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Darth Vader to Visit Blackwood A short time ago in Blackwood town centre not far away a business invited Darth Vader to attend the opening of its new store on Saturday 18th March 2017 between 12-2pm. Rusty’s Games and Gift Store located at 54b High Street on the junction of Pentwyn Road (above Exclusive Tiles and Bathrooms) is run by husband and wife Simon & Trish Fowler. The store, which sells a wide range of vintage ‘StarWars’ toys, ‘DC Marvel’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ merchandise, is a new aspect to their business and sits alongside their established guitar and musical instrument shop. The couple began their retail careers 14 years ago running Must Have Music in the Market Place Shopping Centre before moving onto High Street and then into Emily’s Indoor Market. Now they are back on the High Street again at the junction of Pentwyn Road. Simon said: It’s great to be back on the high street, running a business is very tough but we have survived by adapting and not been afraid to change. We still sell guitars, but alongside those we now sell the merchandise and pre-owned console games. Trish said: This new shop gives us three separate spaces for the guitars, merchandise and games. The official opening on Saturday is a big day for us and in the coming months we will also be working with the Comic Con which is happening at Caerphilly Leisure Centre on 10th June. The grand opening of Rusty’s Games and Gift Store is at 9am on Saturday 18th March 2017. Darth Vader and Spiderman…
Business Women Invests in Bargoed A local business woman Nicola Richardson has opened a new cosmetics clinic at 12 Hanbury Road in Bargoed town centre. After qualifying as a hair stylist 28 years ago, Nicola developed her career working in various salons and becoming a partner at The Barber Shop in Bargoed, before opening her first solo salon in a rented shop on Hanbury Road. Photo: Nicola and Dr Richards Recently Nicola began working with a business mentor Carl Hinder, which gave her the confidence to purchase a property a few doors away and set up HB Cosmetics. The new clinic offers a wide range of advanced cosmetic treatments including: Semi Permanent make up, Botox and fillers, which are administered by Dr Richard BDS who has also helped Nicola gain valuable experience of the aesthetics industry at London. HB Cosmetics is also a hair and Beauty salon with a number of different stylists renting the chairs and is set to become a training academy later this year. Nicola said: As well as being an investment and creating jobs in Bargoed, HB Cosmetics offers people the chance to experience advanced beauty treatments right on their doorsteps instead of travelling to Cardiff or Swansea. In my career I have worked on ‘Miss Universe’ and ‘Miss World’ as well as gained a position with the ‘Welsh Hair Artistic Team’, but at heart I am a Trelewis girl who is happiest working in Bargoed.
Major Employment Initiative Launched in Caerphilly Hundreds of unemployed and marginalised Caerphilly families are set to benefit from the launch of a new job club at Love Caerphilly in Cardiff Road Caerphilly town centre. The job club is part of a national employment initiative run by the charity Christians Against Poverty and will be staffed by volunteers who have undergone training. The aim is to offer extra support and practical advice to unemployed people in the Caerphilly area. Since it was launched in 2012, Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Job Clubs have grown to a network of 163 across the UK, helping more than 1,000 people into work, many of them long-term unemployed. Photo – Volunteers who will run the Job Club Job Club Manager Lesley Thomas said: Knowing many people are out of work and yet have talents and skills going to waste, we just felt we had to do something and Christians Against Poverty’s training and resources seemed like a really great fit for us. The club will run weekly starting from March 1st at 1.30pm at Love Caerphilly, 76 Cardiff Road, Caerphilly. To find out more about CAP Job Clubs or to book your place visit www.capjobclubs.org or telephone 0800 328 0006
Bargoed’s Lowry Plaza Welcomes New Tenant On Monday 27th February, Bargoed’s Lowry Plaza welcomed its latest tenant, Bargoed Fish Bar to the town centre. Bargoed Fish Bar is owned by local entrepreneur Mehmet Nur, who also owns a fish bar in High Street, Newbridge. The newly fitted out restaurant has seating for 30 customers and serves traditional fish and chips to eat in or take away. Mehmet Nur, owner of Bargoed Fish Bar said: It’s great to be finally open on Lowry Plaza and we have had a great welcome from the people of Bargoed since we opened. At Bargoed Fish Bar we serve quality fish and chips so I would urge people to give us a try! Cllr Ken James, Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and sustainable Development said: I am delighted to welcome Bargoed Fish Bar to the town centre, as the business has secured one of the last retail units available at Lowry Plaza. I wish Mehmet the very best of luck. The new retail development of Lowry Plaza was part of the recent regeneration scheme linking the existing town centre with Morrisons supermarket. The scheme’s newest tenant joins Poundworld, Greggs and Subway. For more information on the final retail unit available at Lowry Plaza, please contact the Council’s agents: Ian Newbury or Huw Thomas of Cooke & Arkwright (029 2034 6346) or Ian Metcalfe of imetcalfe & co. (029 2034 5111).
Ambitious Business Expands A Caerphilly business has expanded and moved to larger premises. Honeycomb Hair Design was started just over a year ago by friends Charlotte Zerk and Lauren Rees who worked together at another hair salon. They decided it was time to start their own business and opened Honeycomb’s first salon in Van Road. Due to the success of the business they have decided to move to a larger property and found the perfect unit on Castle Street, close to The Piccadilly in Caerphilly town centre. Not only have they moved premises, but the ambitious business partners have also taken on an apprentice Jaydee Matthews. Photo – Left to right India – Salon Makeup Artist, Charlotte – Salon Manager, Jaydee – Salon Apprentice, Lauren – Salon Manager Charlotte said: Starting your own business is a huge step but we decided to just go for it and haven’t looked back. At Honey Comb Hair Design we offer the latest styles and a friendly service and treat our clients like friends. Jaydee said: I was studying nursing in college but as I wasn’t enjoying it I decided to change course to Hair Dressing NVQ Level 2. I wasn’t sure that I would like it but I love working here with Charlotte and Lauren
What’s the Secret of Retail Success? They may be a national retailer located on high streets up and down the UK, but Timpson encourage every store manager of their 1838 shops to run them as if it was their own business. The shoe repairers shop on High Street in Blackwood town centre is managed by Neil Jenkins, who previously worked in Panasonic as a Software Test Engineer before joining Timpson five years ago. The secret to the retailer’s success is not only the trust and autonomy they give their managers, but also their ability to diversify in a changing market place. When the business began in 1869 it was a shoe shop and then in 1903 started also repairing shoes, but now the shops also repair mobile phone screens, repair watches and change batteries, offer a dry cleaning service and cut keys. Despite all the changes, at heart Timpson remains a family business. Neil said: The Timpson motto above the shop is ‘Great Service by Great People’ and we work hard to live up to that. Because as a manager I am given the trust to run the business as if it was my own, I do feel more responsibility for how it performs and I want to repay the faith shown in me.
Need a Holiday? Family run Edwards Holidays have been taking the people of South Wales on holiday for over 90 years and have had a shop on Blackwood High Street since 2008. Kelly-Anne Davies manages the shop with her team Chris Evans, Donna Harhhy, Corrine Rowlands and Heather Welch, each of whom have over twenty years experience working in the travel industry. The Edwards Holidays staff in Blackwood not only book coach holidays, but also cruises as well as helping people arrange air holidays. Kelly-Anne said: When people book an Edwards Holidays holiday our customer service starts from the moment they book and lasts until they get safely home. The great thing about being in Blackwood is that we are able to build a relationship with our customers.
Welsh Government Announces Business Rate Support for Retailers On Friday 17th February the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, Mark Drakeford AM announced an extra £10 million from Welsh Government to help high street retailers, pubs and restaurants with their non-domestic rates. Some details have now been announced & more are expected to follow in the next few weeks. Here is the link to the statement: Welsh Government announces details of High Street Rates Relief Scheme There are now a number of different scheme to support businesses in Wales in respect of business rates, these can be summarised as follows: Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) scheme which is already in place will remain the same until 31st March 2018 Transitional Rate Relief scheme (announced in December) will help ratepayers whose entitlement to SBRR is reduced or removed due to an increase in the rateable value of their premises following the revaluation which takes effect from 1st April 2017 One-year Targeted High Street Relief scheme announced last week is new and is in addition to the above schemes. Council’s Business Rates Teams do not yet have any further details on how this scheme will work and are awaiting an update from Welsh Government. Please note: Actual relief ascribed to each individual business will need to be calculated by the respective Local Authority’s Business Rates team. Business Rates in Wales are devolved so they differ from England, meaning that Small Business Rate Relief & Transitional Rate Relief will be different in Wales. From 1st April the appeals system in England is changing but the Welsh Government has yet…
Retail Manager Takes New Opportunity Castle Court Shopping Centre in Caerphilly town centre, which boast 100,000 shoppers each week, has welcomed another retailer to add to its existing impressive tenant mix which includes: WH Smith, Argos, Boots and Costa Coffee. Edinburgh Woollen Mill / Ponden Home Interiors have taken over one of the centres largest retail units to replace value retailer Store 21. The quality clothing retailer stocks timeless classic brands including PG Field, James Pringle, Country Rose and Honor Millburn, as well as a range of bedding and curtains. In addition to being a boost for shoppers in Caerphilly, the change is also good news for the new store manager Sue Roberts. Previously, Sue was the Store 21 store manager in Caerphilly, but was specifically recruited by Edinburgh Woollen Mill to lead their new Caerphilly investment. Sue said: It’s an incredible opportunity to head up the new Edinburgh Woollen Mill / Ponden Home Interiors store in Caerphilly. The company have been really supportive and I have a great new team who are working really hard to make sure we deliver an exceptional level of customer service. John Couzens Castle Court Shopping Centre Manager said: We are delighted to welcome Edinburgh Woollen Mill / Ponden Home to Castle Court. They are an excellent addition to our strong tenant list and have already proved very popular with visitors.