MEET THE DIRECTORS

The Directors of Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd will be in CRiC this evening from 6pm to 8pm to discuss the annual results of the business informally in lieu of an AGM and to answer any questions. No appointment is necessary.

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FLATS TO RENT

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REACTION FROM THE DIRECTORS TO CRICKHOWELL BEING NAMED THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE IN WALES AND NEWS OF A DIVIDEND TO INVESTORS


Crickhowell has been named the “Best Place to Live in Wales” in a UK-wide survey conducted by the Sunday Times. The newspaper highlighted the pride felt by local people for the town and how they had “chased off” plans to turn the former Corn Exchange pub into a national chain supermarket and instead turned it into flats and shops. This week, Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd shareholders got a double bonus when the company paid out its first dividend on their investments.
The company’s Managing Director, Dean Christy said: “We are all incredibly proud of our town and its fantastic range of independent and family-run businesses. They are what motivated so many people to invest their own money in The Corn Exchange project and to protect the character of Crickhowell. To see Crickhowell named Best High Street in Britain last year and the Best Place to Live in Wales this year is absolutely fantastic. And to be able to announce a dividend to shareholders this week is even better. It shows that collective community action really does pay, both in terms of publicity, which will bring further trade into town, and with a return for those people who were prepared to back the town by investing.”
The dividend will be paid in June to everyone who invested in Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd. The Director’s Annual Report said all three shops in The Corn Exchange had reported “good performance” in the Corn Exchange’s first full year of trading and the flats continue to be very popular.

Dean Christy reacted to the Sunday Times announcement on Radio Wales.

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FLAT FOR RENT

FLAT FOR RENT IN CRICKHOWELL HIGH STREET

Rent our one-bed flat in the Sunday Times’ 2019 Best Place to Live, above the 2018 Best High Street in Britain. It’s in The Corn Exchange – at the heart of Crickhowell’s remarkable success story.


Flat 2 at The Corn Exchange is available immediately. It has a secure entrance, communal outside living space and views over the rooftops and onto Crickhowell High Street. Please call 07850 731514 for more details. #flat #flatforrent #crickhowell #rent

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Corn Exchange in Downing Street

Our Managing Director, Dean Christy​ represented Crickhowell at the Saint David’s Day Reception in Downing Street. He met the Prime Minister and The Welsh Secretary and spread the word about the town’s achievements with The Corn Exchange, the Great British High Street campaign and now The Clarence Hall project.

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GBHS FUNDING DECISION

Nine projects brought forward by the community of Crickhowell are to be wholly or partly funded from the £15,000 prize money won by the town when it was named Best High Street in Britain 2018.

Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd (CECLtd), which led Crickhowell’s bid in the competition and is responsible for allocating the money, invited people to apply for funding for projects which fulfilled the same criteria as the original competition.  They had to promote community spirit around the High Street and involve all sections of society in town life, improve the environment, improve customer experience, use digital innovation to support the town and have a lasting impact. 

In all, applications amounting to nearly £52,0000 were submitted for the £15,000 fund, so a  panel representative of the town was set up to score the bids and award discretionary points for those projects which did not meet all the criteria but which they felt were worthy of support.

There was broad agreement on the panel that applications involving information and signage should be brought together into one coordinated project.  Three other projects, an upgrade of The Clarence Hall’s audio-visual system a project to set up a Youth Club, and a contribution towards the recommissioning of the fountain at the top of the High Street were also approved for part-funding.

The two most popular applications; for a Business Link Ambassador to promote the town, and a digital touch-screen information board, were submitted by the Crickhowell Resource and Information Centre.  Another very popular application was the idea of a map showing the location of off-High Street businesses, including those in The Courtyard in Standard Street and on Bridge Street.  CRiC also submitted a bid for a printed town guide, which won less support but has the potential to be developed alongside the other digital offerings.  Other, information-based projects included new edge-of-town signs and a notice board for community groups.

Tim Jones, who coordinated the selection process said: “Some great ideas came forward for signposting and telling people about the rich diversity of businesses in Crickhowell.  They need to be harnessed and developed together in a coordinated way so that we can get maximum value for money and economies of scale from the Great British High Street Prize.   So we have invited CRiC to work with the other applicants to do just that, under the umbrella of a new Crickhowell Information Project.” 

CECLtd said they would be talking to the ‘information applicants,’ as well as the Clarence Hall and the Youth Club Volunteers before deciding exactly how much money they would allocate to each project.  

CECLtd’s Managing Director, Dean Christy, said: “The most popular bids, for information and signage-based projects, the Clarence Hall, the Youth Club, and the fountain came to £27,000 and we only have £15,000 to spend, so clearly some ideas are going to need to be modified or only partially funded.  We clearly need to allocate sufficient funds to the Crickhowell Information Project to make it viable, and we need to apply the same discipline with the other applicants as well.  We will be discussing with all of them how they can reduce their bids, create efficiencies and find alternative sources of funding.  They all have well thought-through proposals for which they are able to demonstrate public support, so there is potential there to attract investment to Crickhowell way beyond the money we have to spend.”

Dean praised the way in which the different projects vying for money had conducted their campaigns.  He said:” It was really heartening to see so many people walking around town with petitions selling their ideas about what they could do for Crickhowell.  When applications closed, applicants were wishing each other luck on social media.  The whole process has engendered a fantastic sense of community spirit, and we would like to see that continue.”

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APPLICATIONS FOR GBHS FUNDING REACH £52,000.

We are delighted to say that we have received 12 applications for funding from the £15,000 Great British High Street Prize Fund.  Altogether, these amount to nearly £52,000.

In alphabetical order, here is a summary of the applications:

BUSINESS AMBASSADOR – CRIC – approx. £3,500.

A paid post working with and on behalf of the town’s businesses to promote the town across digital and non-digital media.  To think strategically and identify opportunities for cross-promotion.  To build on the ‘team Crickhowell’ ethos developed during the GBHS campaign and work with Crickhowell Volunteer Bureau, the local Litter Picking Groups, Rotary Club and other groups to develop a volunteer team to identify and carry out regular town clear-up/maintenance activities.

CLARENCE HALL AUDIO VISUAL UPGRADE – Clarence Hall – £2,350.

To contribute to the ongoing upgrade of the audio-visual facilities at The Clarence Hall, which is the biggest event venue in the centre of town and used regularly by townspeople and businesses, as well as the regular Cosy Cinema.  The improvements include a new DVD/Blue- Ray player and an upgrade of the induction loop used by people with impaired hearing.  An up-to-date and reliable A/V system is seen as an important part of ensuring the Hall’s future as a community and event venue for Crickhowell.

COMMUNITY MARQUEE – Crickhowell FC + RFC – approx. £4,800.

To purchase a commercial grade marquee, lighting and storage container to be used for community events around Crickhowell, including sporting events and potentially Christmas and farmers markets.  This would cut the cost of hiring and could generate income for maintenance of the marquee and potentially other community projects, even if it was hired at a much lower rate to community groups.  Events using the marquee would, in turn, bring visitors into town and reduce the reliance on local businesses for sponsorship of events.

COMMUNITY NOTICEBOARD – Crickhowell Civic Society – approx. £2,100.

To create a community noticeboard so that local small to medium-sized businesses can promote their products and/or services, community groups can advertise their activities and provide a central location for community news and issues.  It would be free to all to use and discourage fly-posting of notices and large plastic banners “which many residents and community groups feel are a blight on the wonderful environment we’re so lucky to be able to enjoy in and around our town.” It would be maintained by the Civic Society.

CRICKHOWELL ROAD SIGNS – Brookfields Volunteers – £8,000

To replace the existing “Crickhowell” Road signs on the A40 with “heritage” stone signs like those found at the edge of Llangattock or some Valleys towns.  The new town edge markers would, according to the applicants: “Announce Crickhowell as a place of some status, feature, and fame. These signs would certainly improve the aesthetic of and about Crickhowell and provide a greater impact for all approaching travelers.”   Each sign would allow logos for local organisations like the Green Man Festival, Walking Festivals, etc. to be placed on a side surface, alongside a more visible and attractive Crickhowell (+ Welsh) town name.

FOUNTAIN – Natural Weigh and Dean Christy – £2,000 contribution sought.

To restore the fountain at the top of Crickhowell High Street to provide free drinking water. This, the applicants say, would improve the attractiveness of the High Street and encourage people to use reusable bottles, reducing the number of single-use drinking water bottles finding their way into the environment and adding to Crickhowell’s claim to be plastic free. The applicants say they would return the money to the fund if the idea could not be made to work.

NEARMENOW APP – Nearmenow.eu and Tony Jones of Crickhowell – £12,500 + VAT (£15,000)

To turn Crickhowell into a digital town, combining online effort into a single App which pinpoints up to 200 businesses on a map and allows them to advertise, message customers and sell products and services.  This App is already in place in Cowbridge, who were winners of the “Rising Star” category in the Great British High Street Awards and can be used in other NearMeNow towns, allowing communities to work collaboratively.  The offer includes advisors to work with businesses to make the app work for them. The company says: “In essence, we will have our own town app that we can help shape, at a fraction of the cost of building one.” 

STATUE – St Edmund’s Church – a contribution of £5,000 sought.

To help pay for the restoration of an important statue in St Edmund’s Church, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.  The effigy of Sir Grimbald Pauncefote now only consists of a number of broken parts, and it is proposed that these parts should be fixed in their appropriate positions to create a better representation of the effigy as a whole. Without it, this historic statue will continue to deteriorate.  With the restoration “the story will come alive,” says the Church – especially when a digital intranet is installed to allow visitors to explore the story of the Church and Crickhowell online.

TOUCH SCREEN – CRIC – approx. £2,500.

To purchase a Touch Screen and relevant software to situate in the window of CRiC for visitors and members of the community to access externally to search the digital directory/visitcrickhowell website or dedicated app out of hours.  This would give access to the directory of businesses and the ITowns Map.  CRiC have indicated they are willing to work with other similar applicants to develop a common ‘brand.’

TOWN MAP – Tools for Self-Reliance and The Courtyard – approx £1,000

To design and install a physical map of Crickhowell to show visitors the location of shops around town, including businesses off the High Street in the Courtyard and on Bridge Street.  The Map would be placed in a waterproof case in the main Car Park and could also include symbols for other town features such as Information Point, ATM, Water refills, B&B, etc.  Finger point signs would also be installed to guide visitors to The Courtyard Shops and increase footfall.  They say affordable businesses premises are needed because the High Street is full.

VISITOR GUIDE – CRIC – approx. £2,500.

Tie in with Totally Locally and Crickhowell Black Mountains Tourism initiatives to produce a printed Visitor Guide/Directory which represents shops and businesses and capitalises on the GBHS win.  The guide will be designed in a format that can be easily updated in future and is transferable to a digital platform.

YOUTH CLUB – Jody Price and Emma Bevan – £3,170

To establish a Youth Club for school-age children which would be held on Friday nights in the Parish Hall.  A maximum of 40 children will be permitted to attend. The club would aim to forge links with local businesses and volunteer organisations and offer valuable skills to young people.  All those helping to run the youth club will have new or renewed enhanced DBS checks. The bid includes 1 year’s rent, the purchase of equipment such as a First aid kit, a fold-up pool table/associated balls/cues, crafts resources and materials, Music/DVD player, Monitor screen/tv, etc.  Activities will those suitable for children with learning needs or disabilities, and this will be supported by the Magic Parent Group network.

By walking around the town with paper petitions, creating online petitions and encouraging people who are on social media to vote online, these groups have all passed the threshold of 100 votes required to go through to the next round.  All the applications have sponsors and rough costings and are ready to go forward if they receive funding from us.  We will be notifying all applicants of alternative sources of funding should they be unsuccessful.  The Brecon Beacons National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund have offered support and help with wording applications for theirs and other award schemes.

In line with the process we outlined at the start of this process. The applications will now be considered by a representative advisory panel made up of different groups who work to make the town better, along with people from different sections of our community, including people who were born and bred in the town, young people and disability campaigners.  They will be scoring the applications against this score sheet, which was made available to all the applicants and sets out the criteria of the competition.  This process has been approved by the Great British High Street organisers.

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT GBHS FUNDS

THIS MESSAGE IS BEING SENT TO EVERYONE WHO HAS APPLIED FOR THE £15,000 GREAT BRITISH HIGH STREET PRIZE FUND.

There are just three hours to go before the deadline (midnight) for applications to be submitted for funding for community projects from the Great British High Street Prize.

We have so far received 12 proposals from 9 different groups or organisations for the £15,000 prize money. The combined total of the applications so far has reached more than £52,000 – so we are already nearly four times oversubscribed.

We will publish a summary of the applications once the deadline is passed, and set out the timetable for reaching a decision.

We are really thrilled and excited to see so many really high-quality bids – all of which have so far included a detailed proposal, evidence of public support, a rough costing and named individuals who will take them forward if successful. We want to fund them all, but we only have a limited pot of money, so inevitably some people are going to be disappointed.

We don’t want to see any of this effort go to waste, so we have made efforts to identify possible alternative sources of funding for those who are unsuccessful. These include the National Lottery’s Awards for All Scheme which accepts bids from £300 to £10,000. We will circulate some links and contact details over the coming days.

And we have approached the Brecon Beacons National Park Sustainable Development Fund, which helped The Corn Exchange Project, and their funding experts Ceri Bevan and Helen Roderick have offered advice and support to any unsuccessful applicants who want to try for other funds. They can talk through the options and even provide guidance on wording for applications to improve their chances of success. Their emails are below.

So, if you don’t get funding from Crickhowell’s GBHS Prize Fund, please don’t give up. You have done the hard work, you have found someone to take forward your ideas, do the research, written the proposal and gathered your supporters – this is just the beginning of making a difference to the place where we all live.

Brecon Beacons National Park – Sustainable Development Fund

The Sustainable Development Fund provides financial and practical support for projects which enhance the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of people and communities. Application deadlines for the central grants programme are 28th February, 5th June, 21st August, and 20th October. Applications for grants under £2000 can be accepted at any time. For further information and support with planning and developing your projects, please contact the Brecon Beacons National Park Community Development Team. Tel 01874 634437 email helen.roderick@beacons-npa.gov.uk ceri.bevan@beacons-npa.gov.uk

Totally Locally Crickhowell #crickhowell #GBHSCrickhowell

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Deadline looms to claim £15,000 High Street Prize

Community projects have until midnight on Friday to apply for a share of the £15,000 prize won by Crickhowell in the Great British High Street competition.

They have to submit a proposal and rough costing to Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd, who entered the competition on behalf of the town.  They also have to secure at least 100 votes to demonstrate public support for their project.  Groups have been posting petitions online and in local shops.

The organisers have praised the response of local people.  Tim Jones, who ran Crickhowell’s successful Great British High Street bid, said: “It is fantastic to see so many brilliant ideas coming forward.  We are expecting applications from all sections of society, including people who have never run a community project before.”

“It is obvious that we will receive more applications than we have money for.  We will be suggesting alternative sources of funding and we recommend that applicants look for some, too.  They have done the hard part: they have come up with the ideas, done the research and garnered public support.  Even if they don’t get the money from us, there are lots of other pots of money for community projects and they should not give up on turning their ideas into reality,” Tim said.

Applications to the High Street Fund must meet similar criteria to the original competition: improving the community, environment, customer experience and/or use digital innovation to support the town.  The organisers also want schemes which will have a lasting impact on the town.

After achieving 100 votes, applications will be judged against this score sheet.

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FLATS FOR RENT IN THE CORN EXCHANGE

We have two flats coming up for rent in The Corn Exchange: one one-bed and one two-bed. Both have a secure entrance, access to a shared decking area with views over the rooftops. Both have windows overlooking the best High Street in Britain. Enquiries to info@cornexchangecrickhowell.co.uk #flatforrent#crickhowell

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