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Empty shop in Neath Town Centre gets a makeover thanks to grant funding

Empty shop in Neath Town Centre conservation area gets a makeover thanks to grant funding. Credit: Neath Port Talbot Council

A former clothes shop in the centre of Neath which had been vacant for many years has been successfully renovated and turned into a People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) centre thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

The owner of the building, in Wind Street, successfully applied for a Place Making Grant which is part of the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme. Neath Port Talbot Council manages the grant for the Welsh Government.

With match funding from the owner of the building, the ground floor of the property has been made useable again.

Works carried out include a new shop frontage, rendering and painting of external walls, damp proofing, electrical and mechanical works, plastering and decoration of walls and ceilings and much more.

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economic Growth, Cllr Jeremy Hurley said: “Having been transformed from an empty building, this property in Neath’s town centre will now benefit the community and avoid an attractive building, set in a prominent location in the conservation area of Neath, falling into disrepair.

“The PDSA charity has taken a lease on all of the ground floor which should increase footfall to the town and support the growth of local businesses in Neath town centre.

“New jobs will be created as a result of this scheme.”

Work on the project started in early 2023 and was completed in October 2023.

Total Commercial floor space created by the project is 250 square metres with the Place Making Grant providing £68,778 of the total cost of the £195,011 scheme with the rest coming from match funding by the property’s owner.

The Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme focuses on the sustainable growth of our town and city centres, and their transformation into places of living, working, learning and leisure.

Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “We want town and city centres across Wales to be the beating heart of our communities, where people can access services, shops, communal and cultural space.

“The regeneration of Neath Town Centre is a prime of example of how we are supporting and securing the future through our Transforming Towns programme, which is providing £125m in our current three year programme.

“This is a great example of public and private sector working together to bring about change locally that will contribute to sustainability, footfall and the economic growth of the town for the benefit of the local community.”