'Positive thinking' key to future of Milford Haven

First published in County News

Shared knowledge and positive thinking are key to building a future for Milford Haven.

The town's business circle, town council and county council representatives came together to discuss a short-term action plan to kickstart the regeneration of Charles Street and Milford Haven as a whole, at a regeneration meeting on Tuesday.

Business Circle chairman Lynne Turner said that working together and sharing information was a good way to start.

She said: “Knowledge is not power, shared knowledge is power.”

County Councillor David Pugh added: “It’s as Henry Ford said, coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”

Pembrokeshire County Council’s head of regeneration Martin White suggested a scheme where paint is provided for town centre businesses to refurbish their buildings.

He said: “This scheme has high impact, brightens the whole street scene up, and conveys the message that someone lives and cares for this place.”

But town councillor Eric Harries said that for that to happen, all the landlords whose properties had fallen into disrepair had to be identified and contacted.

Mr White said: “If we’re spending time and money we have to work with people that want to work with us and get those properties shining by summertime.”

Other quick-fix solutions included enhancing town gateway signs, delivering town centre WiFi access, putting up information plaques, arranging guided tours for visitors, extending parking times and putting up bunting in Charles Street.

Cllr Pugh said: "Branding is also important, and having an image that you want to portray for Milford Haven, such as its maritime history. That's got to come out strongly so that people know that it's open for business and it's got some exciting prospects."

Mrs Turner added that although it was important to attract large companies, people had to keep supporting independent retailers.

She said: “If you spend £1 on the high street with a national retailer, 5p is re-circulated into the local community. If you spend £1 at an independent retailer, 70p is re-circulated back into the community.”

She added: “There's a lot of positive things happening in the town, but no one hears about it. We must pick it up and run with it."

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