Photo: A new retail space has opened in Aberystwyth, with more expected to follow in the near future
Submitted by Martin Williams
A vibrant new retail unit where customers can shop for everything from arts and crafts to gifts, food and drink has breathed life into Aberystwyth town centre.
Crowds mixed at the opening of the new retail space on Great Darkgate Street, part of the innovative New Skills New Start scheme.
It is a UK Government initiative funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund, led by the Ceredigion Council and implemented by Antur Cymru Enterprise.
The store will provide independent entrepreneurs and sustainable and ethical start-ups with a place to sell their products.
They will also have access to free training, business advice and resources including hardware and marketing support.
Among the first groups to benefit from the space are bespoke lampshade firm Cardigan Bay Designs, sea glass picture company CreateEm, Eisa Tea Co, Coast to Country Arts – who make wooden items floated – Yoga Essentials and Carousel, which recycles furniture and creates bespoke gifts. unwanted materials directed to landfills.
Project manager Julie Morgan was delighted to receive such glowing feedback on opening the doors for the first time and said the long-term goal is to roll out the program in the future.
“But first we want to test the response here in Aberystwyth, where so far the reaction has been really positive, which is encouraging given all the hard work that has gone into this,” Julie said.
“We already have some fantastic companies here who are excited to be part of this project as it gives them a platform to display their products with the safety net of Antur Cymru’s guidance and support.
“It will build confidence and give them vital experience to grow their businesses, which has a ripple effect on the economy and supports downtown growth – that’s great, and we thank everyone for participating in our launch event.”
Ceredigion MP Ben Lake was among those present and praised the New Skills New Start project for bringing a fresh and progressive supply to the area.
“It’s a wonderful unit, a continuation of how the program supports new businesses,” he said.
“It’s great to see this space for merchants to try and test their business offering and get business advice, all in one place.
“I think it’s a good thing for Aberystwyth and it’s already causing a lot of excitement in the town.
“The idea could potentially be a model for how we use empty high street shops, so I wish all shopkeepers the best of luck.”
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