People, Places, Business

Benefit to Local Business

A Clear Benefit to Local Business

Neath Port Talbot Council's Commercial Property Grant scheme has proved to be a window of opportunity for local company Talbot Glass. It is the latest business to benefit from the funding which enables tenants and owners to improve the external appearance of commercial properties.

The firm has been operating from its base in Water Street, Aberavon since 1960 and is currently undergoing extensive external refurbishment works thanks to the funding available from the Council's Regeneration and Neighbourhood Renewal Area budgets.

Improvements include the smooth rendering of the front and side walls; replacement of the building's roof covering and guttering; and a much needed overhaul of the shop front and signage.

The established family business sits within the heart of the Sandfields and Aberavon Renewal Area, and the work aims to both enhance the look of the building and to complement the housing renewal works that are being carried out in the area.

Commercial Property Grants are available on a County Borough-wide basis, but target specific commercial centres, Communities First areas and Neighbourhood Renewal Areas. Grants are usually awarded up to a maximum of 50% of the total eligible costs of external works, although grants of up to 80% could be awarded for the restoration of expensive heritage features on properties which fall within Neath Conservation Area. Priority is given to properties that create employment opportunities through expansion, start up businesses and buildings that are prominent or in poor condition.

Where funds allow, the grant can be enhanced for commercial property owners and tenants within the authority's Renewal Areas, through a package of technical and liaison support services, together with a further 25% financial grant assistance.

Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr. Ali Thomas said: "Over time property improvements can bring real benefits to commercial areas. Visual enhancements can stimulate further investment whilst helping to preserve the historic character of the community. This, in turn makes them more attractive places to work, shop and visit."

"I am very pleased that the council is able to support businesses in this way, particularly when they are local to the area. Talbot Glass has been in the same family for three generations now and as such has been part of the Aberavon community for over 50 years. I hope that the Commercial Property Grant and the work of the Renewal Area team can assist them in going from strength to strength."

Peter Keen of Talbot Glass said: "The Building has been in need of renovation for a number of years. Being able to access the Commercial Property Grant and in particular the additional 25% contribution from the Renewal Area made all the difference in giving us the confidence to invest in the business. We have been here for over 50 years, I joined my fathers business in 1967 and my son Andrew joined me in 2000, so we plan on being here for many years to come and would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their support over the years".

The Council is encouraging anyone interested in improving the external appearance of their business premises to enquire with the Property and Regeneration Section as to the availability of grant funding.

Application packs, design guides and further information can be obtained by contacting Gemma Nesbitt, Regeneration Section, on 01639 686413 or g.m.nesbitt@npt.gov.uk