The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates has announced the locations of four Enterprise Hubs across Wales as part of the Welsh Government’s drive to support business entrepreneurs across Wales. Business in Focus is delighted to be contracted to deliver the Hubs in Carmarthen and Newtown.
The social enterprise, which has been helping Welsh businesses to start and grow for more than three decades, brought together an exciting range of partners in each area to deliver an inspiring new support opportunity for entrepreneurs across both the Mid and South West Wales regions. The Hubs are funded by the Welsh Government with the support of European Regional Development Programme, and form part of a £4million investment across Wales.
The Carmarthen Hub will be based in the brand new Canolfan S4C Yr Egin building on the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Carmarthen campus and will link in with Bridge Innovation Centre in Pembroke, The Beacon in Llanelli and Coleg Sir Gar. Working with Tramshed Tech, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), Wales Cooperative Centre and both Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire County Councils, Business in Focus will provide individuals and companies with room to start and grow their businesses in a stimulating, welcoming community.
The Newtown Hub will be based in the historic Pryce Jones building in Newtown town centre, where Business in Focus will work with Tramshed Tech, Robert Owen Community Banking Fund, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, University of Aberystwyth and Coleg Ceredigion. These connections will enable participants from as far afield as Lampeter and Aberystwyth to benefit from the community of support.
Jill Walters is Business Contracts Manager at Business in Focus has managed the service contract for the existing Business Wales Wrexham Hub for the past year, alongside a number of other Business in Focus business support services and contracts. She said: “It’s fantastic news for us to have secured this three year opportunity and adds further proof to our ability to deliver outstanding results in helping businesses on their journeys to grow and prosper. Securing these contracts was a collaborative effort with all of our partners In Mid Wales and South West Wales and we are very much looking forward to working closely with them.”
Yr Egin is UWTSD’s new creative and digital centre in Carmarthen. With S4C as the anchor tenant, Yr Egin is home to a range of companies in the creative industries including multi-media publishing and digital technology; digital education; video production and photography; post production; as well as financial management for the creative industries.
Jill continued: “The themes of bringing people together from the creative and digital industries and encouraging collaborative working to generate ideas and share resources makes Yr Egin the perfect base for our new ‘Enterprise Hub’ as we continue to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs and businesses.”
Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor at UWTSD said: “UWTSD is delighted to host one of the Welsh Government’s Enterprise Hubs at Yr Egin. It will enable the University to work closely with key partners to provide students and members of the community with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success. It will also allow the University to further its links with both the local and regional business communities.”
Tramshed Tech will be working with Business in Focus in both Hubs providing technical and digital expertise. They will bring a vibrant tech edge to the new Hubs and ensure that business support is innovative and agile, providing current and relevant advice to entrepreneurs and businesses in the community. Mark John, Chief Operating Officer of Tramshed Tech commented, “We are looking forward to extending our reach into West Wales and Mid Wales and ensuring businesses are supported in both rural Wales and in the city centres. We are keen to engage with the community in both Mid and South West Wales, cementing our partnership with Business in Focus and the Hub partner teams.”
Mark White CEO of Robert Owen Community Banking has played a key role supporting the hub in Newtown. He commented, “We are delighted at Robert Owen Community Banking to be involved in this fantastic development at a time when we are expanding our business lending operations and taking on new fund management contracts. The Enterprise Hub will provide a fantastic boost to the Mid Wales economy and we are tremendously excited at the prospect of working with all the partners in the project.”
Whilst the hubs in Carmarthen and Newtown will provide a central focus, the Hub programme will engage with individuals and businesses in the counties of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Powys. Satellite locations will host events and activities and enable local people to join the Hubs’ community. Furthermore, Business in Focus is looking forward to engaging with the North and South East Hubs to contribute to the visible and connected entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wales.