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Chamber connections help progress local community restoration project

Leading business organisation Chambers Wales has helped facilitate the progress of a local community project in Chepstow, the restoration of the Severn Princess ferry.

The Severn Princess was launched in 1959 and transported vehicles and passengers, including Her Majesty the Queen and The Beatles, across the River Severn between Aust and Beachley until 1966.

The Severn Princess Preservation Trust was set up to restore the ferry in 2018, with the aim of repairing key features of the vessel such as the deck and turntable. To aid the restoration, Chepstow Chamber of Commerce & Tourism approached Chambers Wales to find assistance for the project.

Chambers Wales are known for bringing together the best industry expertise and resources from around the world to enable Welsh businesses to grow. Working in affiliation with local chambers, business clubs and hubs, Chambers Wales’ connectivity provides opportunities for its members to connect with businesses locally, regionally and nationally and ensure that all businesses have access to support when they need it.

Chambers Wales were able to facilitate an introduction between their affiliate member Chepstow Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and member Hackwood Fabricated Solutions Ltd, a plastic and steel fabricator based in Newport.

Since the initial introduction, Michael Hackwood, Director of Hackwood Fabricated Solutions Ltd, has made a significant contribution to the ferry’s restoration, utilising his welding and fabrication expertise to support the trust and other hardworking volunteers with particularly challenging repairs.

The work on the Severn Princess has recently been filmed for ‘Vanished Wales’, a four part television series by ITV Cymru Wales which is set to be broadcast in early 2022.

Dr Susan Kingdom, Chepstow Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, said: “We are very grateful to Chambers Wales for kindly putting us in touch with Mike and his team. As an affiliate member, we really value the support and resources that Chambers Wales can offer and, in this case, Mike’s skills and knowledge have been invaluable to this project of local historical importance.”

Heather Anstey-Myers, Chief Executive of Chambers Wales, said: “This is a great example of the power of being part of our Chamber business community. From global contacts to local projects, working with Chambers Wales means benefiting from our connectivity and business eco-system and we’re delighted to have made such a difference to the local community in Chepstow.”


Image caption: Cllr Paul Pavia, Hackwood Fabricated Solutions’ Andy Pitt & Mike Hackwood, Tim Ryan (Trustee – Severn Princess), Sue Kingdom (Chepstow Chamber of Commerce & Tourism), Carwyn Jones (ITV)

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