The Week That Was #393

1. Irish sunny summer days with Coast magazine

Travel writer Sharon Goble took a trip to Ireland over the summer for Coast magazine with Irish-Welsh tourism initiative, Celtic Routes. The trip, which was curated by us, was delivered as part of the Celtic Experience Collection, a compendium of themed experiences which allows travellers to discover the Celtic spirit. During her travels, Sharon visited the puffins on the Saltee Islands, the oldest operational lighthouse in the world at Hook Head, and foraged with the Sea Gardener on the Copper Coast. You can find the glossy 7-page spread of the trip in the December edition of Coast magazine.

2. Offering a writing chance with New Writing North

Breaking barriers. Providing access. Forming the next generation of creatives across the country. That’s what A Writing Chance is about, an initiative founded by Michael Sheen and New Writing North back in 2019. We’ve been working with the organisation to launch the second stint of AWC, a scheme dedicated to providing mentoring, funding, and publishing opportunities to lower-income and working-class writers. Through a creative social media campaign, utilising inspiring success stories, and doing what we can to break down barriers within the sector, we’ll be encouraging writers from across the UK to sign up and make their own writing chance.

3. Cementing a global presence

Concrete Canvas, which manufactures innovative flexible concrete fabric, is on track to boost its exports by 20% to £15 million by the end of this financial year, thanks to a recent string of international deals. The Pontyclun-based manufacturer received export support from the Welsh Government to accelerate its international growth, including attendance on trade missions to target markets like the US and central Asia. We shared the company’s success story as part of a wider campaign encouraging Welsh SMEs to consider exporting. Read more on The Manufacturer, Wales Business Insider, Business News Wales and more.

4. Wales’ skills shortage after Covid years

Covid and Brexit have both had a long-lasting impact on the way we live and work. This is reflected in a report that we’ve been issuing on behalf of our client – the CIPD – that explores the skills policy of the four UK nations. The report shows that over the course of six years, skills shortages have now more than doubled in Wales from 9,000 in 2017 to 20,600 in 2022, and employers are now spending 20% less on training per trainee. The new CIPD report also revealed that Wales is the weakest performing UK nation in terms of workforce productivity per hour. You can read more insights from the report in Wales 247, News from Wales, and Business News Wales.

5. Announcing the quartet of Welsh firms on the Future Fund list

The British Business Bank regularly publishes an updated list of companies in which their Covid era Future Fund holds an equity interest. The latest list, which was published last week, announces 75 new companies, including four firms from Wales: Cross-Flow Energy Company Limited, Amplyfi Limited, The SureChill Company Limited and Vizolution Limited. We secured coverage in Business Live, Western Mail, Wales Business Insider, UK Insider and Business News Wales.