Tenby Town Council are pushing forward with plans to develop a venue’s vacant cafe into a ‘Community Hub’.

Plans for what will feature at the hub, which will occupy the empty premises at the front of the De Valence Pavilion on Upper Frog Street, are somewhat sketchy, but the Town Clerk has said that the planned facility will introduce some ‘essential services’ for the community.

Recent discussions involving councillors and representatives from the De Valence CIC trust have taken place behind closed doors, due to the ‘disclosure of commercially sensitive information’ but according to the Town Council’s annual report for 2023/24 plans to make its own office more accessible by relocating within the existing building, have been progessing.

When asked to provide an update, Town Clerk Andrew Davies told the Observer: “The council have been working closely with social and commercial partners to provide a multi-purpose Community Hub that will benefit both residents and visitors to Tenby.

“This initiative will provide better public access to council staff, improved public and working space and some additional essential services for the town.

“Plans are at a mature but sensitive stage at the moment and final agreements have not yet been completed. Until then it is in the interests of all partners that details remain embargoed.

“However, rest assured that the Council are working hard to close negotiations as quickly as practicable and look forward to providing more details in the near future.

“We cannot provide you with a more accurate timeline at the moment as we are beholden to various solicitors for the completion of legal drafting.”

De Valence Tenby
The Communuty Hub will be opened at the De Valence's empty cafe (Observer pic)

Speculation has mounted that the new hub could include some form of banking services for the seaside town, after the news that the last branch in Tenby - HSBC would be closing.

County councillor for the South ward Cllr Sam Skyrme-Blackhall announced over a year ago that she was in ‘discussions’ that could lead to new banking services for Tenby.

She revealed at the time that talks were ‘ongoing’ - and that the scheme was ‘backed by a major player in the market’.

Since then however Tenby Post Office has stepped-up to fill the banking void for the town, offering a comprehensive list of vital business and personal banking services available to the community, seven-days-a-week.

The De Valence cafe has been unoccupied since a Caribbean eatery left the premises in 2023, although the outgoing owner of the Indie Burger restaurant a little further down the street aimed a broadside at the Town Council and those running the De Valence before the turn of the year after his plans to take over the venue’s cafe and expand his business were scuppered, after a ‘13th hour’ breakdown in the agreement.

“I'd had the keys for a fortnight, and I had sold the lease on Indie Burger,” said owner Tommy James at the time...“and then at the eleventh hour...actually, more like the 13th hour...I was told that my lease was not going to go ahead!”