Welsh business hub opens fourth shop and support centre to meet retail demand

A BUSINESS hub and trading space in the heart of Newtown will attract visitors from across the region.

Launching the new Cymorth Busnes Lleol / Local Business Support programme at Bear Lanes Shopping Centre, Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams and local councillor David Selby declared it a “brilliant addition” to the area.

The Broad Street retail unit and start-up support centre is the fourth unveiled by Antur Cymru Enterprise in just 18 months and follows Aberystwyth, Cardigan, and Newcastle Emlyn.

Among those already operating from the premises are Peony Green bespoke lampshades, Awaken Spiritual Wellbeing and Home Décor, and Josie’s Creations handmade jewellery, whose founder Josephine Stephens says having a dedicated team of mentors and advisors just next door helps build confidence in their fledgling ventures.

“I had always enjoyed crafting but with the help and advice of Antur Cymru feel I am able to take it forward as a business,” said Josephine.

“We are all able to bounce ideas off each other and try out different things knowing they are there to give feedback, encouragement, and offer guidance on what works and what doesn’t.”

Debbie Williams of Colourburst Jewellery, added: “In the few weeks since joining the space we have had a positive response from customers, it’s a fantastic location and will hopefully contribute to an increase in footfall at the centre.”

Lauren Garbutt, owner of Seren Handmade business logos and workwear echoed those words and, with the support of husband Josh and their three children, and mum Jill – who will work at the shop once a week – is excited to see how the space develops.

“We only started trading a year ago, so this is a great next step for us, the chance to engage with new customers and have the safety net of Antur Cymru’s brilliant team next door,” she said.

“They have given me advice, and a place here at the shop, which I’m really grateful for – we look forward to seeing what the future brings.”

Funded by UK Government and driven by Levelling-Up via Powys County Council, the programme also encourages local entrepreneurs and existing companies of all sizes to get in touch and capitalise on available grants and training opportunities, mentoring, and extra support on a wide range of topics to take their businesses to the next level, including marketing, exports, sustainability, and diversification.

Cllr Selby welcomed Local Business Support via his role as Cabinet Member for a More Prosperous Powys.

“Starting a new business is both risky and hard work but potentially rewarding, and this scheme has the capacity to remove some of the risk by providing exposure to new markets and customers, literally a shop window for growth,” he said.

Project Manager Julie Morgan added: “We have had such a warm welcome from both customers and other businesses in Newtown, which has been fantastic.

“We will continue to work with start-ups, independent businesses and entrepreneurs and give them a platform to sell their products and lay the foundations for a successful future, which in turn will have a long-lasting effect on the local economy here in Powys.”

For more on Antur Cymru, visit the website www.anturcymru.org.uk and follow them on social media at @AnturCymruWales.

Alternatively, call 01239 710238 or email info@anturcymru.org.uk.