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Saturday, 20 July, 2002, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Prince celebrates over-50s' success
Erddig Hall
Erddig is famous for its gardens
Prince Charles continued his summer tour of Wales in the north east on Saturday, visiting a scheme to help the over-50s set up their own businesses.

The Prince, president and founder of PRIME Cymru, met people who have helped establish the scheme in the historic market town of Ruthin.


I am pleased so many entrepreneurs can make a significant contribution to the economy of Wales and the revival of the country

Prince Charles

The scheme is a variation on the highly successful Prince's Trust, which provides grant aid and support for young entrepreneurs.

Opening and closing his speech in Welsh, the Prince said he was "thrilled and delighted" to see the scheme working.

So far, more than 100 businesses have joined in with the scheme.

"This all stemmed when I found myself receiving more and more letters from people over 50 who wrote to me asking if there was anything that I could do to help people who had become redundant or found they had to take early retirement," he said.

"I am pleased so many entrepreneurs can make a significant contribution to the economy of Wales and the revival of the country, which needs a boost after the devastating effects of foot-and-mouth."

Stately home

His next stop was at one of the National Trust's most prestigious properties.

As vice-president of the Trust he met staff at the stately home Erddig Hall, Wrexham, one of the area's best-loved tourist attractions.

It has been 25 years since the Prince's last visit, when he officially opened the house and gardens to the public following a major four-year restoration programme by the National Trust.

He joined staff and volunteers at a garden party to celebrate the anniversary.

He was presented with a framed photograph of himself with a penny farthing during his trip 25 years ago.

The Prince had failed to ride the cycle then.

He told photographers on Saturday: "Don't get excited.

"I'm not going to get on it again, certainly not on these cobbles."

He was also offered a glass of lemonade made to a Victorian recipe by a group of six and seven-year-old children from St Giles's Primary School in Wrexham.

The estate welcomes 80,000 visitors each year, and its walled garden is one of the most important surviving 18th century gardens in Britain.

The Prince of Wales ends his tour of Denbighshire and Wrexham in Llandrillo near Corwen.

He officially opens the bowling green and tour the village, visiting the pub, shop and post office and church.


More news from north east Wales
See also:

07 Jul 02 | Wales
21 Jul 00 | Wales
19 Jul 02 | Wales
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