Newtown to pioneer Reuse and Repair in Wales

Town Council and local social enterprise Circular Economy Mid Wales have joined partnership to receive £675,000 in investment from the Welsh Government.

Town Council and local social enterprise Circular Economy Mid Wales have joined partnership to receive £675,000 in investment from the Welsh Government.

Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council have joined forces with social enterprise Circular Economy Mid Wales (CEMW) to form a partnership that draws on the pioneering heritage of Newtown, and which builds on the reuse and repair foundations already laid to create a town-wide movement for change toward a zero waste society and lower carbon economy.

The Town Council, with funding from the Welsh Government’s Circular Economy Fund and the support of CEMW are enabling a new £675,000 investment to take place in the town.

Centred on the purchase of a prominent town centre property to serve as a community Reuse & Repair Hub it will also showcase reused and repaired goods in prominent public spaces and invest in the infrastructure behind a reuse and repair economy.

At the heart of the initiative is the former William Hill betting shop on Broad Street which is being purchased by CEMW, with the ground floor being refurbished by local trades and converted to an open plan emporium to help communities promote the country’s shift toward a circular economy by keeping products, materials and goods in circulation for as long as possible – avoiding waste and maximising their life.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said:

“I’m delighted to see support from the Circular Economy Fund has backed this joint effort by Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council and Circular Economy Mid Wales to invest in Newtown and create the new community Reuse and Repair Hub.

“The intent of the Circular Economy is to keep items and materials in use, and out of waste, as long as possible. As noted in our recently-launched ‘Beyond Recycling’ strategy on the Circular Economy, while Wales is currently the third best recycling nation in the world, keeping items in use through repair, re-use and recycling will help us reach the number one spot, and play a vital role in our drive towards becoming a carbon net-zero nation by 2050.”

There will be space for the sale of goods donated from the HWRC’s (Household Waste Recycling Centre’s) ‘Salvage Shed’ situated on the Dyfryn Estate, room to expand the town’s ‘Repair Café’s’ that help people keep products alive for longer and an ambition to establish a ‘library of things’ that allow families to borrow instead of buy. The space also anticipates being home to a zero plastic / refill shop and attempt to improve how small electrical appliances are repaired and reused. And finally, there will be space for holding workshops in anything to do with reuse and repair, from upcycling old clothes to soldering the broken radio back together.

Cllr David Selby, Mayor of Newtown commented:

“The Town Council is delighted to be working with Welsh Government and Circular Economy Mid Wales on this exciting, innovative project. The project is bringing back into use an empty Town Centre shop, providing new jobs, and acting as a hub for reuse of materials and products. When the Town Council passed its climate emergency motion, the intention was always that it was important to show action and a way forward for our town. We welcome this investment in Newtown and look forward for working with CEMW and others in changing our view of waste, reuse, and consumption. Newtown is now at the forefront of this important national movement.”

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