A BUSINESS support service will expand across Mid and West Wales following an encouraging first year.
Antur Cymru’s pop-up retail project in Aberystwyth had such a positiveimpact they have opened another test space in Newcastle Emlyn.
And the social enterprise’s latest venture – Cymorth Busnes Lleol / Local Business Support – plans to add another location in 2024.
Funded by UK Government and driven by Levelling-Up via Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire councils, the scheme also includes guidance and advice for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and independent traders across the region via a team of skilled and experienced mentors and advisors.
Meanwhile, the test trading spaces give people the opportunity to develop ideas, trial products and generate a customer base whilst being given advice on how to build their commercial ventures.
Project Manager Julie Morgan says there will also be more of a focus on carbon reduction, reducing waste and improving sustainability, digitalisation and more.
“The latest space is now up and running and we’ve already had a lot of interest from prospective traders, customers and the local community,” said Julie.
“Unlike Aberystwyth, where last year it was a pilot programme, in Newcastle Emlyn we already have the foundations, learning and systems in place to hit the ground running, which is what we’ve managed to do.
“There are already businesses on-site selling their wares, including bespoke fashion, locally made gifts and flowers, and the wider service offering coaching and business support will be on hand to help existing and new businesses across the two counties.”
Previously known as New Skills New Start, the Local Business Support project will also feature drop-in surgeries, training, networking opportunities and runs until next December.
Bronwen Raine, Managing Director of Antur Cymru, said the organisation is committed to ensuring more businesses can access the personalised support offered by the project by both increasing the number of shop sites and by extending eligibility to include post start businesses of any age and size.
“Having Aberystwyth, Newcastle Emlyn and the next space we hope to announce shortly means we are providing local doorstep provision across a wider number of towns,” she added.
“We thank everyone for their support so far – particularly the local authorities of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire – and are excited to all work together to give anyone with a business idea the support they need to make it a reality.
“We will also be out in the community supporting existing businesses, and with the prospect of more locations in the future the results will no doubt have a positive long-term impact on local economies.”