From Jeremy Vine to Jimmy Carr, building sites to betrothals, here’s 5 peeks behind the stories we’ve been telling this week…
1. Launching Coleg y Cymoedd’s new campus, with a little help from Carwyn
This week we kicked off the start of construction at Coleg y Cymoedd’s new £22 million campus in Aberdare. First Minister Carwyn Jones officially ‘cut the sod’ at the building site which is due for completion in September 2017 – and is set to offer state of the art facilities to hundreds of students in the area. Thanks to an appearance from Storm Jake it was a pretty wet and windy affair, but it was nothing a cup of tea and a Welsh cake couldn’t solve afterwards!
2. Joining Jeremy Vine to shout about steel on St David’s Day
We’ve been making sure that our client Liberty Steel has stayed in the headlines over the past few months as the one steel company with some good news to tell. So, when BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show decided to include a debate on steel in their special St David’s Day outside broadcast from the Senedd, they recognised that Liberty just had to be part of the programme.
Our team organised an interview for BBC reporter Tim Jones in which the Liberty plant director explained how the company had re-opened its steelworks against the odds and saved the jobs of 150 workers. The interview also focused on the remaining challenges facing the steel industry and it provided a lead in for a 10-minute live on air debate from the Senedd between Neath Port Talbot Councillor and veteran steelworker Tony Taylor, and Spectator columnist Ross Clark about the future of the industry. The two had vastly differing points of view which made for an engaging debate.
3. Taking the leap, on the day that only comes once every four years
It only comes around every four years, so for wedding coordinator Grace Freeman from Park Plaza Cardiff, a leap year can prove to be a very busy time of the year with women across the country throwing away the rule book and getting down on one knee for their partner. Grace joined Eleri Sion on BBC Radio Wales on Monday to share advice on crafting the perfect leap year proposal.
You can listen again to Grace on Eleri Sion’s show here.
4. Top comedian honours contact centre champions at national awards ceremony
The Welsh Contact Centre Forum have a long history of bagging hosts with serious star quality, and this year is no different. Famous funny man Jimmy Carr took the helm this year, leading the glamourous ceremony which saw 700 guests from the £650m industry get their gladrags on and get down to the Wales Millennium Centre. The event rewarded winners and highly commended entrants in 22 categories, with Sinclair Group from Bridgend scooping an award for Small Contact Centre of the Year and Gladiator in Swansea taking the title for Medium/Large Contact Centre of the Year. And the MD of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum, the industry body that organised the bash, spoke from stage of how the 30,000 people employed in over 100 centres across Wales make a huge contribution to the Welsh economy.
5. Singing the praises of the Welsh tech industry
And in other awards news, this Wednesday saw the great and the good of Wales’ technology industry (plus a few key members of the media!) converge in Cardiff Bay for the fourth annual ESTnet Awards.
When the time came to open the gold envelope for the ‘Sir Michael Mortiz Tech Start-Up’ award (he’s the Cardiff-born venture capitalist who invested in Google, PayPal, and more) the judges votes saw the founders of the online polling platform, doopoll, walk away the victors.
Our congratulations go out to all of the winners and shortlisted companies, without your innovations our smartphones and computers, (and – by extension – this blog) would not exist!
And in other news…
Monday was a new dawn, and a New Day – and nope, we’re not talking about the Nina Simone song. Newspaper group Trinity Mirror launched The New Day the first new national newspaper in Britain since the i in 2010. In the current climate, where web content reigns supreme and newspaper sales are dwindling, launching a new print edition is a brave step. Don’t forget that British media heavyweights The Independent are calling time on their print edition later this month in favour of an online only approach.
But The New Day is taking steps to set itself apart from its rivals. It’s pitched as a 30 minute snapshot of all the news readers need to know for the day – like the i. But the difference is that it doesn’t have a web presence, so the only way to read their content is to buy the paper. The bringer of a print renaissance, or a false dawn? Time will tell.