New project to support green initiatives

New project to support green initiatives

The Gwent Green Grid Partnership, a new ground-breaking project, aims to improve and develop green infrastructure – a term used to describe the network of natural and semi-natural features, green spaces, rivers and lakes that intersperse and connect villages, towns and cities – as well as provide green job opportunities within the area.  Green infrastructure has a crucial role to play in addressing nature, climate change and health emergencies.

Monmouthshire County Council, working with Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport and Torfaen councils as well as Natural Resources Wales, Forest Research and the Severn Wye Energy Agency, leads the partnership.  The organisations will work together to ensure that the area’s natural resources are healthy, resilient to pressures and threats and thereby better able to provide vital health and well-being benefits for current and future generations.

The Gwent Green Grid Partnership will bring to life the Gwent Public Service Board’s commitment to implementing the Well-being Of Future Generations (Wales) Act and the Environment (Wales) Act through improved collaboration with partners, involving local citizens and delivering across all seven well-being goals.

The project will deliver a range of well-being benefits for local communities and plans to make improvements to green spaces, urban and country parks, cycleways and public rights of way.  It will facilitate better woodland management and creation and take action to protect and enhance vital habitats for pollinators. The partnership will also explore better management of natural spaces to provide opportunities which deliver preventative health-focussed activity.

Councillor Lisa Dymock, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for green infrastructure said: “I very much welcome the establishment of the Gwent Green Grid Partnership, bringing together Gwent’s local authorities and three other organisations to protect and improve our natural environment while providing opportunities for the area’s communities.”

The project is supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas and is funded by the Welsh Government’s Enabling of Natural Resources and Well-being Grant.

For more information about this partnership, click HERE.


As part of our Green Infrastructure (GI) service, the Gwent Green Grid Partnership has contributed to many of the milestones outlined in the following report:


Council to run survey on tourism industry

Council to run survey on tourism industry

Monmouthshire County Council is to carry out an up to date survey on the area’s tourism industry.

Monmouthshire’s strategic Destination Management Plan, which guides the running of the county’s tourism sector, is due for review and the council will ask businesses, residents and visitors for their views on how the area’s potential is developed, managed and marketed.

Tourism is vital to Monmouthshire’s economy and generates income to support a wide range of businesses that benefit from spending by visitors.  According to figures supplied by tourism economic indicator STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor), the 2.28m visitors to Monmouthshire in 2019 brought in almost £245m to the local economy and supported the equivalent of 3,119 full-time jobs.

While the council is keen to promote economic growth and recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic it recognises the balance to be struck between economic, environmental and social perspectives if tourism is to develop sustainably.  It aims to develop a tourism economy that avoids a negative impact on the environment while ensuring a positive experience for visitors with a warm welcome from Monmouthshire’s communities.

Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for tourism, Councillor Lisa Dymock said: “Whether you’re a business involved in the visitor economy, a Monmouthshire resident or someone who’s visited the county over the past three years, we’d welcome your views.”

To access the survey, log onto: www.visitmonmouthshire.com/destination-survey.aspx

by Tuesday, 30th November.  All who complete the survey will stand a chance of winning a Christmas hamper from the Wye Valley Producers collaboration packed with the area’s finest award-winning produce!


Summer of Fun Review 2021

MonLife wanted to make the summer of 2021 a special one for all of our communities given the events these past two years. The easing of lockdown restrictions enabled MonLife to bring back many of our much loved schemes and activities including ‘The Monmouthshire Games’.

Children in Monmouthshire in particular have enjoyed a fun-filled summer holiday with wide range of play provisions. Two flagship programmes, The Monmouthshire Games and The School Holiday Enrichment Programme took centre stage and were supported by a wide range of MonLife services aimed at children and young people. Below you will be able to find our review and can help us celebrate our Summer achievements.


Improvements set for Chepstow Leisure Centre pool area

MonLife has announced a programme to carry out much-needed improvements to Chepstow Leisure Centre’s swimming pool hall.  These will include redecoration, an upgrade to glazing in the viewing area, a replacement ceiling, an LED lighting upgrade and installation of new air handling units.

Scheduled to start on Monday 25th October, the work will necessitate the closure of the pool.  The expected re-opening date is 4th January.  Meanwhile, the rest of the leisure centre will remain open and MonLife will automatically freeze the membership of its Aqua holders while work continues.

MonLife members with any queries about the pool area refurbishment should email: monmemberships@monmouthshire.gov.uk – meanwhile, groups with bookings for the pool have already been notified of the closure.  Anyone with a general query on the work should contact chepstowleisurecentre@monmouthshire.gov.uk.  MonLife will also launch a dedicated microsite on Tuesday 28th September with up to date information on the scheme’s progress and a list of FAQ’s.

Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for MonLife, Councillor Lisa Dymock said: “I’d like to thank visitors to Chepstow Leisure Centre for their patience while work continues and I’m pleased that these refurbishments will provide an improved service to users of the leisure centre.  I’m also glad that many of the measures implemented will result in improved energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions.”


Play Schemes offer fun and activities to county’s young people

Children in Monmouthshire have enjoyed a fun-filled summer holiday, thanks to two successful play provision schemes offered by MonLife, the council’s tourism, leisure, culture and youth services body.

The Welsh Government-funded School Holiday Enrichment Programme (SHEP) has provided healthy meals, nutrition and food education, physical activity and enrichment sessions to children in specific areas of the county during the summer holidays.

The free four-week programme has seen over 420 children sign up at five schools, with sessions at Overmonnow Primary and Kymin View Primary in Monmouth, Thornwell School in Chepstow, Caldicot’s Dewstow Primary and Deri View Primary in Abergavenny.  The response to the scheme was overwhelmingly positive with a large majority of children delighted to make new friends and try new sports.

Meanwhile, MonLife has offered the exciting and popular Monmouthshire Games, with a range of different interests and hobbies keeping children and young people active and entertained over the summer holidays. The five-week programme featured at all of the county’s leisure centres in Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow and Monmouth, with almost 900 youngsters participating.  Nearly all expressed their desire to attend future events.

This is the sixth year that MonLife has organised the Games. Aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 11, they have encouraged thousands to develop confidence, meet new friends and most importantly have fun through sport.    With challenges caused by the pandemic, this year’s events also aimed to help improve wellbeing and promote healthy bodies and minds.

Monmouthshire’s Cabinet member for Community Wellbeing and Social Justice, Councillor Lisa Dymock said: “The School Holiday Enrichment Programme and The Monmouthshire Games have been especially valuable during the pandemic, allowing the county’s children to be active, have fun and socialise.  They have been brilliantly organised by MonLife staff and give parents the peace of mind that their children are looked after in a fun and safe environment.”

The Monmouthshire Games and SHEP attracted a total of 7,750 attendances over the summer while children enjoyed 7,240 free meals provided in line with the wide range of benefits delivered by SHEP.  


Closure on footpaths in Caldicot and Rogiet extended

In December, Monmouthshire County Council made a Traffic Prohibition order to temporarily close footpaths 6 and 13 in Caldicot and Rogiet. The legal closure due to end on 23rd June has been extended for a further 6 months due to continuing safety issues.

Speaking on the closure, Councillor Lisa Dymock, cabinet member with responsibility for MonLife said: “We are deeply concerned that people are at risk. This section of footpath contains two live firing ranges and we have had reports about people continuing to use the path, wandering around the foreshore and elsewhere putting themselves in danger. An alternative route is in place following the Wales Coast Path, which is well signed and maintained and we appeal to people to use this path instead.

“A multi-agency approach is being taken to resolve the issues on this popular path. These include fly tipping, arson, vandalism, gates being left open, which allowed cattle to wander off, damage to the sea wall, illegal cycling, motorbike use and consideration of range safety measures”.

A Monmouthshire County Council spokesperson added: “Notices regarding the closure of the footpath and alternative route are available on Monmouthshire County Council’s website and we have been endeavouring to keep them up on site. However, there has been problems with individuals removing the signs. This is an offence, but it is also putting visitors and local people in danger and hampering our endeavours to deal with the issues”. If you or anyone should witness someone tampering with the signs, then please contact: countryside@monmouthshire.gov.uk


Refurbishment of Abergavenny Leisure Centre confirmed

Following the meeting of Full Council on Thursday 22nd July, Monmouthshire County Council has confirmed that the proposed refurbishment of Abergavenny Leisure Centre has been agreed.  To enable residents to see the full development plans and find out more, MonLife has today (Friday 23rd July) launched their new microsite www.monlifeleisuredevelopment.co.uk.

Monmouthshire County Council’s MonLife is committed to investing in projects which will benefit the health and wellbeing of the county’s community.  Its leisure centres provide a vital hub to support physical and emotional wellbeing across all age demographics. 

The proposed refurbishment of Abergavenny Leisure Centre will create a wellness hub over the first floor of the building, to create modern leisure facilities for the local community and helping to increase participation in regular physical activity.

The proposed new facilities will include:

·        Extended Fitness Suite

·        Power Assisted Exercise Studio

·        Dedicated Spin Studio

·        New Fitness Changing Facilities

·        Ground Floor Coffee Vending Offer

Councillor Lisa Dymock, Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet member for Community Wellbeing and Social Justice, said: “We are committed to investing in and developing leisure facilities across our county to support the health and wellbeing of our citizens.  The continued investment in leisure facilities will have a significant impact on wellbeing for not only now, but also for our future generations. I would encourage local residents to have a look at the plans and find out more about this exciting project.”


Here’s to a summer of fun in Monmouthshire – time to make some magical memories’

Make some magical memories this summer,’ that’s the message as MonLife, gets ready to welcome children and young people in Monmouthshire to its exciting wealth of activities and fun across the county. The Monmouthshire Games, indoor play centres, theatre events and many more activities have been organised with the intention of keeping children and young people active and entertained during the summer break.

The Summer of Fun kicks-off with ‘The Monmouthshire Games’ taking place between July 26th and August 27th, with action-packed days offering more than 30 different sporting activities that can be enjoyed by children and young people aged 5-11 years old at all four of the county’s leisure centres. The Monmouthshire Games provides a unique opportunity for both children and parents. Participants can meet new friends, develop new skills and confidence, whilst parents are content knowing that their child is safe, happy and having hours of sporting fun.

MonLife has organised free activities for the whole family to enjoy over August, including archery, a climbing wall, clay play, badge making, natural art collage and orienteering. Visit the MonLife Activities website to see what free activities are at your nearest local venue: Family Days – MonLife Holiday Activities.
The dates and locations are:

  • 10th August – Old Station Tintern 11:00 – 16:00
  • 11th August – Shire Hall 11:00 – 16:00
  • 17th August –Abergavenny Museum and Castle 11:00 – 16:00
  • 18th August –Caldicot Castle 11:00 – 16:00


MonLife’s Youth Service will also be providing a ‘Summer of Fun’ with provision for 11 years plus and a range of activities and opportunities including Graffiti workshops, outdoor activities, Skate Jam plus much more. 

Open-air theatre events at Abergavenny Castle grounds have also been scheduled this summer, with Horrible Histories: Gorgeous Georgians & Vile Victorians taking place live on stage on 28th July. There are plenty of other theatre events on at Abergavenny Castle throughout summer for all the family to enjoy, including The Great Gatsby (11th August), Pride & Prejudice (14th August) and David Walliams’ Mr Stink (22nd August).

Families can also book a visit to MonLife’s indoor play centre at Monmouth Leisure Centre this summer, which features an exciting three storey, action-packed climbing maze and a unique ‘beat the clock timing’ system. All of Monmouthshire’s leisure centre swimming pools are open for the summer holidays, including family bubble sessions, junior swim lessons and aqua classes.
Local swimming timetables can be found here: Swimming – MonLife Holiday Activities

Lisa Dymock, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Social Justice said: “MonLife has done an excellent job ensuring the children of Monmouthshire have a fantastic summer with all they have planned. There were less opportunities for children to enjoy a variety of experiences in 2020, this summer promises to be different with many new memory-making opportunities being held again. There is something for every child in Monmouthshire to enjoy this summer – sporty, creative, arts loving, or fans of the great outdoors – this summer will be lots of fun in the gorgeous, Monmouthshire, great outdoors.”

Summer of Fun is a Welsh Government initiative and runs from 1 July until 30 September. It provides a range of free leisure, recreational, sporting and cultural activities for children and young people aged 0-25 to help support their social, emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.

For more information on the events and activities in Monmouthshire this summer, visit: https://www.monlife.co.uk/monactive/childrens-activities/

Contact Us


May Half Term fun with MonLife

This May Half Term we have a fun filled week of activities planned for children of all ages at our MonLife venues.

Nerys the Dragon and Ostin the Dormouse

Why not visit Caldicot Castle and Country Park and Old Station Tintern where you can say hello to our delightful new additions to the MonLife family; Ostin the Dormouse and Nerys the Dragon.

Ostin and Nerys feature between the pages of our new Explore and Create family activity packs that are available at both sites.  These fun-filled resources will enable you and your family to explore two of our fabulous attractions through a range of playful and creative activities and discover more about the nature and history of the sites.  The packs also include great ideas for continuing the fun at home.

You can collect Ostin and Nerys stamps and stickers for completed activities and even ‘transform’ you and your family into one of these cute characters using our Dormouse and Dragon photo cut-out boards.  Remember to tag us into your photos on social media.

Abergavenny Museum

Why not take a step back in time and visit one or our MonLife museums which are open throughout half term, enjoy the wonder of the history of Monmouthshire and open up this whole new world for your children.  Entry is FREE for all visitor s and your children can also take away quizzes and activity sheets to keep them entertained at home. 
For opening times please visit https://www.monlife.co.uk/heritage/

Our popular The Monmouthshire Games will be returning at all four of our Leisure Centres during half term week with a fun filled programme of activities.  You will need to book early to avoid disappointment as places are very limited.  Register your interest by clicking here and a member of the team will be in touch https://buff.ly/3y8jB6r For further information on The Monmouthshire Games please click here https://buff.ly/2ROnahB

Girl in swimming pool during swimming lessons looking at camera smiling holding hand in the air

If you are looking for some indoor fun then why not book onto one of our swimming sessions taking place at all four Leisure Centres by clicking on the following link and going through to the Leisure Centre of your choice https://www.monlife.co.uk/monactive/.

Monmouth Premier Play Centre at Monmouth Premier Leisure Centre after recent redevelopment
Monmouth Indoor Play Centre

Also don’t forget that our Indoor Play Centre at Monmouth Leisure Centre is now open, your place will need to be booked in advance so call the centre on 01600 775135.

MonLife also deliver Youth Work in the community through a range of activities and opportunities for young people aged 11 plus.  During the May half term The Attik (Monmouth) will be open Wednesday and Thursday 10am – 6pm, the Zone (Caldicot) Tuesday and Thursday 12pm – 8pm, the Cabin (Abergavenny) Tuesday and Wednesday 12pm – 6pm and Thornwell Wednesday and Friday 3pm – 8pm.  Positive Futures will be running on the Friday in all areas 6pm – 8pm. Each area will also carry out a litter pick on one day for each area for Keep Wales Tidy – Spring Clean Cymru.

For further information or if you need support please contact us via youth@monmouthshire.gov.uk


MonLife Over 60’s Programme extended to help improve physical and mental well-being across Monmouthshire

The MonLife Active 60 plus has been a great success with 85 participants engaged in the programme. This is a positive indication that people in Monmouthshire aged 60 plus want to improve their physical and mental well-being.

The members of this programme have their progress recorded through the means of digital reviews with fitness professionals and their activity recorded through the My Wellness App. The My Wellness app records outdoor activity like walking, cycling running and Live and On Demand classes. This a great way to record the progress of each active member and has given them great encouragement.

The Active 60 plus programme has provided a physical activity and social outlet for many of our members during these difficult times.

Here is how the programme has helped one of our MonLife customers

“I have taken part in quite a few of your virtual classes and thoroughly enjoyed them all; Stretch and Tone, Gentle Exercise, Tai Chi. The classes are excellent and I’m amazed how well you can guide and monitor our individual progress throughout the sessions. They are all very well-planned, timed and focused on a particular aspect of our developing fitness with a clear explanation of how these exercises will benefit us. They have definitely made a difference to my health; I feel stronger and fitter, my flexibility is much improved and my back is less painful. I feel supported, encouraged and have a sense of achievement.  I feel proud when I tell my grown up children, who live so far away, that I have engaged in a session and I know that they are delighted.

Apart from a fairly regular walk, I was taking no other exercise. Going forward, it will be difficult for me to find an opportunity to leave my husband who has dementia and attend a Centre. As it is, my husband sits in the room, happy to see me and hear it all going on in the background. It certainly helps me to feel less isolated. 

I have recommended 60 plus to others and will continue to do so. In truth, it has been a godsend and I congratulate and thank everyone who has put the scheme together”.

The Active 60 plus programme allows participants to take part in their own time, at home and also has encouraged those to get active without the worry of attending a group. They experience social interaction on the live sessions, which is beneficial for members to feel good and motivated.

This digital platform has removed barriers to exercise for those that could not attend the gym due to commitments, time and resources.

Moving forward the Active 60 plus programme has extended its offer to access the MonLife classes on site as well as attending virtual classes. This is creating a wider community for the Active 60 plus in MonLife.

This membership offer is 1 month free and £16.00 thereafter and for the first 120 people that sign up to this programme they will be given equipment packs which include dumbbells, resistant bands and an exercise mat.  To sign up to the programme please click on the following link 60+ Health & Well-being Programme (office.com).  A MonLife qualified fitness professional will then contact you to ensure that the scheme is appropriate.