Aberystwyth start-up project builds on success and moves to bigger premises
A pop-up retail project in Aberystwyth has moved to bigger premises following a successful first year and is being praised for revitalising part of the town
The Antur Cymru Trading Space has relocated to the former post office on Great Darkgate Street and can now host up to 20 independent sellers.
The project is part of the New Skills New Start programme, a UK Government initiative funded via the UK Community Renewal Fund, led by Ceredigion Council.
The success of the project has led to hopes that the initiative can be rolled out to other parts of Wales.
The site held a bustling Christmas market over the weekend following an event to celebrate progress over the last 12 months and is already proving popular with customers.
Project Manager Julie Morgan says she is confident with further funding in 2023 the premises will continue to operate and provide a base for a variety of artisan firms including Hannah Jones Earrings, Queer Little Shop for LGBTQ+ merchandise, Ray of Light, Becws Welsh bakes, Wishing Well Crystals, Otter and Oak illustration, and Carys Doyle Ceramics.
Ms Morgan praised the team behind the start-ups which has been delivering free one-to-one guidance and bespoke training, organising motivational presentations and workshops, and facilitating a total of 31 sustainable, ethical start-up businesses at the store.
Ms Morgan says that the project has been so well-received it has garnered attention in other areas of Wales and could be rolled out to other counties in the future.
She said: “We have learned a lot this year that will put us in a better position for 2023 and provide potential solutions and intelligence for similar ventures in other areas of the country.
“Most importantly we’ve built their confidence and given these entrepreneurs, makers and producers a platform to showcase what they do.
“We are there to lay the foundations and to see so many of them build on that – growing their profiles and experience while also giving the people of Aberystwyth a new outlet to visit – has been really heartening.
“The scheme has received a lot of positive feedback and breathed new life into this part of town.
“Retailers have struggled, and many forced to close but we’ve shown by collaborating and thinking outside the box there can be positives for high streets, bringing people together, being there for each other and generating ideas.
“That is more important than ever given the current economic climate and demonstrates how vital it is that small businesses and start-ups are given funding support and advice because they play such a big part in the regeneration of towns like Aberystwyth.”
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