Local Services & Businesses

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 pacdg@icloud.com 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’. https://www.facebook.com/bbcherefordandworcester/videos/1498910026848067/

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 pacdg@icloud.com.

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.

Email pacdg@icloud.com

Past Community Newsletters. 

Click the issue your requirIssue, Issue 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 90 - November 2018

an information service from PAC - the Presteigne Area Community Development 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 pacdg@icloud.com with REMOVE in the subject line and we'll immediately take you off the mailing list.


Our lovely town does do ‘events’ well !! BRILLIANT FIREWORK NIGHT ... bigger and better each year...and the weather held off as well !!! A big round of applause for Sheep Music and everyone else involved in set-up and stewarding on the night...well done to Roger and his performers for the “Armistice 1918 : Any Man’s Death” in October...and didn’t St. Andrew’s in Presteigne, and St. Andrew’s in Norton, look great with all the hand-made poppies, crosses etc ...and for Remembrance Weekend itself, enormous respect to Marion and everyone who helped, played and sang in the CONCERT FOR PEACE on the 10th November in St Andrew’s, and to Pete and his crew of helpers who made the Sleeping Dragon’s HOMECOMING on the 11th such a memorable and moving affair...and of course thanks to all of you who supported these events.


A DATE FOR YOUR DIARY.....on Friday 7th December, 3.30pm-7pm, the CHRISTMAS FAYRE  is back - but this year it’s been moved from the High Street to St Andrew’s Church and Church Hall, and the area around both. Santa’s Grotto will be in the Church Hall with stalls, table top sales and carol singing in the church, and food and drink available in the Church Hall courtyard. This is a CONNECT event in conjunction with St Andrew’s Church. Volunteers, and donations for the Tombola stall will be welcome at The Salty Dog, and for the Church’s stalls please let Marion Rowlatt have any items for sale and let her know if you can help their efforts.


Thanks to Tessa and PAC’s litterpickers for their sterling efforts in the drizzle last week, ahead of Remembrance Weekend, and to the small PAC volunteer team who braved the rain to plant daffodil bulbs (donated by our Town Council - thank you !) on Saturday along Station Road.


Are you worried about having enough money to buy food for yourself or your family this winter? Knighton & Presteigne Food Bank provides crisis food parcels + toiletries + basic fresh dairy food, for individuals & families this winter. If you are on benefits, low income/ wages or struggling with illness, please call or text Helen on 07731 524 058 or visit www.knightonfoodbank.co.uk


Powys County Council has decided to launch a new paid-for green garden waste kerbside collection service for residents next year, meanwhile removing the green garden waste banks from our Bring Site, and stopping the little-known provision of paid-for orange bags for the collection of green waste. Powys have launched a public consultation on the details of their proposals which can be completed on forms available at the Library, or online - go to https://customer.powys.gov.uk/article/790/Current-Consultations and select Green Garden Waste Collection Survey. The consultation closes on 2nd December so if you’re not happy with the proposal, or have suggestions, make your voice heard !!

The following information is taken from the Powys website:

What is a green garden waste collection service? It's similar to the kerbside collection you get currently for glass, plastics and paper but it'd be a service you pay extra for, so your organic garden waste such as grass cuttings and leaves is taken away for you.   

Why introduce this service? Garden waste collections are popular in many other areas and allow residents to recycle their green garden waste with ease.  By introducing this service, we will:

Offer a new and alternative way for people to recycle their garden waste

Increase the amount we recycle which helps the environment

Help us to achieve our recycling targets and avoid Welsh Government fines.

How is garden waste currently collected?

(a) Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs): These are manned sites [our nearest is at at Llandrindod] where you can take your garden waste and other recyclable materials. These sites will not be affected by this proposal (b) Community Recycling (Bring) Sites: These are located in various car parks around the county [like our Bring Site on the bypass] . Unfortunately some garden waste banks are contaminated by other materials and mean we have to landfill everything contained in the bank.   With the introduction of a kerbside collection service we will remove these garden waste banks (c) Paid for orange bags: These are currently given out as a last resort to residents who are unable or choose not to compost their garden waste or cannot get to one of the sites listed above.  These will no longer be available once the new service is launched.

[Editor’s note: PAC has written to PCC noting that many households will find it difficult, if not impossible, to accommodate or handle large wheely bins and therefore the option of paid-for bags must be retained]


New to the town and looking for a local club or organisation - or need to find a local venue for your event or club meeting ? See the PAC Registers of ‘Local Community Organisations’ and  ‘Local Venues For Hire’ on the Town website www.presteigne.org.uk (click on Local Organisations)


Dear Supporter of Food Bank - I am delighted to  tell you that our shelves are full  (and we have a surplus), thanks to  the generous donations from our Churches and Schools and Radnor Young Farmers, at Harvest Festival time. We do not need  any  more of the “basics”  but we do need Christmas/Festive goodies,  to add to the food parcels. Please note we cannot accept offers of fresh/frozen turkey or meat.

Christmas cakes (individual size & family size) Christmas puddings (individual size & family size) Christmas biscuits Mince pies Children’s sweets (tubes of Smarties, Chocolate Buttons etc)

Family sweets (tubs of Quality Street, Celebrations etc)


Interested in playing chess ? - the Presteigne Chess Club will now be meeting at the Royal Oak Pub on Tuesdays evenings 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm. Players of all strengths are welcome.


Message from Carole - Anyone who would like to visit The Circle would be most welcome.  Every Tuesday 9.30 to 1.30 at the Youth Club (Old School on Hereford Street). It's a drop in and refreshments are always available.


Do you have a spare bedroom, and space for another pair of jeans in the wash ? The Powys Supported Lodgings scheme has been re-launched and they are looking for new Hosts to support young people. The role of a Host is to guide and mentor young people aged between 16 & 25 years who have previously been in foster care, or are at risk of becoming homeless. Hosts provide the young person with a bedroom and support them to develop the skills to live independently. Following a full assessment, Hosts receive an allowance of £150 per week, on-going training and support.

Interested and want to find out more? Contact scheme Co-Coordinators, Sheren Brealey (South Powys) on 07768035095 or Helen Jones (North Powys) on 07971 829084 or email supported.lodgings@powys.gov.uk


Friday 16th November - “Faces Places” (Fra 94mins PG) Presteigne Screen 8pm Assembly Rooms

Saturday 17th November - MBA presents John Hinton‘s “Ensonglopedia of Animals” in the Assembly Rooms 7.30pm. Tickets £10/£6 from The Workhouse and www.wegottickets.com

Saturday 17th & 24th November and 1st December - Presteigne Bowling Club’s Xmas 2018 Prize & Cash Bingo - in the Memorial Hall. Doors open 6.30 for 7.45pm start. Bar, incredible prizes - ALL WELCOME!

Sunday 18th November - a concert in Whitton Community Hall “The Three Tenders (Tenors)” and “Clock Tower Handbell Ringers” 4pm. £8 incl. refreshments. In aid of Pilleth and Whitton Churches.

Saturday  24th November - "NORTON’S GOT TALENT” in Norton Church  10 - 4 pm.   Showcasing the incredible talent in Norton.  Crafts ; Skills  ; Hobbies ; Interests and more.   Come and buy or just enjoy.  ENTRY  FREE.!!  Refreshments available

Sunday 25th November - the Velvet Violin presents the Remi Harris Duo and Nuala Honan at The Assembly Rooms plus The Quiz?. 7.30pm. Full Circle Bar & snacks. £12 Courtyard Antiques and 01544 267163

Thursday 29th November - Annual Pickled Onion Competition at the Royal Oak. Proceeds to the Knighton Hospital League of Friends. £1 per entry (3 onions). All entries to be at the pub by 7pm latest.

Friday 30th November - “Sweet Country” (Aus 2017 113mins 15) Presteigne Screen 8pm Assembly Rooms


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 pacdg@icloud.com.


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) to pacdg@icloud.com.


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