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Over the last twelve months, lots of us have felt our priorities shifting. Time spent in lockdown and isolated from friends and family has given us a new perspective and in lots of cases helped us decide what’s really important to us. For lots of us, that’s the world around us and the health, safety, and wellbeing of our nearest and dearest.  Here at Welsh Water we want to do our bit to safeguard those important things.

Our priority services register is a completely free service which is in place to provide extra support to those who might need it.  Maybe you or someone you know has had to shield at some point over the last year. Perhaps you have a baby, or small children at home and rely heavily on your water supply. Perhaps you’re concerned your elderly parent could fall victim to a bogus caller. Perhaps you’d really struggle to pop to the local shop for bottled water if your own water supply was ever interrupted. Whatever your concern, we’re here to help.

Our free priority services register offers safeguarding services like a password scheme that provides added reassurance against bogus callers, accessible bills for example in braille, large font, or audio format, and a promise that we’ll deliver free bottled water to your doorstep if your supply is ever interrupted. What’s more, it’s free of charge to sign up on behalf of yourself or a loved one.

We’re doing our bit for the environment too. It’s easier than you might think to take small steps that help protect the world around you. For instance, we’re encouraging people to think carefully about the pesticides they use in their gardens, which can find their ways into rivers and streams. Our PestSmart microsite is full of tips and information that could help you look after your green spaces while reducing your impact on your local environment.

Saving water is also key to taking care of the world around us. And everyone can do their bit. Small changes at home can add up to big water savings. Did you know that taking a shower instead of a bath can save up to 20 litres of water? And fixing leaky taps can have a huge impact too. 

Thousands of customers have already completed our ‘Get Water Fit’ survey and are saving water and energy.  You may be entitled to some free products and it only takes around 5 mins to complete. Taking some simple steps today can help protect your local environment, save water, save energy, and protect our future generations. 

Priority services register: dwrcymru.com/northwalespriority
PestSmart: www.PestSmart.Wales
Water saving tips: dwrcymru.com/waterefficiency
Get Water Fit Calculator: dwrcymru.com/GetWaterFit


Finalist in the Rural Business Awards

In January 2018 I celebrated five years of being a HouseWow Interior Styling Consultant, specialising in staging homes for the market.

Something that is very important to me is working with environment friendly products and ethical companies while also outsourcing and working with other small rural businesses like myself.

Being environmentally conscious also flows into our home life, where upcycling and recycling are the norm and solar panels help run our home while also charging our electric van.

I am thrilled that my work ethic and professional services have been recognised by the Rural Business Awards who have nominated Sassy Property Styling as a finalist in the Best Rural Professional Services Business category.

The aim of the Rural Business Awards is to give recognition to business operating right across the rural sector, to acknowledge the breadth and depth of opportunity presented by the Great British countryside, as well as to celebrate the achievements of our rural businesses, from engineering through to artisan food producers and professional services organisations.  So, the competition is very strong.

There are thirteen award categories which are decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, official agencies and rural charitable organisations.  The aim of the Rural Business Awards is to grow businesses operating in the rural community.  To be nominated and shortlisted for this award is becoming the UK’s most prestigious and respected award for rural businesses across the UK.

Which is why I am excited to be have been chosen as one of five finalists.

Winning combination

I have been working with Paul Rolfe Estate and letting agents in Scotland and together we are seeing excellent results when properties that have been on the market for a long while, sell within weeks of being staged.

“We are seeing excellent results by working with Sassy Property Styling and it means we have increased the service we offer to our clients” said Paul Rolfe Director of Paul Rolfe Estate agents. “When you can sell a half a million-pound house for £30k to £40k above the asking price then it’s definitely worth engaging Anne,” explains Paul.  “I would rather show a client how to make the most of their house in order to gain the extra price than risk putting a property on the market that’s not ready and won’t sell easily, or worse, the owner gets a low offer.”

I enjoy working with estate agents and have been known to travel long distances from home in Cumbria to stage a house.  All too often sellers don’t understand the instant they put their house on the market they’re entering into a very tough competitive market, every house in the same location, even those not for sale, are the competition.  So, the seller has to ensure their house is looking good, first from the outside and then it has to create that wow factor when prospective buyers walk through the door.

In Paul’s experience if a house is average then buyers will only be willing to pay an average price for it and may even try to crank the price down. “On the other hand,” he explains “if the house looks amazing and creates a surge of positive emotion in the buyer then they are more likely to pay top price for it.”

Sellers don’t always have the time or the inclination to stage their house correctly for the market.  They may have lived in the property for many years and not see the glaringly obvious elements that will lose them the sale.

This year is a very positive year for me, with lots of work and now this nomination in the Rural Business Awards.

Anne Sowerby, Sassy Property Styling, www.sassypropertystlying.co.uk

info@sassypropertystyling.com, Mob 07725246434, Tel  016873 20762

Graythwaite is situated on the west side of Lake Windermere amongst thousands of acres of woodland. Is has been in the same family for over 500 years. As a way to diversify The estate is looking into ways to use sustainably grown timber and take it to market.

We have had a sawmill on the estate since the 1800’s and have recently upgraded to the Woodmizer LX450 with a custom bed extension for large dimension beams. The new mill allows us to process larger quantities at a faster pace to a greater accuracy. We have slab wood and bagged sawdust for sale as a bi product of milling so nothing goes to waste. We have a stock of air drying hardwoods as well as green and we also have access to lots of European larch and sitka spruce. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary then please ring Martin Phillips in the sawmill – 01539530752 -and he will try his best to accommodate you.

Working along side the sawmill we have a Posch firewood processor and log deck which means we can process a huge amount of logs which we sell by the cubic meter, either soft or hard wood or mixed. We can produce kiln dried logs as well to order if you ask in advance. For more information on this please call Andrew Robinson – 07469159336

Alternatively please visit our website to see what else we do at www.graythwaite.com

Office – 01539531248


Zero Dry Time strives on believing that your home should be treated like your castle. Previously being a Royal Marine Commando, Ian takes the commando enthuses of courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness and remembering his coveted Green Berets, uses these to ensure dirty carpets and upholstery are of numbered days!

‘I am rightly proud of my military background and I put to work the commando ethos’ said Ian 55 years old from Barlaston near Stone. ‘My work is second to none and each time I take a job on, I will not leave until I cannot get it any cleaner.’

Ian continues with ‘I am very aware of the notion of being in someone’s home and my actions follow accordingly. I focus on the job in hand until it is completed to its fullest potential. I ensure constant, exceptional results which have an almost immediate walk dry finish.’

So let the draw bridge down and call a carpet cleaner you can trust. Ian, the Commando Carpet Cleaner from Barlaston ready to clean your castle.

Linney Cooper Ltd is a family run company that was established in Colwyn Bay in 1964. From its early days Linney Cooper has grown in to one of the leading flooring suppliers in the country. Our trained and skilled installers have tackled every conceivable flooring challenge. When we install a carpet we endeavour to make sure that the fitting is of the highest standard possible. As a company we employ all our domestic fitters ensuring that you the customer gets the best service and quality.

At Linney Cooper we offer every possible service from consultancy and on-site surveys a free  estimating service to hand stitching of rugs and carpets. Linney Cooper pride ourselves on the interest we take in every installation we do wether it is a small domestic bathroom to a historic house or luxury yacht.

Our well informed retail consultants have extensive flooring and industry knowledge and will be able to advise what would be the best option for your floor and help you through the whole process from your initial enquiry right up to the successful installation of your new carpet or floor.

Why choose carpet?  Carpets are available for many different applications with a wide selection of colours, appearances designs and textures, to suit any budgetchoose carpet because carpet can help to bring a room to life. Carpet can help to reduce noise and retain warmth in a room, carpet can add to the comfort of your environment and can transform a room.

Why choose Linney Cooper, because we have an unrivalled passion for flooring and carpets. We offer a wide selection of carpets and floor coverings from some of the world’s leading manufacturers.

7 Home Improvement & Remodelling Ideas that Increase Home Value

1. Remodelling the Kitchen

Most people consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home, and because of this, updates in this room pay off.  Just don’t go overboard. A basic rule is that you should never make your kitchen fancier than the rest of the house, or the neighbourhood.

2. Bathroom Addition

If your home only has one bathroom, you can recoup a large chunk of your investment by adding another one. When it comes to finding room in your house for an extra bathroom, take a look at any extra rooms or underutilized spaces. Consider other spaces, such as closets or areas under the stairs, too. If you want a half-bath you need at least 18 square feet. If you want a full bath, including a stand-up shower, you need at least 30 square feet. If you want a bathtub, make sure you have at least 35 square feet to work with.

3. Reinventing a Room

Adding more square footage to your home with a new room can be an incredibly expensive project. Although you can recoup some of your investment, anywhere from 50%-83%, this project’s costs can quickly spin wildly out of control. Instead, reinvent the existing space in your home to save money. Finish a basement, or convert the attic to a bedroom. Many homeowners can also add small apartments in, or over, their garages – which they can then rent out as a room. But just before you start demolishing walls and rafters, try to think about the ways that you, and potential buyers, can use the space. Versatile rooms have greater appeal to potential buyers. Basements frequently work well as second living rooms, or game rooms. Many people also turn this space into a small apartment for an ageing relative or a tenant. Attic spaces often work well for craft rooms and game rooms, especially if they have high ceilings.

4. Adding Energy-Efficient Windows

These days, buyers shop for homes with energy efficiency in mind. Old, drafty single-pane windows are a major turn off.  You will also save loads of money in the long term and have a warmer home.

5. Deck Addition

Adding a deck increases the value of your home. Outdoor livings spaces are becoming increasingly more desirable. If you make your deck and your backyard more appealing, your house will be more appealing to prospective buyers when you decide to sell.

6. Energy-Efficient Insulation

If your home lacks basic insulation, and has old doors that let in plenty of hot and cold air, home inspectors working with potential buyers will include this in their reports. Homes that haven’t been modified with energy efficiency in mind cost more to live in and maintain. Updating your home to save energy doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and can make your home more appealing to potential buyers. You can add extra insulation to your attic for very little, and this small change can save you hundreds each year on your utility bill. Also, seal cracks around the house to save even more money on energy costs. Anytime you feel a draft or cold spot, you’re in an area that leaks air. A very cheap and rewarding energy efficiency thing to do is to replace all your light bulbs with, yes you guessed it, energy efficiency ones.  And if you need to replace your hot water heater, consider spending a bit extra to purchase a high-efficiency water heater. Savvy home buyers know these water heaters can really trim energy bills.

7. Basic Updates

Basic updates add the most value to your home. Keep the paint fresh, fix the roof when it leaks, replace wood that rots, and get rid of any mould that you find. These types of chores keep your home from deteriorating over time. Buyers want a healthy, solid, safe home, and they look carefully for signs of routine maintenance.

For more information on how to advertise your business within this section please email our sales team on sales@colstonmedia.co.uk

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North West Times

Customer Testimonials

Prenton Preparatory School

As headteacher of Prenton Prep School I have dealt with Katie Walden in her role at the North West Times on numerous occasions. She has always been well-spoken and extremely professional in her manner and has followed up conversations with the promised actions promptly. Katie is a good representative for Colston Media and PPS have, therefore, reused the service on various occasions.

Scarisbrick Hall School

This is to confirm that I have been dealing with Katie for about 3 months now and in all our communications she has been professional in her handling of the enquiry and where possible as offered the best possible rate available and space in the publications we are advertising in.

Lake District Inns & Cottages

Colston Media has really put us on a platform to North West Times readers. We have used them a number of times over the years to promote our Inns and Cottages. Early this year we decided to really push weddings at The Kings Head Inn. Katie, our representative at Colston Media, jumped on this and reached out to us every time there was an amazing chance to get our name out there. Communication between us was clear, so we always knew exactly what er were getting and for how long we would be visible. Katie was also happy to work with us and our right budgets. I provided images and our wedding pack information. From this, the team made a lovely advert that highlighted our best features. All the stress of putting something together was taken away from us. We decided to change the photos used for the earlier adverts which was no problem to the team at all. From all this work, we have started taking a number of bookings for the upcoming year. With out already at the end of March. Due to the area the North West Times is distributed and being accessible online, we really feel this has helped confirm these bookings. We look forward to continuing to work with Colston Media in the future.

Cheshire Falconry Centre

Hi, just a quick note to say thanks to Gary regarding is help in placing adverts with yourself, Gary made the whole procedure very easy and was a great point of contact.

Storthes Hall Park

Good service, great offers simple process and easy to work with!

Oasis Fostering Services

Please find below my thoughts on my experience of dealing with you.
I have always found you to be really polite and patient with me - I have a very busy workload and you have been understanding of this when I haven't managed to come back to you. I have found you to be very helpful and explanatory and have always been happy that I've understood exactly what you are proposing. I have been impressed with how speedy you have dealt with any questions I have had. I was happy with the ad and although it is difficult to always identify where our enquiries come from, we have definitely seen a rise in enquiries - so something is working for us! We would definitely consider using you again and we would definitely recommend you to others.

Holdens Solicitors

I wanted to set down in writing my views on the skill with which you have dealt with me over the last months. You are extremely business-like and always make a compelling case for Holdens to advertise. You are efficient and effective and have a no-nonsense approach which is very engaging. Without your sensible and accessible approach, we would never have advertised or thought to do so. You also have the ability to make us as the client feel special and work with us as if you are working for our success. This combination of skills is exceptional as I can testify after a long career in the corporate environment when one is bombarded with services being offered.
If there is anything, I can do to promote your high level of service to us please do not hesitate to let me know.

Livewell by Cheryl

‘ I found Dan to be very informative, understanding and professional. He was also extremely patient, as I asked a fair few questions. Thanks for your help Dan, especially as I am reasonably new to advertising.’

Gwernydd Hall Holiday Home Park

My Experience with you and Colston Media was a positive one, you came across very professional and may I say an experienced and "Good" Salesperson. You were not pushy but you did persevere to get the important points across.
Printed advertising does not work too well in this industry anymore, Online and social Media is bringing in the sales at the moment.


I often speak to Shane regarding advertising as we do a lot of advertising for our charity events. Shane is extremely polite and helpful, responds to queries very promptly, and is a friendly person to speak to. Great customer service :)