Presteigne Area Community Development Group

Presteigne Area Community Development Group



Back in 2015 Powys County Council employed consultants to help 4 pilot towns (Presteigne, Newtown, Builth Wells and Ystradgynlais) develop Community Action Plans (CAP) so that when funding came available for specific projects these towns would be able to back up their applications with evidence that this is what their towns not only wanted but needed. A detailed questionnaire was developed and posted through every door in Presteigne and Norton, and from those replies the Community Action Plan took shape. Some of those involved with the initial work then stayed on to do their best to facilitate the realisation of that CAP. Click HERE to see the latest version


Maggie Taylor-Sanders – Chair (01547 560813 and 07718 738742)
Involved with general day-to-day life of PACDG, and various PACDG projects, including Community Energy project and Presteigne Plenty, works closely with the Town Council, applies for grants.

Terry Wells – Secretary (01544 260258 and 07766 097600)
Produces the Community News, and noticeboards around the town, replies to email enquiries, organises events, looks after Freegle re-use facility.

Maggie James – Treasurer (01544 267109)
Co-ordinates PACDG Project Teams, involved with Community Energy project and Presteigne Plenty.

Sarah Bond
Heads the Guerrilla Gardening project team.

Margaret Galliers
Involved with Presteigne Dementia Friends and WI.

Emma Lilley
Heads the Clean and Tidy project and Presteigne Plenty.

Gerry McDonnell
Involved with Community Energy project, organises the volunteers at the Bring Site for Connect (previously Chamber of Trade), keeps an eye on the use of car parks.

Ann Wake
Involved with tourism, Connect and playgroup, knows lots of useful stuff.



You’d think that we needed lots of money to be able to do anything of note in the town...well, we do...and we don’t!


Project Teams

Our teams have been working on various activities to improve the environment and support for residents, but also to provide extra interest for visitors:

The Guerrilla Gardeners have received donations of spare plants and have been planting up the un-loved green spaces with flowers, various herbs and even some tomato plants were planted in the shoppers’ car park beds which people were able to help themselves to. Guerilla gardening activity continues, there are more spaces in need of some TLC!

The Daffodils Group have planted up boxes in front of the Judge’s Lodging with heritage bulbs from Presteigne’s past, with notices explaining to passers-by what they are. Catherine Beale gave a talk on the subject to the WI, who are planning a produce a public noticeboard about the history of daffodil growing in the area. You may also have noticed many more daffodils in the verges this Spring, these have been planted over the last two years by the group from 100s of bulbs either donated by well-wishers or paid for by PACDG. More will be planted each year.

The Swift Group have commissioned the Knighton Men’s Shed Group to make more boxes for residents to purchase at cost to put on their house for this and next year’s arrivals. They organised a local swift expert to give a talk at the Assembly Rooms about Swift Conservation. They also arranged a couple of evening town walks to swift-spot in town. We’re hoping that further walks will be held this year when the swifts will be feeding young, so we can identify where they are nesting and add more boxes to encourage swiftlets to adopt Presteigne as their future ‘home town’.

The Bags for Life group (in association with The Salty Dog) turns old curtains, sheets and duvets into re-usable fabric bags in a bid to banish plastic bags from Presteigne. They are made by a team of willing helpers either at home or in the workshop we've set up above The Salty Dog. The bags are currently available at the tills of The Salty Dog, The Rowan Tree and Spar and are exchanged for a donation, with all profits going to help community projects in the Presteigne and Norton area.

The Presteigne Plenty group takes excess, locally-grown or foraged fruit and veg and turns it into tasty produce or useful items that are then sold at local fairs for the benefit of community projects in the Presteigne and Norton area. We work with anything, from windfall apples, wild garlic, gluts of gooseberries and blackcurrants and even piles of wood (to make bundles of kindling).

The Tidy Town group has organised several clean-ups and smaller ad-hoc litter-picks around Presteigne. Some litter-picking equipment has been purchased using money raised by Project teams. For larger pitter-picks, additional equipment is borrowed from Keep Wales Tidy and Knighton community group. We’re also currently trialing a regular pavement and gutter clean to complement the litter picks.

The Community News e-letter continues to go from strength to strength with a steadily growing circulation (see separate entry for the current issue, and links to all past issues of the Community News). Email to be included on the mailing list.

Registers of all local area groups, clubs and organisations, and new one of meeting venues with their contact names and addresses have been prepared by PACDG and uploaded on to the Town website by the volunteer team at the Judge’s Lodging. Hard copies are available at the Library and Tourist Information Office.

A Register of local venues for hire has also been prepared by PACDG and uploaded onto the town website, again with paper copies available at the library and TIC.

Tourism – we are investigating suitable locations for a proposed World Signpost and a 3deg.West Meridian marker; and working with Pete Smith to explore the future of the Sleeping Dragon, which he made to commemorate the anniversary of the First World War.

Industry - we are working with Connect on a proposed project to identify and publicise companies on the two Presteigne business parks and other local businesses by producing a public register of local businesses, and campaigning for proper signboard for the parks. 

We also support, assist and fund (where needed) other community groups such as Dementia Friendly Presteigne which continues to be very active making old and young alike aware of the special needs people with dementia have, by holding presentations and workshops in our schools and with other groups. They have organised drop-in open days at the Youth Centre for anyone who wants to know more, or to tap into the support they can offer.

Hustings events, for both local and national elections
You will be more than aware that we also organised two very successful hustings for 2016’s TC and PCC election, and the General Election, and will repeat this for future elections.

Presentation to Audrey
We had a lovely presentation on the High Street last year to celebrate Audrey Cole being in her shop for 50 years before retiring. It was a simple event to organise, but it made a great difference to her and spread a warm feeling around the town. Here’s the link to the clip BBC Hereford & Worcester produced, having got wind of it on local ‘jungle drums’.

Insurance and banking.
As an established community organisation, we provide insurance cover and a ‘banking’ provision for PACDG project teams, and for associated groups such as Dementia Friends and Playgroup Mums.

We are working on bringing in funds from donations, sales of goods (Bags for Life and Presteigne Plenty) and grant funding for specific projects and are working with Connect (formerly the Chamber of Trade) to distribute the Bring Site income for projects of joint interest (e.g. Tidy Town). The TC grants PACDG a small annual precept, essentially to cover the cost of insurance.

Our second AGM was held 26th June 2018.


As part of the remit of the Community Development Group (PACDG) we applied for and got a grant of over £2000 from the National Lottery for ‘Presteigne Area Community Involvement: Phase 1’ (note that it’s Phase 1 … there will be more!!).

We asked for money to cover these 5 projects:

1. Community communications: three notice boards and Community News
2. Community Groups Fair 2016 and 2017
3. Training in how to encourage community involvement
4. Public consultation, Assets and Services Consultation.
5. Celebrating our first year

1. Community Communications

Notice boards

  • We installed a small Community Noticeboard on the wall of Dilwyn’s Solicitor in the High Street, with kind permission of the building’s new owners.
  • We also commissioned a double, glass-fronted notice board for PACDG Community News and TC Agendas and Minutes, installed inside the archway at the entrance to the Library.
  • We arranged a large community board in the Memorial Hall car park, which was generously donated and installed by McColville’s, including the removal of the fence and improvements to the entrance to the carpark. PACDG paid for the board header and have continued with its maintenance.

Community News

The Community News, compiled by our secretary, goes out by bulk email to local residents. Paper reading copies go to the Library and The Circle, and on noticeboards in Presteigne and Norton. We have ensured that the data we hold is fully compliant with the new GDPR requirements. To receive the News, email

2. Community Groups Fairs: ‘Ticked all the boxes’

Press Release extract about the 2016 Fair: 60 groups as diverse as Transition Presteigne, Men’s Shed, Young Farmers, Tai-Chi, Busy-Bee Quilters, Mid-Border Arts packed into the Memorial Hall until was full to bursting. Yet still they managed to squeeze in a selection of musicians who added a tuneful note to the buzz.

Visitors and those representing the various groups were impressed with the day: ‘Quite staggering to realise just how much does go on’. ‘I think everyone had fun and Presteigne is the stronger for it!’ ‘It ticked all the boxes, bringing everyone together for a very informative and enjoyable day.’

A second Fair was held in October 2017 also in the Memorial Hall which, in addition to showcasing local groups and clubs, included demonstrations and performances by local clubs, groups and musicians under a Presteigne’s Got Talent banner.

We plan to re-run the Fair every second year.

3. Training Workshops and other courses/conferences by PAVO and others
An enjoyable ‘Skills for Participation’ Workshop was put on in 2017 by PAVO for local people active in the community; all of whom were keen to find out about what helps and what hinders people participating in community work, and the benefits that can be gained from it for the individual and the community. There was representation from Whitton Community Hall, Knighton Men’s Shed, Young Farmers, Presteigne Carnival, and PACDG. Paid for by the ‘Awards for All Community Involvement Phase 1’ grant received by PACDG last year.

We continue to liaise with local organisations about PAVO courses, and other conferences and workshops of potential benefit, with financial support where needed.

Public consultation
PACDG worked closely with the Town Council designing and delivering the town-wide 2017 Assets and Services Consultation (see it HERE) seeking residents’ support for the Council’s negotiations with Powys County Council over assets and services in the town, some of which were, and still are, under threat. An overwhelming display of support for this was received (see it HERE).

There have been mixed results from the Town Council’s negotiations with PCC, (see results HERE):

  • the additional cemetery land was acquired by the TC but a change of mind from PCC resulted in them purchasing the land from the TC and continuing to run the cemetery
  • the future of the Library has been secured – in the short term – with the assistance of volunteers and a reduction in working hours for the remaining professional librarian
  • the Old School remains under the ownership of PCC with the Youth Centre taking on a new lease for the building
  • the Drill Hall is to be sold on the open market by PCC following the TC’s withdrawal of their Expression of Interest. This building is now unfortunately lost to the Community.


Community Action Plan (CAP) Review
We have now revisited the CAP and plan to extend this review in collaboration with volunteers from the Town Council, Connect, PNCS, etc. to check the ongoing relevance of this document to the town with special regard to the changes and reductions to assets and services, among other things. When it was created, PCC stressed that it was a ‘live’ document to be developed and pruned as the need arises.

Launch of more projects
PACDG will soon be consulting about the next round of projects to be launched. These will form the basis of the next grant applications. They will include:

  • Space Walk. You may have seen a mock-up of this at the carnival, where visitors to the site voted 56:1 in favour. The intention is to create a new walking trail based on a one-billionth scale model of our solar system, the 1.39m diameter Sun will hopefully be on Stonewall Hill with the planets will scattered round the locality, taking in the Spaceguard Centre and Offa’s Dyke Path.
  • Share. The idea of this venture is for the town to share its skills. Skills of all sorts but especially focusing on hand skills. We hope to find a venue where we can bring together a sewing room, a big kitchen, and a workshop etc., where skills can be shared and acquired.
  • Dark Skies status for the town (PACDG will be supporting Transition Presteigne and the Marches Astronomy Group in this venture). If Presteigne receives this prestigious status it will be the first town in Wales and England to do so, and will compliment the Dark Sky Areas in the Brecon Beacons and Elan Valley.

Presentation to the Town Council
We will be making a presentation to the Town Council at their September 2018 meeting seeking their support for a second phase of community projects to help make life in Presteigne and Norton as sustainable as possible for the long-term future.

Launching a town-wide group (still looking for a name!)
There are many groups in Presteigne and Norton working for the benefit and well-being of the community. We will be calling them together to see if we can focus our efforts in the same direction to share help and expertise rather than us all working in isolation. In short we are hoping to have a common vision for the community for the next few years to see us through Brexit and inevitable cuts to our assets and services.


Past Community Newsletters. 

Click the issue your require, Issue 102, Issue 101Issue 100,  Issue 99Issue 98 mid April, Issue 98Issue 97Issue 96, Issue 95,  Issue 94, Issue 93,Issue 92, Issue 91Issue 90, Issue 89,  Special Issue, Issue 88Issue87, Issue 86, Issue 85aIssue 85 ,Issue 84, Issue 83, Issue 82Issue 81,  Issue 80, Issue 79Special Carnival Issue, Issue 78, Issue 77Issue 76, Issue 75Issue 74, Issue 73Issue 72Issue 71, Issue 70, Issue 69Issue 68, Issue 67Issue 66Issue 65, Issue 64Issue 63 BIssue 63, Issue 62Issue 61, Issue SpIssue 60, Issue 59, Issue 58Issue 57, Issue 56Issue 55, Issue 54Issue 53, Issue 52, Issue 51Issue 49Issue 48, Issue 47A, Issue 47, Issue 46Issue 45 AIssue 45Issue 43, Issue 42Issue 39, Issue 38, Issue 37Issue 36 ,Issue 35,  Issue 34Issue 33, Issue 32, Issue 31, Issue 30 Issue 29Issue 28,  Issue 27,    Issue 26Issue 25Issue 24Issue 23Issue 21Issue 20Issue 19Issue 18Issue 17Issue 16, Issue 15, Issue 14, Issue 13Issue 12, Issue 11, Issue 10, Issue 9, Issue 8, Issue 7, Issue 6, Issue 5, Issue 4, Issue 3, Issue 2, Issue 1

Community News

Issue 102 mid-June 2019

an information service from PAC - the Presteigne Area Community Group


You are receiving this email because you asked to receive the Community News and be kept informed about PAC activities. If at any time you decide not to receive further PAC emails, just contact us on with REMOVE in the subject line and we'll immediately take you off the mailing list.



....... Following on from the last issue, Sheila emailed asking us to pass on her appreciation for whoever has planted and is maintaining the lovely bit of garden fronting the footpath by the entrance to the Shoppers carpark,

....... after the removal of the garden waste banks from the Bring Site, several people have asked that we say a public thank-you to the small group of volunteers who’ve worked whatever the weather to keep the Bring Site clean and tidy - the loss of the garden waste facility has been a disappointment to many but has made the volunteers’ job so much easier now ! Unfortunately it has also massively reduced the income from Powys to CONNECT and our community for maintaining the Bring Site.

...... and CONNECT (the Presteigne Area Business Network) would like to say a really big ‘thank you’ to all the volunteers and everyone involved in making the 2nd Presteigne Food & Flower Festival such a success and which additionally raised £500 for the East Radnorshire Day Centre (via the Rotary Club carpark attendants), £921.14 for local charities (via the children’s activities in The Old Rectory garden), and around £500 for various charities (via the Open Gardens).  See you all next year!


A message from Pete Smith...the Canal Trust are looking for B&B for two or possibly three nights - must be able to take card payments upfront. If you can, please email me on and I’ll forward details. This is for a course I’m running for the Canal Trust stonemasons, so there could be ongoing bookings as there are quite a few stonemasons. The closer to Stapleton the better. Thanks, Pete.


Don’t miss the annual MacMillan Tea Party on Saturday 29th June from 2pm at The Green, Rockbridge Park. All welcome. Parking & toilets on site. Tea, coffee, cakes (lots of lovely home-made cakes!!!!), tombola, crafts, books, white elephant stall. It’s always a great day out - and helps fund an essential area service.



......You can now place small ads to go in the window of the PNCS Office in the High Street for 50p a week, post-card size ads only please.

......also at the PNCS office, you can buy lovely bunches of sweet peas - only £2 a bunch, and all proceeds go towards the costs of PNCS volunteer drivers.

......Radnor Hills have purchased the Countrywide Stores site just outside Presteigne. See their Facebook page which says this gives them “ exciting springboard for growth in the future”. Great news for Presteigne !

......if you collect a carrier bag full of empty crisp packets and then drop them in to No.46 Wine Bar they will be sent off for specialist recycling and, in the process, raise money for the Guide Dogs Charity...and they don’t then go to landfill. Win-win !

.......and if your printer uses original inkjet cartridges (HP, Dell, Lexmark, Canon, Samsung, Neopost only (not Epson or Kodak inkjets, not re-filled cartridges or ink-tanks, and not toner cartridges) you can recycle these to raise funds for East Radnorshire Day Centre (£1 per cartridge). Take your cartridges into the ERDC office or pick up Freepost Recycle4 envelopes from ERDC, the garage or other shops in town, or you can order envelopes online at

.....if you’ve been wondering when the work will be finished at The Judge’s Lodging, Gaby can’t give an exact time for the building work to be finished but things are moving quickly now, they have started painting and a second team is on the roof.  Meanwhile, the Judge’s Lodging remains open for business as usual, and the new shop and tourist information area will open mid-July.

.....and after its major refurbishment, Hugh’s hoping that the Moroccan will be open for business in July with Dany serving ‘proper’ pizzas and, of course, wonderful Skyborry cider ! Can’t wait !


KNIGHTON & EAST RADNOR FOOD BANK - Summer & School Holiday Project  Shopping List

• Tinned Rice Pudding & Custard • Tinned Fruit • Tinned Meat & Pies, eg Meatballs, Hot Dogs, Stewed Steak

• Tinned Fish • Corned Beef & Ham • Soups • Pasta Sauces • Tinned vegetables (but not baked beans, kidney beans or chickpeas) • Cereals (but not Bran, Porridge or Special K, if possible) • Tea or Coffee & Fruit/ Flavoured Cold Drinks • Peanut butter, Chocolate Spread & Sandwich Fillings • Biscuits & Snacks (to add to lunch boxes)

Toilet Rolls & Washing Up Liquid & Laundry Powder/Liquid • Shampoo & Shower Gel, Deodorant, Toothpaste & Toothbrushes.

Please note we can only accept food items that are well within their use-by date. 

If you would prefer to give a small cash donation, this will enable us to purchase fresh milk, bread, cheese and eggs & to buy fresh vegetable/fruit vouchers to include with individual food parcels. You may prefer to set up a regular donation to support our work by completing a Standing Order or a Stewardship form (with Gift Aid). Ask Helen for more information, or visit the website.

In addition to Knighton Baptist Church on Tuesdays & Fridays, we are at Presteigne Baptist Church on Thursdays from 10am to 11.30am. Contact Manager Helen Anderson on 07731 524 058 for more information or email See website



......Downton Gorge visit on Thursday 20th July East Radnor Ramblers (ERR) have a special guided walk.  We have arranged with Natural England for a small group to visit the private nature reserve in Downton Gorge on the River Teme between Leintwardine and Ludlow.  Besides unusual plants the visit includes 18th century industrial sites and picturesque walks laid out by the builder of Downton Castle.  There are still a few places left for this.  If you are interested please contact Phil King on 01544 260740 / to check if there are still spaces and to reserve your place.  Normally there is no charge for ERR walks; however Natural England are charging £5 per person

......Early Music in the Marches. A two-day Choral & Instrumental Workshop on Saturday, 28th and Sunday, 29th September -  on KERLL'S SETTINGS OF THE MASS at Upper House, Discoed. Click here for the application form.

......Twinning Trip to Ligné from 25th to 28th October.  Dear Residents of Presteigne and Norton, Twinning friends and families, The Twinning Committee would like to invite you warmly to join us on the next planned trip to Ligné, 20 miles from Nantes. We are planning to leave by coach on Friday 25th October 2019 late afternoon to Tuesday 29th late evening. Thanks to the fantastic Mamma Mia fund raiser, we can subsidise children's and teenagers places substantially again. Please let me know if you are interested & want to know any more information. In 2015, the total cost per adult was only £150 and covered all the cost of food, entertainment and travel because of the great hospitality of our French hosts. Please contact me as soon as possible if you are interested & have further questions:

.......Chatterbrook WI has a few spaces left on their Summer Outing  to Hampton Court, on  Thursday July 4th with a guided tour of the castle by historian Catherine Beale. Non-members welcome. The cost is £21 for the coach and tour. Please enquire to, or phone 07585957704



Saturday 15th June - Workshop “Introducing Eco-Mindfulness - Connecting with Nature” at Pant Hall Cloister Gardens, Willey, Presteigne LD8 2LY . 10am - 4pm. Explore being in the moment via eco-mindfulness and the art of Haiku. A one-day workshop in the beautiful Pant Hall Cloister Gardens near Presteigne. £50 (including light lunch and refreshments). Booking essential. For information and how to book please email Karen on or visit the website

Saturday 15th June - St. Andrew’s Coffee Morning. Church Hall from 10.30am to around 12.30pm. Teas, cake, raffle....and good company!!

Tuesday 18th, Wednesday 19th, Thursday 20th June - Open Gardens at Hillcroft, Coombes Moor LD8 2HY. Tea, coffee, cold drinks and delicious home-made cakes can be enjoyed in the garden or conservatory. Adults £4, children free. More information online at

Thursday 20th June - Presteigne St. Andrew’s Football Club AGM in the Clubhouse at Llanandras Park. 7.30pm start. All welcome ! (n.b. This will be followed by the PSAFC social Club AGM, but this is open to members only)

Sunday 23rd June - Moishe’s Bagel at The Assembly Rooms. 8pm. Moishe’s Bagel return with their thrillingly original cutting-edge klezmer and folk music. An intoxicating, life-affirming mix of Eastern European dance music, Middle Eastern rhythms and virtuoso performances. “Exhilarating, full-flavoured stuff, often breath-takingly intricate but played with jubilation .… the Bagel acquires the momentum of an express train” – The Herald. Tickets £12 from The Workhouse (cash only) &

Sunday 23rd June - Kinsham Open Gardens, open 2 to 6pm. Start at Kinsham Village Hall. Tickets £3, children free. Tea and cakes available all afternoon at the Village Hall. Info 01544 267701 / 267798

Wednesday 26th June - “1919  - You Asked Us For Peace”. St. Andrew’s Church Hall 7.30pm. In a dispassionate illustrated talk written for non-experts like him, Roger Curtis will highlight the attempts to make peace in the first half of the 20th Century, to better understand those fatal years and the world today. Tickets £8 (<16s free) on the door, or book in advance 01544 262846. All proceeds to the St. Andrew’s Heating Appeal

Saturday 29th June - “My Kind of Music” with Steve Hollinghurst at Knill, St. Michael’s Church 3pm, in aid of Knill church funds. Songs from the movies and musicals, pop standards and easy-listening greats. Tickets £8 on the door (includes tea and cake!)

Saturday 29th June - St. Andrew’s Summer Fayre in and around the church, 2 to 4pm. Games, stalls, teas and other attractions. Enquiries to

Saturday 29th June - Macmillan Tea Party at Rockbridge Park (see item above for details)




If you have any questions on what's happening - or not happening - in our community, do let us know and we'll do our best to provide an answer, or at least point you in the right direction - simply email

We're happy to help publicise community and charity activities and events (but only for events in the immediate Presteigne area) - email text (not poster images please) at least 3 weeks in advance to

The Community News is published twice per month. Feel free to tweet or forward this issue to others

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Things are happening in and around Presteigne. Time to roll our sleeves up and make sure we get the place and services we want.
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