Wales Air Ambulance shops to close in Rhayader and Newtown

Wales Air Ambulance has announced with “great sadness” the permanent closure of two shops in Powys.

The shops in Newtown’s High Street and North Road in Rhayader will not reopen after the firebreak lockdown.

The charity said it has to “prepare for long-term changes” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and has decided to close almost a third of its shops in Wales.

Welshpool’s Mid Wales Airport is home to one of the charity’s helicopters, named Helimed 59, which provides emergency air cover for the whole of mid Wales and beyond.

Dave Gilbert, chair of trustees, thanked colleagues, volunteers and supporters for playing a vital role in saving lives during its almost 20-year history.

He said: “This very difficult decision comes following a review of our retail operation and has been further influenced by the events of the past six months. It is also in anticipation of the future.

“The world is a different place and behaviours and financial priorities are changing as a result of the pandemic.

“Therefore, we have to prepare for the long-term changes, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. To continue our vital lifesaving service for the people of Wales, we need to remain strong. We need to be resilient and reflective of the change that’s happening.

Shops in Llandudno, Bridgend and Pontypridd will also close.

Mr Gilbert added: “We share your sadness at these closures but we also hope that you understand the reasons. Next year, Wales Air Ambulance will mark its 20th anniversary. Over the past 20 years, we’ve been able to save many thousands of lives across Wales. We want to make sure that we remain strong and are still here, saving lives, in another 20 years.”

Wales Air Ambulance shops in Swansea, Cardiff, Bangor, Wrexham, Blackwood, Tenby, Tywyn, Abergavenny, Whitchurch, Caernarfon and Mumbles will remain open after the firebreak lockdown.

County Times | Llandrindod Wells & Rhayader