Businesses boom in quiet parkland setting on Monmouthshire border

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Paul Hartshorn, of Weston FM Group

A unique parkland setting in Gwent is proving increasingly popular as a location for start up and more established businesses.

Iconic Mamhilad Park Estate, Pontypool, the former British Nylon Spinners (BNS) manufacturing centre and latterly a base for large public sector operations is fast being re-invented for the twenty first century.

Dilapidated office space is being refurbished in an ongoing programme which is bringing thousands of square feet of office accommodation back to life and creating hundreds of new jobs along the way.

Mamhilad Park Estate owners Johnsey Estates Ltd are progressing a master plan which is gradually bringing new business life to the former hive of industry in the Eastern Valley.

JEUK chief Executive officer James Crawford said: “Our latest wing of refurbished offices is now ready and we have already taking calls and taking firm bookings for businesses looking to move in as soon as they can.

“We have a variety of sizes available in the refurbished wing from 170 sq. ft. – 600 sq. ft, with rents starting from £212.50 per month.

Pristine new office space is emerging from the existing historic buildings while the parkland setting is also getting an overhaul with acres of new turf being laid, the estate roads resurfaced and exterior fencing renewed.

Psychotherapist Miranda Seymour-Smith is one new tenant who was attracted to locate her business to Mamhilad Park Estate.

Sole trader Miranda moved to Mamhilad Park Estate in January this year. She says the parkland setting peace and quiet of the estate was a key factor in her deciding to snap up an office in a refurbished wing.

Miranda said: “I need peace and quiet and a really pleasant environment for my business and in particular for my clients.  I offer psychotherapy services for those over the age of 18 who have depression, anxiety, alcohol or drug addictions, relationship or family issues, bereavement, illness, low self-esteem, gender or sexual issues, low confidence, low mood, and other issues.

“I also offer mentoring and coaching for professionals or others seeking ways to identify and reach their goals for work or personal development.

“I’d been working in central London for a time so it was good to find such a great location for my business, South Wales Psychotherapy and Coaching. I really like the estate, its architecture and its history. There are good flexible contracts and reasonable rents.

“The park is an integral part of local history. It is very easy for clients to find and to park in the free parking. It is peaceful, it is full of really iconic buildings and there are lots of other businesses here as well which is great. The onsite restaurant is friendly with good food which has a home cooked feel to it.”

Facilities management and security business Weston FM Group Ltd is thriving after being located for nine months at Mamhilad Park Estate.

The business, which employs some 122 people has 11 located at its Torfaen headquarters.

Paul Hartshorn, of Weston FM Group, says the central location is ideal for their burgeoning business operation which deploys its staff throughout the UK.

“The location is good and there are also mutual trading benefits that we have here at Mamhilad. The office accommodation we have, including our fabulous board room, is first class.

“We have easy access to major roads and all in a very pleasant rural location. The onsite restaurant is good as is the parking. There is even a gym here which staff use and a crèche.”

Hypnotherapist Gareth Wait has been at Mamhilad Park Estate for the past 16 months after moving from a clinic in Newport.

Sole trader Gareth, owner of Gareth Wait Hypnotherapy who offers hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, said: “I was working from a clinic in central Newport, and it became increasingly obvious that a large proportion of my clients were travelling from Cwmbran, Blaenavon, Abergavenny. It made sense for me to relocate to somewhere more central to these areas to better serve my clients.

“The road link is brilliant, and it’s really easy to direct people to the office, much easier than central Newport and everyone knows the McDonald’s roundabout. The facilities here are excellent and are constantly being updated, improved and made even better.”

Andrew Tucker, MD of financial services business Financial Planning Solutions Ltd has been located at Mamhilad since June last year.

Andrew, who has a staff of four, said: “The office space that we have is very convenient. We welcome the investment Johnsey Estates is making here as it’s transforming our environment. It really is like working in a park.

“It is very cost effective taking space here, the free parking is a real bonus, the 24-hour security is excellent, the café is handy and good value and our office is very centrally located for our clients.”

Andrew said: “The redevelopment of Mamhilad Park Estate has stirred a lot of interest because many people in South East Wales have had some involvement or have relatives who may have worked on site when it was BNS. We are often discussing the history of the site and how it’s been developed with new and existing clients.”