COMMUNITY efforts to purchase the iconic Havards hardware shop in Newport have been praised in the Senedd in a debate recognising the important role of community-owned businesses and social enterprises.

Havards has been an institution in the north Pembrokeshire town for more than 140 years, selling a wide range of everyday items including tools, cookware and crockery, gardening equipment, and outdoor gear.

Following the announcement that the shop would be placed on the market earlier this year, a share offer launched by the local community in June has since raised £443,000 – with the aim of securing outright purchase with stock transfer and working capital.

The community group announced this week that fund-raising had been successful and that completion of the purchase is planned for 12 noon tomorrow (Friday).

Havards will then become the first community-owned hardware store across the whole of the UK.

Leading a debate in the Senedd praising the crucial role of community-owned businesses and social enterprises, Plaid Cymru MS Cefin Campbell referenced the iconic old ironmongers, praising the community’s hard-working efforts to raise funds to purchase the premises.

“I visited Havards this summer and was blown away by the determination and enthusiasm of the local campaign group,” he said.

“Over only a few months, the local community’s efforts to fundraise in order to complete the purchase of this local institution have been nothing short of remarkable - and the level of funding secured truly incredible.

“I have no doubt the enterprise will be a thriving success for residents and the many visitors the area attracts.

“In Pembrokeshire, and across the whole of mid & west Wales, we’re incredibly fortunate to have a wide array of social enterprises and community-owned businesses – all of which play a vital role in community development, social regeneration and economic transformation.

“Havards will no doubt be a welcome addition to this collection.”

During the Senedd debate, Mr Campbell highlighted the success of other community-owned enterprises in Pembrokeshire including Tafarn Sinc, Rosebush, and Câr-y-Môr, Wales’ first community-owned regenerative ocean farm, near St David’s.