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 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 96 mid-March 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 pacdg@icloud.com with REMOVE in the subject line and we'll immediately take you off the mailing list.


Welcome back to Courtyard Antiques who plan to open at the old Rowan Tree shop in the High Street on 23rd March with an official opening on 1st April. Good to have you back, Andy !!


Special Offer at the Hat Shop for Mothering Sunday 31st March - special menu - 3 courses for £19.50 - with flowers for all the mums !


Have you already discovered Presteigne Freegle? ....downsizing or having a clear-out?....do your unwanted - but still useful - items need new homes?....or are you looking for something? Freegle helps people give, and get, things for free in their local community. It is the UK’s biggest and friendliest free online re-use network with over 2.7 million members. Our local group is Presteigne Freegle with over 2,800 members, primarily serving communities within 15 miles of Presteigne, so including Kington, Knighton, New Radnor etc. It’s FREE to join, FREE to use, and everything on it is FREE. And it’s really simple to use: * post an OFFER message describing an item * other members see it and reply to you *you choose who to give it to * they collect from you. Simples ! Or you can post a WANTED message.  

Join now at www.ilovefreegle.org/presteigne


Swifts should be returning in late April/May from their winter bases in Malawi, Tanzania, Congo, South Africa. Can you buy them a present and put up a nesting box ready to welcome them back? Property repairs often result in the nooks and crannies under roof tiles and eaves being sealed up causing a loss of nesting sites.  Get your Swift nesting boxes from the Men’s Shed - only £15 (they make other nesting boxes & bird tables too - see item below). For info and to order call 01544 232750.


Have you lost a bike or had one ‘borrowed’ ? Another bike has been dumped on Went’s Meadow, this time thrown in the hedge on the pool side of the allotment car park. The bike has been rescued. If you think it’s yours, please contact Nick on 07966 982061.


Raise money for Guide Dogs ! by recycling any brand of crisp packets at 46 Wine Bar in the High Street. Drop off your empty crisp packets anytime during opening hours (n.b. no pretzel, popcorn or meat snack bags or Pringles tubes please). Well done to Sam and the Wine Bar for promoting this!


Knighton Men’s Shed is a registered charity that aims to address isolation issues in men by providing a  friendly environment for men to meet, make new friends, offer help and support to one another and join together in communal projects. This not only give them a feeling of purpose but also helps the wider community in offering access to a variety of services and expertise. We have a fully fitted joinery workshop and the guys meet every Monday and Wednesday between 10am and 2pm at Teme Mill, Station Yard, Knighton LD7 1DT. We make a range of products that we sell at our premises and have recently manufactured 15 geo cache boxes that are positioned along Offas Dyke footpath and 20 swift boxes that have been sold by the Presteigne Swift Society to encourage the dwindling swift population. We are holding an Open Day at the Shed On Saturday 23rd March 2019 where we will be operating our tool sharpening and renovation service and selling our wares. Anyone can bring their garden tools in for sharpening ready for the summer’s work. Light refreshments will be available. Do please join us at The Men’s Shed !!


Community Orchard Pruning: a message from Emma “...thanks to all who turned out on Sunday 24th for the pruning of our community orchard. About 20 people pruned away under the guidance of Dani Davies from Skyborry Cider and in just a couple of hours managed to give all the trees on Went’s Meadow a ‘hair-cut’. Here’s hoping for a bumper crop of fruit and for the same glorious weather again next year!”


Picture Framing in Presteigne is back! Having recovered from prolonged cancer treatment, Paul Taylor GCF (a Fine Art Trade Guild Commended Framer) is once again offering a picture framing service in Presteigne. Established in 2003, Paul frames Fine Art, Photographs, Memorabilia and all types of Needlework with the utmost care. Based in the heart of Presteigne in Broad Street, INTAFRAME is well placed to serve the whole local community.  Please ring Paul’s mobile 07703 604925. For further information visit www.intaframe.com


The Town Clerk has advised there is a grant available to small peer support groups through Mind Cymru, called Side by Side.  It’s restricted to groups that have no paid workers at all, and it doesn’t matter if you have no structured organisation and bank account.  Money, up to £250, will be paid directly by Mind.  The money can be spent on equipment, venue or materials. If you have contact with a group who might want to apply, please have them email us on pacdg@icloud.com and we’ll put them in touch with others in Presteigne who are applying, as a small amount of training is involved and it makes sense for this to be done jointly.


A message from Gaby...The Judge’s Lodging is finally in the hands of the Community...but work is needed before it opens at Easter. St David’s Day celebrations usually mean an additional something in Presteigne – the opening for the season of its multi award-winning museum.  But this year, something is afoot – the doors are still shut.  Do not worry - the building, its dedicated staff and volunteers are still all fine, working hard behind the scenes for a 2019 opening for the Easter holidays.

It is just that something very significant for them has just happened...at last, The Judge’s Lodging is in the hands of the community, following a long process of transfer from Powys County Council ownership to that of a charitable trust – The Judge’s Lodging Trust Ltd.  It’s a wonderful asset for Presteigne – a grade 2* listed early 1800s house, packed with original artefacts, and housing the Presteigne Community Collection.

Many people will remember the painstaking 1997 restoration that opened the building up to the public, revealing its original décor and gas lighting, dining and sitting rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and courtroom.  So much at the Judge’s Lodging embodies the heritage of Presteigne as the commercial/social hub of Radnorshire.

The asset transfer was initiated by Powys County Council in 2013 as its budget decreased.   Even at that point, Powys was failing to keep up with the building repairs needed.  The Lodging’s managers and trustees had to decide whether to take it on or to risk it being wound down and closed by the local authority.  It has been a difficult process to complete the transfer but it is now done.

With support from the Welsh Government, work is starting to upgrade the audio experience for visitors and create a new welcome area and shop. In April, work will start on the building’s roof, making it sound for the future and then repainting the front – what the staff are calling ‘it’s having a hair do and facial!’

The building’s manager, Gaby Rivers, has been looking after this historic gem since its opening to the public and is truly excited about the future “It’s exciting, challenging and scary – probably in equal measures!  We’re proud of its achievements of the last 21 years and will work to build on these  - we aim to keep up the fun levels!”

 “There are indeed many challenges to face, to take The Judge’s Lodging forward to its rightful place as a developing, living part of Radnorshire again and the next couple of years are critical to securing a working, living future for the Lodging and we hope people will support us in this journey into a new future” says Diane Gwilt, Chair of The Judge’s Lodging Trust, when not doing her day job as Keeper of Collection Services for the National Museum Wales.

If you want to be involved with the The Judge’s Lodging, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities – they could really do with extra pairs of hands to help with visitor welcome and services, or keeping the house and gardens up to scratch. The volunteer team is a growing, enthusiastic body and everyone is welcome. Either talk directly to Gaby or email volunteering@judgeslodging.org.uk if you are interested in getting involved.


Learn another language......have fun with Simple Signing. Free Taster Wed 27th March 6 - 7pm at The Barley Mow, Hereford St., Presteigne.  Followed by a course of 6 sessions, 1 hour a week, £30.  Time, dates and venue to be arranged. Easier communication for everyone, of all ages, including those with hearing loss, autism, or dementia, and also carers, family and friends. A simple system of signing, combining different methods.  Tutor Katie Evans. See you there .... or for more information, contact Rolly 01544 260766 or Kate 01544 267227


Sunday 17th March - Craft Activities Afternoon @ Walton Hall from 2 to 4pm. Free Entry. Try your hand at all types of craft – or just bring your craft with you. For more details tel: 01544 350511  

Wednesday 20th March - Evergreen Club Trip to Three Cocks (The Old Railway Line Garden Centre). Depart Norton 9.50am, Presteigne 10am. £10pp. Call Judi for information/booking 01544 267420

Friday 22nd March - MBA presents “ Terence Blacker” who returns to The Assembly Rooms fresh from the success of his critically-acclaimed new CD ‘Enough About Me”. Whether finger picking his guitar or strumming a ukele, his gently humorous sketches are witty and touching. A delight in every way - precise and with compassion - a rare delicacy to be able to combine expert satire with the longing of humanity. 8pm. Tickets £10 from the Workhouse and www.wegottickets.com

Saturday 23rd March - Don’t Go Into The Cellar presents “The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes” at The Judge’s Lodging. Take a step back in time - to Baker Street and beyond. 7.30pm tickets £12. Limited space so get yours early !

Saturday 23rd March - Zani Lady’s Belle Brocante, St Andrew’s Church Hall. 10am-3pm 07968 842219

Saturday 23rd March - Open Day at the Men’s Shed. See item above.

Wednesday 27th March - Learn Signing - FREE taster day. See item above.

Friday 29th March - Presteigne Screen presents “Heal The Living”. 8pm at The Assembly Rooms.

France/Germany  2016  103mins  15. Two families are thrown together by tragedy, this time on opposite sides of a heart-donor crisis - an exuberant young teenage surfer at first revels in his skills and the delights of first love, while a middle-aged former musician slowly comes to terms with her degenerative heart condition.

Saturday 30th March - Machaut and the Magic of the Medieval. A Workshop/Dinner/Recital at The Assembly Rooms by Elizabeth Gutteridge, tutor and live loop recital performer. Promoted by Border Marches Early Music Forum. See www.bmemf.org.uk for more information and to book.

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) at least 3 weeks in advance to pacdg@icloud.com. The Community News is published twice per month. Feel free to tweet or forward this issue to others.