THE first year of a multi-million pound Wrexham ‘Commercial Village’ has been an overwhelming success.
The Ial brand at Coleg Cambria Yale successfully launched last Spring, blending retail and hospitality with education, creating new jobs, providing vital work experience for learners and supporting the local economy.
Based at the college’s £21m Hafod building, Director of Commercial Operations Maria Stevens is thrilled with how the beauty and hair salon, restaurant and training academy, coffee bar and florist performed in the last 12 months, despite the pandemic.
“The response has been amazing when you consider the challenges we’ve faced, particularly in recruitment,” said Maria.
“Feedback for all our services has been positive, and we are organising more and more activities – such as the popular Christmas Markets – to generate footfall and give the students a flavour of real-time, real-life events.
“We have also taken on skilled industry professionals to ensure learners are ready for the world of work and support the significant increase in recruitment demand in the industry, which is already being reflected in rising demand and visitor numbers.”
Students, staff, and the public have access to these services and sectors, which complement existing provision and support the town at a challenging time for high streets across the country.
Maria said their focus has been helping the local economy make a positive recovery from the pandemic.
“Our ethos has been centred on supporting local producers and independent businesses and preparing students for the world of work, which is vital as there is huge demand for skills out there,” she said.
“And the Hafod building has played a major role in helping Wrexham build back from the last two years of Covid, particularly the retail and hospitality sectors that were hit so hard.
“We will maintain that focus and thank everyone who has given us so much support – it inspires us to do even better.”
Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for the latest news and information from Coleg Cambria.
* Ial has created the perfect gift package for Mother’s Day. For just £60 the deal includes afternoon tea for two, a pedicure voucher and a bouquet of flowers. Find out more at Celebrate Mother’s Day in Wrexham at iâl Restaurant | March 27th 2022 (ialrestaurant.co.uk).