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Taste of Enterprise
Sign up for a Taste of Enterprise An initiative that encourages budding entrepreneurs to test-drive their business ideas opens in Bargoed on Thursday 14 February. Taste of Enterprise is a Welsh Government initiative run by the Centre for Business, and allows people to try out ideas for new businesses with qualified business mentors free of charge. They will also have the opportunity to chat through their plans with established traders, and take part in various workshops and activities in a positive and supportive atmosphere. Taste of Enterprise has proved popular since its launch in 2007, with offices in Merthyr Tydfil and Ebbw Vale, and a stall in Pontypool market.  It has assisted 550 people of which 385 have had a business outcome. David Russ, Managing Director of the Centre for Business, said: “Starting a new business involves a huge financial commitment. Taste of Enterprise will allow people to try out their ideas and find out if they have the potential to succeed, without having to worry about losing money.” Centre for Business already has opened Taste of Enterprise centres in Merthyr Tydfil and Ebbw Vale, along with a stall in Pontypool market. In order to qualify, participants must live in the Heads of the Valleys Region and must not already have their own business. The Taste of Enterprise Bargoed is located at 48 Hanbury Road, Bargoed, next to The Continental Café. To find out more contact the team on 01685 376732, email or visit
IT Amnesty
Caerphilly residents urged to donate unwanted equipment for ‘IT Amnesty’! A campaign in the Caerphilly county borough for residents to put their old computers and mobile phones to good use will be in full swing in the New Year. The ‘IT Amnesty’ campaign aims to recycle and refurbish old computers and mobile phones, and put them to good use in the community. The items are fully refurbished and provided to people who don’t currently have access to modern digital equipment. Cllr Ken James, Digital Champion for Caerphilly County Borough Council said, “Many of us find ourselves with old unused equipment gathering dust, such as laptops, mobile phones, computers or games consoles. This campaign aims to put these items to good use by refurbishing and recycling them back into our communities. There are a number of residents still not online and who don’t have access to the very equipment we hope to collect. This is a fantastic way for people to help others who don’t currently have access to the latest digital technology.” Rose Davies, a young carer from Cefn Hengoed, is the latest recipient of a refurbished laptop through the scheme. Rose is an unsung hero and cabinet member of the Caerphilly Youth Forum who helps to take care of her mother. Providing Rose with a laptop will enable her to get online and be able to do school work, and apply for vocational training courses. The ‘IT Amnesty’ is driven by the local Get Caerphilly Online partnership, with support from Caerphilly County Borough Council, Partners IT, Communities 2.0 and the Get IT Together project. Members of the public can…
Ystrad Mynach business wins major high street contracts over Far East International Greetings, an Ystrad Mynach based company producing christmas wrapping paper has just fought off competition from the far east to win half a dozen contracts to supply major high street shops. The company, which is one of Europe’s biggest producers of gift wrap employs over 500 employees and upto 700 over summer months in the run up to Christmas. With a lot of business being sent to countries outside the UK due to cheaper labour costs this is great news for the local economy and workforce of Ystrad Mynach in Caerphilly. The Christmas cracker arm to the business is based in China but the wages there have more than doubled recently and are expected to do so again in the the next few years. Coupled with increased freight charges International Greetings saw the potential to ramp up production at the Ystrad Mynach site in order to meet the increased orders over Christmas. This might be a the shape of things to come and lets hope other companies follow suit and decide to invest in local businesses in Wales instead of sending production abroad.
school banner competition
Schools fly the flag at festive medieval market Pupils from schools across the county borough have been busy preparing special banners that will be on display in Caerphilly town centre on 8th & 9th December, during the much-anticipated Caerphilly Medieval Christmas Fayre. Over 40 colourful medieval banners have been produced to line the walkway to Caerphilly Castle during the event with over 15 schools participating. The banners have been created by schools from all over the county borough and will bring added colour to the festive fayre. Local schools have been working hard over the last few weeks to create some fantastic masterpieces for all the visitors of the market to see. The creators should be proud of their work and encourage friends and family members to come along and view their work, whilst also soaking up the medieval atmosphere! The banners really show a sense of ownership from the schools and this year to ensure each school gets a fair chance of holding the winning title, we are handing the voting over to the public. Over the two days members of the public both young and old will be able to come along and vote for their favourite banner. One lucky winner will receive vouchers for the school and the banner artwork will be featured in the 2013 promotional material and/or website. All schools will receive a certificate for taking part in this fun and festive activity. The schools have really worked hard with the children and the effort and quantity of banners made has been overwhelming.  
Christmas Tree
Caerphilly Medieval Christmas Fayre Caerphilly Medieval Christmas Fayre returns on Saturday 8th December (9am – 5pm) and Sunday 9th December (10am – 4pm) Caerphilly Town Centre. Over 100 traders will line the town with indulgent food and Christmas gifts with activities and entertainment for all the family. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of a town preparing for Christmas. Please note that Cardiff Road will be closed from approx Midnight on Fri 7th December to approx 9pm on Sun 9th December.
Blackwood Parking Restrictions Gwent Police officers continue to enforce the parking restrictions in the town centre. Since the start of September, 76 Fixed Penalty tickets have been issued for ‘no waiting’ and 47 on Thursday evening to drivers contravening the road closure notices. This enforcement action will continue up until the New Year.
Panto time! It’s panto time again! This Christmas the Blackwood Miners Institute will be staging ‘Babes In the Wood’ starring Welsh entertainer Owen Money. The production will offer the full panto experience with a baddie to boo and hiss at, lots of audience participation, laugh-out-loud comedy, a hero and a heroine and amazing musical numbers. Tickets are available at the box office on 01495 227206.
Max Boyce at Blackwood Miners Institute Welsh icon Max Boyce will be playing the Blackwood Miners Insitute on 2nd November. Come along and enjoy an evening of humour with the odd ode to the glorious game of rugby thrown in! Tickets cost £21.00/ £20.00 and are available at the box office on 01495 227206.
Blackwood Christmas Market The Blackwood Christmas Market returns on Sat 1st December (9am – 5pm) and Sun 2nd December (10am – 4pm). The event will include stalls lining the high street for a weekend of festive entertainment, a traditional funfair, Santa and his reindeers and lantern making workshops. The Town’s Christmas Lights will be switched on at 4pm on the Saturday (outside the Old Post Office). Please note that High Street will be closed from Friday 30th November at 7pm to 10pm on Sunday 2nd December.
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