Posted: Thu 29th Sep 2016

New Businesses Launched Through ‘Meanwhile Uses’ Scheme /
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Sep 29th, 2016

Two new businesses were officially launched in Pontmorlais on Thursday, 22nd September, thanks to the Council’s Meanwhile Uses Scheme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

‘The Bait Shack’ and ‘Furniture Reborn’ are the latest to benefit from this scheme which gives businesses the opportunity to have a taster of what it’s like to run their own shop in Merthyr Tydfil and test trade their product or service for a six month period, with limited costs associated to the business. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The scheme is part of the Enterprise Hub which was created from funding through the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places Programme. Business support is provided from the Enterprise Centre and the Council to help ensure the sustainability of the business and ensure the continuation of independently trading once the Meanwhile element is complete. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Furniture Reborn was created by Wendy Murray from her love of refurbishing furniture. The business offers a host of interesting upcycled goods as well as offering customers the chance to upcycle their own furniture. Classes will be offered to teach the local community how to upcycle. Wendy initially started working from her home but soon outgrew this arrangement. By the intervention of the Meanwhile project, Wendy was given support via the Enterprise Centre where she was given invaluable assistance to develop her business venture. Wendy was then given the opportunity to test-trade and to establish and build her client base whilst operating for a short period of time from the MTEC building. During the test-trading stage, Wendy’s business went from strength to strength. After this stage, Wendy identified that the next natural progression for her business venture would be to establish herself in a retail property in Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Bait Shack was initially started in May 2015 by Steve Llewellyn who identified a gap in the market within Merthyr Tydfil and is now the only provider for fishing tackle and accessories within the County Borough. Steve operated from Merthyr Tydfil’s Outdoor Market and a range of other market stalls and venues at first, but the Meanwhile opportunity allowed him to build up his customer base and provide him with the confidence to take the next step into a fixed property in the Pontmorlais area. This business offers a wide range of supplies for fishing in freshwater, coarse/lakes and sea fishing. Expanding to larger premises has also provided the opportunity to deliver new elements such as offering a clothing range. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Councillor Brendan Toomey, said: “I’m delighted to see the benefits of this scheme and how it is positively impacting on people’s lives, whilst also occupying vacant shops in the Town Centre. The scheme provides business owners with a low risk trading opportunity and also enhances the products and services on offer in the Town Centre. I wish Wendy and Steve all the best in their future with their businesses”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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