NEWS / NEWS ARCHIVE

This page contains news items from the "flash" area at the top of the home page, about the Siop Havards Community Purchase, most recent first. It will serve as a record of progress and activities. Since the share offer was launched we have been sending out regular newsletters. You can see these here.

Visit of German TV

Visit of a German TV Team

25th January: We were visited by a German TV team, who were interested to know how a small Community Venture like ours got off the ground. The team was from DW - Germany's international public service broadcaster, comparable to BBC World Service. They have also been filming "One-Planet Developments" while in Pembrokshire.

19th December: CHRISTMAS SPECIAL NEWSLETTER IS HERE      Here's a quick summary of the key points:
- There's just 3 shopping days before Christmas - but we will be open up to and including Christmas Eve. We reopen on 28th December.
- There are plenty of ideas in Havards for last minute gifts, including utensils, crockery and cookware
- We are still looking for a few more volunteers to help in the shop. Please register here.
- Community Ownership Fund: Great news - we have been successful in a grant to help us achieve our goals. However, the late announcement of the award may affect how we are able to use it. There are more details in the newsletter.

10th December. We were delighted to welcome the many people who visited us during the late night opening on 10th December. So many people, in fact, that we ran out of mince pies and mulled wine. But the result was the best day of trading since we opened! Many thanks.

6th December: CHRISTMAS SPECIALS. Full details in this flier.
- We are open until 8 pm for late night Christmas Shopping on Saturday 10th December. Come and have a mince pie and see the new Community owned Havards shop.
- On Wednesday Dec 14th, 2-5pm, as a taster for possible new services, Havards will host a: Mobile Phone, Laptop or Tablet Repair Surgery. Gareth from ConsolCrazy in Aberteifi/Cardigan will be in Havards to help and advise on all makes of laptop, tablet and mobile phone. You must book an appointment by calling John Harries on 07804 487 642. More details are in the flier.

Photo of Daily Mirror news article

Daily Mirror Article - click to see larger version

3rd December - Havards has made the Daily Mirror - not to mention the BBC news this morning. You can click the small picture to see a larger (readable) version.
We also featured today in the Mail Online.

1st December - Nation Cymru wrote a great article titled Wales has the First Community Owned Hardware Store in the whole of the UK. See https://nation.cymru/news/wales-now-has-the-first-community-owned-hardware-store-in-the-whole-of-the-uk/

29th November: Hooray - We're OPEN! We completed the purchase on 26th November 2022, and are now trading!. We are delighted with the reception from the customers who have been into the shop. You will often meet one of the Committee if you go into the shop. A manager has been appointed and starts on 1st December, Betty Fells. Full details can be found in the latest Newsletter Also, please see some photos below, and many more (soon) on the Facebook page..

26th November: Our first day of trading! Having completed the purchase on 25th November, we are now trading. One of our investors took a picture of us putting up the new banner.

25th November: It has been a frenetic week with sale contracts, employment contracts and insurance to sort out. A stock take is underway as this is being written. We are making the assumption that we can raise suffient funds to cover a shortfall between the £443,000 now raised and the required amount.

24th November: Western Telegraph - "Community purchase of Havards draws praise in Senedd". https://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/23147049.community-purchase-havards-draws-praise-senedd/

23rd November: Havards featured in an article by Cefin Campbell MS, about Community support and ownership. See https://nation.cymru/opinion/we-owe-it-to-our-communities-to-provide-support-they-need-not-merely-to-survive-but-to-thrive/ Good picture!

22nd November: We are delighted to have received a grant from Pembrokeshire County Council, via the "Enhancing Pembrokeshire" scheme to fund a Volunteer Co-ordinator and associated costs. This is great news! So we are now recruiting a volunteer co-ordinator, approx. 1 day per week. See our JOBS page for more details.

Putting up Havards new banner

Putting up the new banner on opening day

6th November: New funds from investors are coming in fast. A further £12,000 has been received. More details are in our latest newsletter. At this rate, if more top-up or new investments are made, we should be very close to our target of £475,000 by the end of November or soon thereafter. Thanks to all investors and donors for their generosity. We have enough funds to provisionally decide to proceed and aim to purchase Havards by the end of this month - but we need investors to keep the funds coming in to fill the gap caused by the delay in a decision on the COF grant.

20th October: SHARE OFFER RE-OPENED. We have reached over £400,000 in Share Sales - fantastic, and thanks to all who contributed! Unfortunately the Community Ownership Fund Grant decision is delayed by at least two months, it seems by the chaos in Westminster.
We must commence trading by 1st December to meet commitments through the SITR (Social Investment Tax Relief) scheme. We are taking various actions to find alternative sources of funds, but the best option is to ask existing investors if they are able to contribute a little more. We are also opening the scheme to new investments. A full explanation is given in the latest "Extraordinary" Newsletter (sent out on 21st October) We only need the equivalent of £200 per investor, but we hope larger investors might be able to afford more. Full details about how to add to your existing investment or how to make a new investment are given on the "Invest" page.

7th Sept. We have now reached over £400,000 in Share Sales - many thanks to all our investors. More details on the latest status is in Newsletter 9 sent out today. We have commenced formal purchase negotiations, and are also working to "Bridge the gap" between what has been received and the amount needed. Grant applications are underway.

Photo of our launch event

One of our investors, Simon Aumonier, came to our street stall

3rd September: Much interest in helping Havards Community Shop was shown during the summer
We've been out and about in town and elsewhere during the summer holidays, and have talked to many locals and visitors. We were at every Monday Market - and it was great to see Simon Aumonier there on 8th August - Simon has been regularly holidaying in Newport, Pembrokeshire for 50 years. He has recently invested and become a shareholder in the Siop Havards community ironmongers project. As he said a visit to Newport would be very strange with not being able to visit the wonderful Havards ironmongers shop, it is an iconic part of the town. So many similar coastal towns have lost the majority of their traditional shops, let's keep Havards going with help from both locals and visitors investing in its future. Diolch Simon!

30th August: PUBLIC MEETING: The last public meeting before the share offer ended was held on Tuesday 30th August, at the Boat Club. The meeting was very well attended and we were pleased to get some very useful suggestions and comments. We were able to announce that we were approaching £400,000 in share sales.

26th Aug: We have now reached over £370,000 in Share Sales. But we need every share sold that we can get, as we cannot be sure of getting a grant. So please keep investing! Latest news and status in Newsletter 8 sent out today.
To keep up to date please subscribe to our newsletters. View all NEWSLETTERS.

24th August: Following the public meeting on Tuesday 16th August, an informative article was published in the Pembroke Dock Observer: https://www.pembroke-today.co.uk/news/only-a-few-days-left-to-buy-community-shares-in-newport-ironmongers-shop-560572 There is some good advice here on the benefits of investing.

WE ATTENDED THE NEVERN SHOW ON 10th August. We met many more potential investors and helpers. Pictures on Facebook

9th Aug: GREAT NEWS - We've reached our minimum target of £330,000 in shares. More details in Newsletter 7 sent out today.

Volunteers and Mayor at a street stall

Volunteers (and Mayor) at Stall at the Monday Market

8th August: SITR: We have reached the HMRC limit we are allowed for tax relief which is £300,000. Investors who made payments for their shares after 8th August are unfortunately not able to take advantage of SITR. Read more about SITR.

26th July: Press Coverage. We've moved the links here from the main page:
See:
30th May: Nation Cymru, 31st May: BusinessLive 6th June: WalesOnline.
12 June: WalesOnline. July 19th: The Pembrokeshire Herald.

19th July 2022: YAHOO FINANCE: We've made the Yahoo Finance Page now SITR advance approval has been obtained.

20th July 2022: The latest in a series of Newsletters is being distributed to our subscribers and investors. You can see it by clicking here. The previous newsletter is here: Newsletter 4 (12th July). To keep up to date please subscribe to our newsletters.

12th July 2022: All of our newsletters are now available from a new page on this site, available by selecting NEWSLETTERS under HOME.

12th July, Tuesday: PUBLIC MEETING. A very successful and well attended public meeting was held in the Memorial Hall Garden Room. There was much enthusiasm expressed for the project. Our next newsletter will communicate some the points raised and achievements. In particular we were able to announce that we have obtained SITR Advance Approval from HMRC.

12th June: We are delighted to see Welsh singer/broadcaster Cerys Matthews has tweeted in support!

30th May 2022: The share offer has launched. Full details are available by clicking INVEST, including the full share offer document.

30th April 2022: We've made great progress and are now an established Community Benefit Society, approved by the FCA. Please read the update below from our chair, which gives full details and also explains why the share offer target date is now the end of May.
You can still give us your views by completing our survey form.

A Chairmans Update!! The following report was sent by email to our supporters list, including all those who completed the survey.
I thought that it would be useful to share an update of where we have got to with the project and how close we are to the share offer launch.  
Firstly though, thank you to all of those who attended the public meeting in the Boat Club on Easter Tuesday.   Nearly 40 people attended in person and more than 20 attended virtually.    Many questions were asked and I think we, as a committee,  were able to answer the majority of them satisfactorily.   One question that I particularly want to address in the update is one about the financial viability of the project,  as it seems there are a number of rumours flying around the town.   Let me explicitly say that this project is very financially viable with the way we have now structured our funding strategies.   If we meet the business plan objectives, which we believe are conservative, there is a really positive cash flow and profit which we hope we will be able to give back to the community and to our investors in the form of interest.    Please DO read the business plan on the website in detail because this does give you a clear picture of not just the financial position but also of our exciting plans for the shop.  We really do have a plan to make this a truly inclusive, sustainable community shop FOR ALL.
On other matters we are now officially a Community Benefit Society, recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).   We have also now received our quality mark from an independent body (Coop UK) for our business plan and share offer plan.   This means that it has been scrutinised in huge detail to ensure that we are communicating all that we should in both documents and making sure that we are including everything that good governance tells us we should share.   As I said previously the business plan is already on the website for you to read and the share offer plan will go public on the day of the share offer launch.
So it finally comes to me saying when that launch is likely to be!!!!    The only element holding us up is the opening of the bank account.  We couldn’t apply for this until we had FCA approval and now that we do all efforts are being made to open a bank account asap.  We believe that this will take a further 2-3 weeks and so we are aiming to go live with the share offer before the end of May.   We have, of course, a marketing campaign that you will see all around the area to communicate the exact date and it will be prominently displayed on the website. 
We hope that you will be able to support us not only financially but also through offering your time or skills. 
Please keep a close eye out for the share offer launch and I hope this update has been informative for you.

Clive Hooper
Chair SHGT

20th April 2022. PUBLIC MEETING: There was an excellent turnout last night to the public meeting held in the Boat Club, to launch the new Business Plan for the community purchase of Havards, Tydrath! As well as the committee (6), there were 37 attendees in person and a further 22 on Zoom, making 65 in total. There were great comments and questions from the members of the public last night. with a vote of thanks to all the volunteers on the committee who have worked so hard to date. You can see pictures of the meeting on our Facebook page. The community share offer is planned to launch at the end of April with a window of 6 weeks for those who wish to be co-owners of the iconic ironmongers' shop - Havards! Additional information will be posted soon on this website.

19th April: BUSINESS PLAN NOW AVAILABLE: click here to view.

banner on shop

Our new banner is now up on the shop

4th April: Our new banner is up above Havards door. See picture! Please complete our survey form if you can help.

10th March: Share launch target date is now the end of April. Watch this site for more details. If you want to be sent the share offer as soon as it is available, please complete our survey form and check the final question. Make sure you've provided your contact details correctly, but unless you want to, you don't need to answer the other questions. If you have any questions, please send us an Email

25th February 2022. Locals on video: To demonstrate the strength of support in the local community for keeping Havards open, we have produced video interviews with members of the community. Please see this page (or click Community Support under Information).
Survey Flyer: Grant providers need to know that the community wants this to happen for the community and is fully backed by the community. Please complete our survey - it takes less than 5 mins. Just click complete this survey. Flyers will also be available in pubs, shops, clubs, Vivian's roadside cafe and petrol stations. 

29th January: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. Can you help us with our share offer launch? We could really do with some additional help over the next three or four week period. We need assistance with delivering Survey Flyers and with straightforward administrative tasks. Also volunteers with social media skills. If you can spare a few hours to help please send an email to info@siophavards.cymru

21st January 2022: Good progress is now being made to set up a viable project. We have written to all those who pledged support - please reply if you have not already done so.
To ensure success of the project and to ensure that it remains financially viable we have asked people to buy shares in preference to offering loans and we will be opening the share offer as soon as possible. Rather than asking for pledges we will be asking everyone to actually invest in this exciting community project!   Please keep looking on the website because soon a full business plan and share offer document will be going live (we are just checking with the authorities to ensure i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed)   This will enable everyone to fully understand what the project is about  and how you can become fully involved.   We are also aiming to apply for grants and your written support via the website or indeed via letters would be much appreciated.   The more support we get the more likely we are to get a grant. (Please email to  b.skoglandkirk@gmail.com or send letters to Cri’r Cadno, Dinas Cross, Newport, SA42 0XP)

So a very exciting few months beckons and we look forward to your support over the coming weeks and months.   Please keep watching this space for updates/information

22nd November. The Havards Community Project is still underway. The Committee has some new members, and we believe we now have more time and a little more financial flexibility to try and reach a workable solution. It has been heartening to get local community encouragement to continue the project following our initial conclusion on its viability.  We will continue to keep you posted via this website and as soon as we have something more tangible to say we will be calling another public meeting.

26th October 2021.  Statement from the Havards Committee. As reported here, a project to buy Havards and run it as a community hardware store has been underway over the past 4 months. Much work has been going on in the background and many of you have pledged money as loans or shares in the project. The response in terms of pledges has been tremendous and demonstrates just how important Havards is to the local community and visitors and indeed the pledges at the time of writing have just reached the target of £240,000.
However, as we proceeded, we have found it extremely challenging to produce a viable business plan in the time available. As we apply due diligence to the plan we are unable at present to find a way to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. We also need to ensure that we can see a way forward to pay the promised interest and dividend and also, when the time comes, to repay loans and shares.
Therefore it has been decided to withdraw from the purchase. As a committee we are disappointed we could not make it work but it is important that we take responsible decisions that are in the interests of those who were willing to invest. Siop Havards Committee.

23rd October: Pledges continue to come in. The total now stands at £238,600 almost at the target of £240,000.
The public meeting planned for Thursday 28th of October at 6.30pm has been cancelled.

2nd September 2021 A second Public Meeting was held at Newport Memorial Hall on Wednesday 25th of August. Some important issues were raised and we have tried to answer some of the questions raised on the information page. We appealed again for a volunteer to become our Treasurer, but so far this position is not filled.

17th August 2021 The Pembrokeshire Herald published this article following our press release.

16th August 2021 Latest status: Pledges are coming in rapidly. The total now stands at £163,400. A Press Release has been issued about this excellent progress and about the support received at the public meeting on 30th July.

15th August 2021 A substantially updated website is now live. This contains much more information about the project, and will be maintained and enhanced as the project evelves. The PLEDGE menu item now takes you an online form to make it easy for pledges to buy shares or lend funds from anywhere.

30th July 2021 A very well attended meeting was held on 30th July 2021 at Newport Memorial Hall. Those present showed great enthusiasm for the project to purchase Havards store as a Community asset. A vote was taken, which was overwhelmingly in favour of the project.