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Empty Shop Becomes an Art Gallery A ‘Pop Up’ art gallery is holding a new photographic exhibition in Bargoed town centre from 9th– 26th March. ‘Lost & Found’ is being staged by the Kickplate Project in a vacant shop on Hanbury Road. The exhibition is the sixth at the location and is jointly funded by The Arts Council of Wales, Caerphilly Council’s Arts Development and Bargoed Town Council. Dafydd Williams said: The aim of this exhibition is to create a unique social history of the Bargoed by encouraging people to bring in their old family photos which we can digitalise using our scanner. If you are interested in utilising an empty shop to set up a Pop Up shop or community project, the Council’s Town Centre Management Team have produced a ‘Pop Up Guide’ which explains the process.  
Bargoed Sight Centre first business in Bargoed to receive Dementia Awareness training Bargoed Sight Centre became the first business in Bargoed to receive a Dementia Awareness training session on Wednesday 9th March, making it a “Dementia Friendly” business. The aim of the training is to make businesses more aware of how to assist people who are living with dementia. The interactive session – provided by the Alzheimer’s Society – only takes about an hour, but provides a useful insight into what people who are living with dementia experience in their day-to-day lives and how businesses can support them. Alice Lewis – owner and manager of Bargoed Sight Centre – said: I’ve learnt a huge amount this morning, particularly in relation to the emotional issues that people living with dementia experience. The session has been incredibly useful and allows us to better serve our community. Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Town Centre Management team has been working with the Alzheimer’s Society & Torfaen County Borough Council to offer this free training session to any business who would like to take part in Bargoed, Blackwood, Caerphilly, Risca or Ystrad Mynach town centres.
New Estate Agents Chooses Town Centre Location A new estate agents urpad has opened in Hayden’s Designer Flooring which is situated on Castle Street in Caerphilly town centre. The Welsh franchise of urpad is being rolled out by Andrew Dillon and Daniel Murphy who have over 25 years of experience in the industry. The Caerphilly shop is the first in Wales and aims to provide vendors with a cost effective way of selling or renting houses by combining online sales with a high street presence. Director Andrew Dillon said: I am delighted to bring the urpad brand to my home town of Caerphilly, the franchise has already enjoyed great success in Bristol by bringing a new approach to the property market. As a business we are also keen to put something back into the local community and have sponsored a rugby kit for my old school Plas-y-Felin Primary. Plas-y-Felin Primary, “urpad” sponsored rugby kit
Familiar Name Returns to Bargoed The Ty Marisa Café in Bargoed is reverting to its original name Rossi Café. The café was established by Joe & Irene Rossi in 1961 and is part of the long tradition of Italian cafes’ in the South Wales Valleys. When it opened Rossi Café was situated in High Street, later the café relocated to another High Street property and was renamed Ty Marisa after the couple’s daughter. Today, Marisa runs the business with her mother Irene. Marisa Rossi said: “It was the right time to revert back to calling ourselves Rossi Café as local people still know us as ‘Rossi’s’. I am delighted with our new signage which captures the heritage of the business my parents started.”
Digital Memory Books Introduced The council’s Town Centre Management Team has produced a ‘Digital Memory Book‘ as part of the successful ‘Choose the High Street‘ Past & Present initiative. The digital resource was unveiled at the Visitor Centre in Caerphilly town centre, each book contains historic photos of Caerphilly, Blackwood, Bargoed, Risca and Ystrad Mynach town centres taken from the council’s Winding House Museum. The Digital Memory Books will be used by local groups supporting people who are living with dementia and are the first part of a new initiative to promote town centres as ‘Dementia Friendly’ places.   Ian Thomas – Dementia Friendly Community Coordinator said: “The Digital Memory Books are a fantastic resource which will really help to engage with people living with dementia; I’m delighted to work with the council’s Town Centre Management team in developing this initiative.”
Blackwood Business Keeping People Connected A retailer in Blackwood town centre has turned his hobby into a successful business. Warren Ashton realised his knack for fixing electronic devices could be a new business opportunity so he started ‘Fix it Up’ in the smallest shop on Blackwood High Street. Soon the business grew and relocated to a larger shop in Hall Street. ‘Fix it Up’ now not only repairs and refurbishes mobile phones and tablets, it also buys and sells them.   Warren Ashton said: “I am a good example of someone who saw a gap in the market and turned their hobby into a business. When you manage to fix someone’s broken phone you help them stay connected to their world and that’s the most important thing we do” If you would like to talk to someone about opportunities to start a business in one of the County Borough’s town centres please contact Town Centre Management retail@caerphilly.gov.uk 01443 866213 / 01443 86693.
Fashion Retailer Makes a Big Impression An independent ladies fashion retailer in Bargoed town centre has just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Impressions ladies fashions, which is run by mother and daughter Gloria and Nicola Kelk, is famed for its eye-catching window displays which brighten up shoppers days. Impressions was originally relocated at 38 Hanbury Road before it moved to its current shop opposite the new library. Gloria Kelk says: “We would like to thank all of our customers both past and present. I believe that independent retailers still have a place on our high streets as we offer great service and customers really appreciate us. The important thing is for people to still support local businesses”
Pets Find a New Home in Blackwood National retailer Pets at Home is expanding its Blackwood town centre store which is located next to ASDA. The retailer has taken additional space next to its existing store in the unit formally occupied by Blockbuster. The new store will incorporate Vets4Pets and ‘The Groom Room’ and is scheduled to open on 18th March. The store remains open whilst the works are undertaken.   Assistant Manager Jane Hamar says: “We are all really excited about our shop extension which enables us to offer an in-store vet and a grooming service in addition to Pets at Home’s huge range of products. Our aim is to bring the people of Blackwood the ultimate pet shop”
Beautician Opens Salon in Her Home Town A local beautician Donna Parker has realised her dream of owning her own business by opening a new beauty salon in Bargoed town centre. ‘Donna’s Beauty Cwtch‘ is located in Hanbury Road opposite the library and offers a range of beauty treatments.   Donna said: “I have 18 years of experience in the beauty industry and my dream was always to open a salon in Bargoed as its my home town. We’ve only been open a short time but the response from customers has been fantastic”
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