at the Cathedral this summer.
Andrew Logan with the sculptural cross, Remember Me, that he has created for St Davids Cathedral.
Detailed work on the cross.
'A Search for a Contemporary Figure IV' by Tomos Sparnon and 'I Use(d) to Hurt Myself' by Jasmine Sheckleford are powerful pieces from the new annual exhibition at MOMA.
Launched last November, the exhibition was curated by Mari Elin Jones and Lloyd Roderick and showcases the work of artists under the age of 30 working in Wales.
Tomos Sparnon’s mixed media on canvas explores what it is to be human, reflecting on the conflict between what is visible and invisible, while Jasmine Sheckleford's work, which uses a cyanotype on paper, looks at themes relating to mental health, identity and family.
Pedr ap Llwyd, the library’s chief executive and librarian, said: “We are constantly growing and developing our collections and this work has continued during the pandemic.
“We are delighted to be adding these exciting and valuable works to the National Art Collection, ensuring that our collections are as contemporary as possible. It is vitally important that the library’s collections continually evolve in order to reflect a current and dynamic Wales and its diverse individuals. What better way to do so that than by supporting young artists.”
Emily Bartlett, MOMA’s managing director, said: “We are delighted that the National Library of Wales shares our vision for supporting and recognising the valuable work being created by young artists in Wales, as indeed we are now that these two exciting and remarkable works will become part of the National Art Collection.
“We look forward to working with colleagues at the national library to further develop this partnership, and its support for young Welsh artists, in future years.”
Morfudd Bevan, the library’s art curator, said: “This ground-breaking exhibition provides essential support for young Welsh artists at the outset of their careers. We are therefore extremely proud to be able to support the exhibition and the artists by annually purchasing works of art from the show into the library’s National Art Collection.”
>> Click here for more information about the National Library of Wales
>> Click here for more information about the Museum of Modern Art, Wales (MOMA)
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