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Welsh construction sector fares better than UK average

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THE PERCENTAGE of Welsh construction firms at heightened risk of insolvency sits comfortably below the UK average, according to the latest research by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

With 37.6% of firms at increased risk, the sector sits just over 2% below the UK average of 39.7%.

Only the construction sectors in the North West, London, and Northern Ireland fare better, at 37.4%, 37%, and 34.8% respectively.

However, the March research shows that the percentage of construction firms at heightened risk of insolvency increased by 3.8% from February’s figures, closely matching the construction sector’s UK-wide increase of 3.9%.

Commenting on the research, Louise Durkan, Chair of R3 in Wales and a director at Deloitte, told The Llanelli Herald: “Resting just below the UK average, while rising at the same rate, will come as encouraging news for many Welsh construction firms, and signals a hopeful outlook for the region after a challenging start to the year.

“According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, January saw the UK’s construction sector contract for the ninth month in a row, fuelled in part by increases to the cost of imports, a fall in the number of new homes being built, and the strain on the sector’s supply chains.

“However, for Wales at least, a number of new projects in the pipeline, and a rapidly rising Cardiff skyline, look to be helping the construction sector weather the storm.

The wider Welsh picture

Of all 10 key industry sectors monitored by R3 in Wales, construction had the 7th highest percentage of firms at heightened risk of insolvency, followed by agriculture (43.2%), technology and IT (47.7%), and the professional services sector (49.5%).

The restaurant sector saw the lowest percentage of firms at heightened risk of insolvency of all sectors in Wales at 31.9%.

However, the sector remains notably above the UK average of 30.2%, and is only surpassed by the East of England and the South West, at 32.1% and 33.8%, respectively.

Louise continues: “It is unfortunate but unsurprising to see the restaurant sector struggling. Consumer habits are shifting, and while there is a trend for increasing ‘leisure’ spending, this is coming at the expense of eating out in restaurants. Poor real wage growth is limiting what people can spend overall, so more spending in one area means less in another.”

Louise adds: “For any businesses in Wales who are starting to feel financial pressure, as always, R3 suggest seeking professional and qualified advice at the earliest possible opportunity, as this will only increase the chances of successful business rescue.”

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Colourful new eatery ‘The Junction’ opens in Gorseinon

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Junction Bar and Kitchen has just opened in Gorseinon 

A trendy new restaurant has just opened in Gorseinon – and has already been met with an optimistic reaction from locals. ‘The Junction Bar & Kitchen’ has opened upstairs at the Gorseinon Events Centre (known by some as the “GEC”) in Gorseinon High Street and is set to be a huge success, with delicious fry-up breakfasts and mouth-watering burgers, with loaded fries set to be added to the menu very soon.

The events centre itself was first built as a theatre in the early 1900s but, as the years have passed, has developed into a multi-purpose indoor events arena, which now welcomes a mixt of well-known artists and up-and-coming performers and DJs. The venue has two events spaces, two bars, a recording studio and a “DJ tuition room” with access to an extensive vinyl library. For more stories about Gorseinon, go here.

The GEC first began serving meals during the pandemic. Staff members cooked them in the venue’s then-small kitchen, for delivery and takeaway. Public demand grew very quickly, staff say, so management soon added a full-kitchen and a seating area post-lockdown which has proven to work wonders.

Read more: Date and full details announced for Swansea Christmas Parade 2022

Since then, the seating area has grown and staff have further developed the space – ultimately turning it into an open and welcoming eatery, which opened to the public on Monday, October 24. The venue is currently open from 9am to 2pm, serving breakfast and lunch, and will soon be open from 4pm to 8pm as well, offering burgers, loaded fries and other evening meals.

Staff member Jason Thomas said: “The GEC is an events centre which offers a variety of events including world-class DJs like Ben Nicky who is performing in December and up-and-coming DJs, musicians and tribute acts. During the lockdown, the GEC began to offer dinners for takeaway and delivery and had a great response so far. You can read more stories about Gorseinon here.

A fry up on the breakfast menu at The Junction (Image: Junction Bar & Kitchen)
Junction will soon be offering these delicious-looking burgers (Image: Junction Bar & Kitchen)
Inside Junction Bar and Kitchen (Image: Junction Bar & Kitchen)

“People have seen pictures of the burgers we’ll be making [on social media] and say they’re really excited to try them, the pictures are going viral!” he added.

In weeks to come, staff plan on showing big sports events, including Wales games, on the big screens in the GEC and expanding their menu and offerings in The Junction.

In the mean-time, The Junction Bar & Kitchen is servings its breakfast menu from 9am to 2pm. The Junction Bar & Kitchen can be found upstairs at Gorseinon Events Centre at 12 High Street, Gorseinon, Swansea, SA4 4BX.

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Yodel creates over 40 new jobs in Llanelli as it gears up for the festive season

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UK INDEPENDENT parcel carrier Yodel has announced that it is looking to recruit 49 new colleagues at its Llanelli site. This latest drive comes as the business prepares for what is expected to be a busy festive period.

Yodel’s Llanelli depot is a key site in its nationwide network, handling millions of parcels every year and serving customers across South Wales. Recent years have seen a dramatic growth in e-commerce, feeding sustained demand for parcel delivery services with Yodel expecting to handle over 200 million parcels this year. This latest recruitment drive follows a series of infrastructure investments and will support the business as it scales up its operations for peak.

Mike Hancox, CEO of Yodel, commented: “There are a range of roles available based at our Llanelli depot that supports our deliveries across South Wales. Christmas is always our busiest time of the year, but with 2022 bringing additional World Cup related shopping, we’re anticipating a festive season like never before. By joining Yodel, you will become part of a nationwide family and have options to work either full or part-time to suit your lifestyle.”

Our neighborhood courier roles suit a wide variety of lifestyles, and no previous experience is required. In recent years Yodel has developed a specialism in delivering parcels for growing and well-known retailer names.

For more information, please visit https://yodelopportunities.co.uk/ or text ‘Deliver’ to 84433 to learn more about courier roles at Yodel, find out about the values behind the business and apply for current opportunities.

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Community groups receive a share of cash from Ogi’s community fund ‘Cefnogi’

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COMMUNITY groups across Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan have each received a cash injection, thanks to Ogi’s new ‘Cefnogi’ local support fund.

Wales’s homegrown internet company, Ogi has given over £4,000 so far to community groups in Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan, to date, with everything from community gardens to coffee mornings being supported by the broadband provider’s micro-fund.

Building on the company’s sponsorship of local grassroots activities at Haverfordwest AFC, Llantwit Major RFC and Portskewett and Sudbrook FC, the ‘Cefnogi’ micro-fund offers small, local groups a cash injection to support activities that directly benefit their communities.

Speaking about the fund, Head of Brand and Engagement, Sarah Vining, said: “Investing in our communities is an important part of our plan to bring full fibre connectivity to towns and villages across south Wales.

“This initiative, bringing small, but no less vital, cash injections to thriving local community groups is our way of giving back to those that are providing much needed support locally.”

The fund, set up by the regional Community Liaison team, offers grants of around £250 to local grassroots groups in the broadband providers roll our areas.

Community Liaison Officer, Martin Jones, one of the team who originally came up with the idea for the fund, said: “I’m thrilled to see so many groups being supported by the ‘Cefnogi’ fund.

“Community really is at the heart of all we do here at Ogi, and giving back through our micro-fund is making a real difference to the local groups we support.”

Ogi’s support extends to volunteering opportunities too, with teams across the businesses having supported the clearing of residents gardens, hosting coffee mornings and redeveloping community spaces.

For more information on the ‘Cefnogi’ micro-fund visit www.ogi.wales/support

The latest round of the fund is accepting applications until the end of October 2022.

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