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A Warm Welcome for New Bargoed Business A local business, Thompson Services has opened its first showroom on Hanbury Road in Bargoed town centre. @The Stove Centre is located opposite the Police Station close to the new Lowry Plaza development and sells a range of stoves and wood burners. Thomson Services is a family business run by Marc Thompson and was first established in 1998. The firm undertakes installations of stove & wood burners, flue maintenance as well as general building works. Marc said: @The Stove Centre we not only sell stoves and wood burners but also offers a full installation and servicing package. This means that we can build strong relationships with our customers over the lifetime of the product.
Change of Career Brings Success Six years ago lifelong teachers Keith and June Anthony decided to take early retirement from teaching to open the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Caerphilly Town Centre. The centre is located in Castle Street and currently has 100 pupils aged between 5 and 18. The centre offers tuition in English and Maths. Keith was previously a Head of Year at Cardinal Newman Secondary School in Pontypridd, and June was a primary school teacher at Nant y Parc School in Senghenydd, so between them they have a wealth of teaching and academic experience. The decision to leave teaching and run the Kip McGrath Education Centres as a franchise was driven by a desire to spend more time actually teaching. Keith said: At Kip McGrath we aim to build a long-term relationship with our clients, which allows us to make a real difference to their academic performance. Whether someone is with us a few years or just a few months our real joy is what we call the ‘light bulb moment’, when a piece of work just ‘clicks’, which – for any good teacher – makes it all worth while. June said: We operate on first name terms at the centre which helps us create a relaxed learning environment, we emphasise that this isn’t school! We enjoy focusing on purely teaching with no distractions.
Sirhowy Valley Honey Bee Company Creates a buzz Social Enterprise Sirhowy Valley Honey Bee Company (SVHC) scooped the Pride in Your Place overall award. SVHC were recognised for their success in the innovative and ground breaking project bringing the importance of bees into the local schools. Honeybees are in crisis worldwide said SVHC founder, experienced beekeeper Lorne East Disease and climate change are decimating the numbers and impacting on the health of bee colonies. The knock-on effect of this decline is that our plants – most especially food crops – are not being pollinated as well as we might like them to be, and there is a real threat to our capacity to produce food. Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Pride in Your Place award ceremony was recently held at Blackwood Miners’ Institute to celebrate the environmental work undertaken by groups, schools and individual volunteers. The Sirhowy Valley Honey Bee Company clinched the overall award for their efforts in helping to stimulate local bee populations, as well as developing a honey education centre in Ynysddu. The education centre helps to teach groups of all ages can learn about the importance of pollinators in supporting a healthy food chain. Tyn-Y-Wern Primary with their award Other winners during the awards ceremony included: Environmental Champion – Mrs Daryl Resting for her work on litter clearance and bird box installations in and around the Caerphilly Basin Tyn Y Wern Primary – improving the local community with clean ups, planting and creating habitats for hedgehogs Fochriw Primary – salmon hatchery project Pengam Primary – making their school a more attractive place to learn and visit Cllr…
New Shop Captures Niche Market A new shop in Caerphilly town centre is catering for an increasing number of customers who are looking for clothing which allows them to express their individualism. Mojo King (Caerphilly) is situated in Clive Street, which is located at the top of Cardiff Road. The independent clothing retailer is run by James Parker and stocks a range of men’s apparel as well as shoes and accessories which are inspired by the 1960’s. James had previously worked at Mojo King in Wellfield Road Cardiff and had known the owner Paul Reeves for many years. Paul felt the time was right to expand the business and offered James the opportunity to start the Caerphilly business as a franchise. The shops design and merchandising are inspired and influenced 1960’s, even down to the Motown music playing in the background. James said: At Mojo King we aim to provide our customers with a truly distinctive shopping experience. Since we opened we have had lots of customers come in including young people who love the ethos of the 1960’s and are looking for a different way to dress which lets them stand out in the crowd. James continued: Although you don’t have to be a total lover of the 60s to appreciate the style and brands on offer, the appeal of a unique, smart jumper, shirt, pair of trousers or a coat is across all ages and generations.
Working Women get Top Branding Advice The CBF Working Women group met for the first event of 2017 in the Tourist Information Centre in Caerphilly Town centre, Caerphilly Castle illuminated in the background provided a dramatic backdrop to the event. Michelle Rose-Innes from Rose-Innes Designs provided the ladies with food for thought – Michelle’s party story is that she designed the restaurant chain ‘Frankie and Benny’s’ brand back in 1997 (Yes, that is her handwriting!) The ladies learnt about the importance of “the brand” and branding and left armed with a toolkit of how to develop their brand. The Working Women Events are designed to be fun and informative and a great opportunity to network. Open to all both employees and employers look out for our next event in February. Cwm a Mynydd Rural Development Programme support the Working Women Network through the Welsh Governments Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. If you are interested in joining the Women’s Networking Events please contact Sharon Peters on 01443 866397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pizza Hut Arrives in Blackwood A new Pizza Hut take away has opened in Blackwood town centre. The famous brand is located on High Street at its junction with Pentwyn Road and is close to the Blackwood Miners’ Institute. The store is operated as a franchise by Khorum Amin who was a Civil Engineer before deciding it was time to swap building bridges for making pizza. Prior to being accepted to run a Pizza Hut as a franchise applicants are put through a stringent vetting and selection process. Khorum said: I decided it was time to run my own business and so I applied to Pizza Hut to operate a franchise. The whole process to get accepted was really tough because the Pizza Hut name means that people expect a high standard of quality and service and your store needs to meet those expectations.
Winter is on its Way Over the next few days the weather forecasts are predicting a sharp fall in temperature, bringing with it the increased risk of snow and ice. Caerphilly County Borough Council is ready to respond to these types of adverse weather conditions and we will be paying particular attention to our town centres if there is heavy snow. We recognise the importance of keeping town centres ‘open for businesses’, particularly as they are key focal points for the community during periods of inclement weather. Each of our principal town centres have a number of yellow grit bins placed throughout the core retail areas and these are for use by local businesses to assist them in keeping the area outside their shops clear of ice and snow. If you notice that the grit level in any of the bins is low please contact the Council’s Customers Service Team on 01443 815588 / 01495 226622 and they will arranged for more grit to be delivered. The council has a detailed Winter Maintenance Plan in place which aims to keep the area’s main highway network open, as well as minimising disruption to key frontline services and protecting the vulnerable. Our fleet of gritters will pre-salt key strategic routes with priority given to the main ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads. The Council also tries to ensure, where possible, that access is maintained to residential accommodation for older people, education establishments, hospitals, doctors surgeries, town centres & major bus stations. Salt/grit box photo by Lee Haywood . True grit photo by Mary Hutchison .
The Great Bargoed Bake Off There is good news for fans of the hit TV show ‘The Great British Bake Off’, Bargoed town centre is going cupcake mad with the opening of a new business in High street. The new shop called Cupcake Heaven is run by Sian Hurley and is the culmination of a journey which has seen her turn her hobby of baking cupcakes into a full time business venture. Sian‘s Mum Alice had always encouraged her daughter to pursue her dreams and when Alice passed away a few years ago, Sian decided that the time was right to leave her office job and start baking full time. With the support of her husband David and children Brent, Matthew and Kelcie, Sian opened Cupcake Heaven in December. She now spends her days making and selling different flavoured cupcakes, as well as baking cakes for specials occasion which she hand decorates to create a totally unique design. Sian said: This has been an amazing journey and I can’t believe I now run a business doing what I love – baking!. At Cupcake Heaven we offer our customers the chance to try different cupcake flavor’s and if you want a special cake designed come and talk to me
Bargoed Ice Rinks Perfect Partnership The popular festive Ice Rink was once again hosted in the underground car park of the Morrisons store in Bargoed Town Centre this Christmas. The event, is a unique partnership between Caerphilly Council, Morrisons and Bargoed Town Council. During the first few years that the ice rink was staged in the town centre, it was sited in the St Gwladys car park. However, the event was always vulnerable to adverse weather conditions. Following the opening of the new Morrisons supermarket an agreement was reached with the national retailers to stage the event using part of their underground car park. This year for the first time the ice rink size has been increased and Bargoed Town Council have installed a Santa’s Grotto to further enhance to the visitor experience. Store Manger Richard Taylor said: Morrisons are delighted to support this local event, community engagement is very important to us as a business and it’s our chance to give something back to the people of Bargoed and thank them for their support. The Mayor of Bargoed Cllr Tudor Davies said: Once again Bargoed Town Council has worked with the local authority to bring this fantastic event to the town. We are particularity grateful to Morrisons for hosting the ice rink and for showing their support for the community of Bargoed and very much hope it continues in the future. Cllr Ken James Cabinet Member of Regeneration Planning and Sustainable Development said: The council organises a number of festive events across the whole county borough, but this is our only ice rink…