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Venues and times of work clubs - Autumn 2016

Venues and times of work clubs listed below:

Monday                              Ebbw Vale Library            9:30am—4:30pm

Tuesday                             Brynmawr Library            9:30am—12:30pm

Wednesday                         Abertillery Library            9:30am—12:30pm

Wednesday                         Tredegar Library               2:00pm—4:30pm

Thursday                            Llanhilleth Institute         9:30am—12:30pm

Friday                               Ebbw Vale Library            9:30am—12:30pm

Venues and times of work clubs - Autumn 2016

Blaenau Gwent speeding ahead with more than 95 per cent superfast broadband coverage

Superfast Cymru has enabled more than 95 per cent of businesses and households in Blaenau Gwent to access superfast fibre broadband making it one of the best digitally connected areas in the UK, Deputy Minister for Skills & Technology, Julie James has said.

More than 30,000 premises across the local authority area are now able to access the technology, which can deliver world class internet speeds many times faster than was previously available.

This has been made possible as a result of Superfast Cymru which is a partnership between the Welsh Government and BT, with additional funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Those choosing to take up superfast broadband could be able to enjoy maximum download speeds of up to 80Mbps and maximum upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*

Deputy Minister for Skills & Technology, Julie James, said: “The Welsh Government is investing in Superfast Cymru which is playing a vital role in bringing superfast speeds to communities throughout Wales and it’s great news that more than 95% of premises in Blaenau Gwent now have access.

“This technology can make a real difference, and will provide a boost for the area’s economic prosperity helping businesses work differently and access the global market more quickly.

“It also ensures people have the capability to get online more quickly and access services that benefit their day to day lives.”

The deployment of fibre broadband by engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, continues to progress at pace with 130 premises on average getting access to superfast broadband every hour across Wales.

In total, more than 1.2million Welsh homes and businesses now have access to the technology as a result of the Superfast Cymru project when combined with BT’s commercial roll-out.

Ofcom recently announced that Wales has the highest availability of superfast broadband of any of the devolved nations**.

Ed Hunt, Superfast Cymru programme director, said: “Superfast broadband will have  a huge impact on the way we live our lives in Wales.

“It helps business to move, act and trade quickly and more effectively. It enables schoolchildren to access their homework online, helps provide care for our elderly, as well as offering better access to e-commerce, social media and home entertainment. For all of these things, fast broadband is essential.

“When combined with BT’s commercial roll-out we’ve already provided more than 1.2m Welsh homes and businesses with access to high-speed fibre broadband and we look forward to extending this even further across the country as a result of this announcement.”

Business Industrial Solutions Limited (BIS) in the Crown Business Park, Tredegar, is one of the businesses benefiting from superfast broadband in Blaenau Gwent.  The business provides industrial supplies and energy saving products to an extensive customer base including many blue-chip clients.

BIS Strategy Director Stuart Dean said: “Superfast broadband has made an immeasurable difference to both our business processes and our growth potential.  This means that for the first time all staff have simultaneous access to the internet; this has improved communications capabilities with both our supplier and our customers whiles providing process benefits.

“We are now able to develop an on-line sales presence to improve our customer experience and increase sales.  Additionally we can now initiate improvements to our computer systems including offsite support and the use of remote cloud-based servers.  Superfast broadband is not an option it is an absolute business necessity.”

Households and businesses which want to take advantage of the benefits of fast fibre broadband should contact an internet service provider (ISP) of their choice to place an order.

Information about the rollout across Wales is published on the Superfast Cymru website ( including a coverage map which provides details of rollout plans looking approximately 12 months ahead.


Take a look at the Superfast-Cymru website to see if coverage is available in your area.

Blaenau Gwent speeding ahead with more than 95 per cent superfast broadband coverage

Abandoned Blaenau Gwent chapel to be turned into Wales’ first 'social supermarket'

AN ABANDONED chapel in Blaenau Gwent will be transformed into Wales’ first 'social supermarket'.

After being restored to its former glory with a £600,000 EU grant, Trinity Chapel on Church Street in Abertillery will house the first Welsh social supermarket, offering cut prices to those on welfare support.

The transformation will be overseen by The Coalfields Regeneration Trust Wales and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and is based on a “community shop” concept developed in South Yorkshire.

Members will be able to shop for goods deemed “unfit for sale” by supermarkets — with up to 75 per cent cut from the retail price — including dented tins or items with incorrect labelling.

Alun Taylor, head of operations at Coalfields Regeneration Trust Wales, believes the project will provide “much needed support to many people.”

He said: “This is a unique and much needed innovative project partnership with Blaenau Gwent local authority which could be replicated across Wales and contribute significantly to reducing the high levels of poverty that still remain in coalfield communities.

“With building due for completion in February 2016, this project has the potential to provide long-lasting social good in a community that has been hit hard by severe welfare cuts.”

Nick Landers, principal projects officer at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council expressed “delight” at working with CRT Wales to transform the historic site.

He said: “This is an exciting project that will introduce this new social support concept to a Welsh region that really needs it.”

Alongside reduced prices, customers will be able to access benefit advice, credit union information and social support on matters including child care and skills training.

The Welsh Government-backed Communities First programme is also looking to base an office within the building to provide jobs training.

Graham Bartlett, executive member for economy at Blaenau Gwent council, said: “This is an exciting time for Abertillery and I am extremely proud that we are bringing Wales’ first social supermarket to the region.

“Trinity Chapel has previously received a lot of investment, including that from the European Regional Development Fund, and so the completion of this project will make those investments worthwhile and ensure they continue to benefit the community.”

Trinity Chapel was built in 1877 and converted for retail use in 1995. It has been redeveloped under various plans since 2013 and it is currently leased to CRT Wales.

The development will form part of the Abertillery Town Centre Regeneration Programme which is jointly funded by the European Union, Welsh Government and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. 

Abandoned Blaenau Gwent chapel to be turned into Wales’ first 'social supermarket'