THE Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has marked the next chapter in its history with the official opening of a new Gwent office.

A celebratory event took place on Friday (8 September) to formally unveil the office at Llanover Business Centre.

Local MP and Secretary of State for Wales David Davies cut the ribbon and welcomed the FUW Gwent team to its Monmouthshire-based home.

Guests heard how the office, which was previously located in Abergavenny town centre, is hoped to be a key contributor to the union’s vision of thriving family farms across Wales.

FUW county executive officer Sharon Pritchard said: “We are often the first people members turn to when they have worries or concerns, as well as the first to hear about exciting developments and successes.

“We are closer to the local livestock market now and the new office is really accessible for our members, so I’m hopeful it will soon become a hive of activity and a key point of contact for the farming community.

“The importance of the farming industry to the community, culture and local economy in rural areas is highlighted by David Davies MP joining us on this occasion. We are very grateful for his time and support.”

Staff will be on hand from Monday to Friday in the new location to advise members and answer any membership queries.

Monmouth MP Mr Davies said: “It was an absolute pleasure and honour to officially open the new Gwent office. I particularly enjoyed seeing many old friends, such as local farmer Terry Bayliss and my former colleague in Parliament Guto Bebb, FUW group managing director.

“Traditionally, the FUW had its office in Abergavenny town centre where the cattle market was. But times change and the FUW is absolutely right to move forward.

“One of the great things I like about the agricultural community is that people are never afraid to share their opinions and that is really important.

“I look forward to a continued working relationship with the FUW and coming back to Llanover to regularly discuss agricultural issues in Monmouthshire and beyond.”

The office will also house the FUW Insurance Service Gwent team. As one of the leading insurance brokers in Wales with a service that feels local and personal, the team will be available to assist customers with their policies.

Account executive Julie Phillips added: “It’s important to us that our policyholders know we are here to help whenever they need us.

“Our office is a reflection of FUWIS, so having the new and improved location is indicative of our commitment to deliver the very best service to our customers across Gwent.”