THE FAMOUS Coca Cola truck made a stop in Llanelli on its Christmas tour of the UK last week, and with it brought extra trade for local shops, market traders, and restaurants.
The truck’s stop marks the start of the festive period for a lot of people in Llanelli, bringing its illuminating lights, festive-spirit sharing choir, and imitations of snowfall to the town.
Despite bleak weather conditions, thousands of families descended into the town centre, boosting local traders who remained open later than usual. Many restaurants and shops have reported they received extra custom due to the event.
Among those who stayed open later to make the most of the extra footfall on the night were Llanelli Indoor Market traders, with stalls remaining open later than usual to provide custom to the families and young adults who had gone out to watch the event. Llanelli’s multi-storey car park was also opened later than usual to accommodate shoppers who were in the town.
The Coca Cola truck event was organised and hosted by the Carmarthenshire County Council’s marketing and tourism team and Emlyn Dole, leader of the council, said “This is exactly what we’re hoping to achieve – more people coming into the town centre, shops extending their trading hours to make the most of the extra footfall and enjoyable events that families can enjoy.”
The event is the second in the council’s three Christmas events of the year. Previously, we saw the Llanelli Christmas Carnival, and after the arrival of the Coca Cola truck, Father Christmas and his reindeer and elves will be landing in Llanelli amongst a host of different attractions on Saturday December 19 where hopes that the whole town will arrive to get involved with the last of the Christmas celebrations.
Read more in Friday’s edition of the Llanelli Herald.
Business Wales delivers vital support
MORE than 20,000 jobs have been created since April 2015 by enterprises that have received support from the Welsh Government’s flagship Business Wales service, Economy Minister Ken Skates has revealed.
Business Wales makes it easier for Welsh micro-businesses and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages to access the information, advice and support they require to start and grow their businesses.
In addition to helping Welsh enterprises create more than 20,000 new jobs since April 2015, the service has handled over 60,000 enquiries and advised over 30,000 individual entrepreneurs and firms across Wales. It has also helped Welsh entrepreneurs create more than 4,000 new businesses across Wales with an impressive four year survival rate of over 80 per cent.
The Welsh Government continues to proactively support entrepreneurs at each stage of the business lifecycle from raising awareness of entrepreneurship with more than 200,000 primary school pupils right across Wales through to idea generation, start-up and on to sustainable growth.
In November, the Economy Minister announced proposals to build on Business Wales’ success to ensure its high quality is maintained and developed so even more firms and entrepreneurs can benefit from the service.
This includes how the service can prepare businesses for what the economy will look like after Brexit.
Business Wales also has an increasingly important role in supporting firms to rise to the challenges set out in the Welsh Government’s Economic Action Plan of preparing for digital developments, improving productivity, increasing the incidence of fair work, decarbonising and promoting inclusive growth.
Ken Skates said: “As we enter the New Year, it’s fabulous news and a great achievement that our flagship Business Wales service has supported the creation of more than 20,000 jobs since April 2015.
“That’s 20,000 people given an opportunity to work, earn a wage, make a living and help drive a productive Welsh economy. I am delighted we, as a Welsh Government, have played our part in helping Welsh entrepreneurs and SMEs to make that happen.
“Although 92 per cent of Business Wales customers say they would recommend the service to a friend, we’re certainly not resting on our laurels and I’m already looking at ways Business Wales can directly support more firms and entrepreneurs over the coming years.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Welsh economy and vital to our economic outlook and the way communities throughout Wales operate from day-to-day.
“We will continue to support our SMEs and be on hand to provide the high-quality information, advice and guidance they need to thrive.”
Last remaining council owned shop in Llanelli Town Centre
Here is an opportunity to start the New Year in business – grab the last remaining council owned shop unit in Llanelli Town Centre.
Number 3 Cowell Precinct – most recently occupied by Clair Adams Schoolwear – is up for rent and is in a prime town centre location.
The ground floor unit is available at an affordable rent of just over £650 per month and coupled with reduced business rates being offered by the Welsh Government under its business rate relief scheme, it offers an attractive package to those thinking of opening up shop in Llanelli.
Retail space is approx 133.5 sqm and benefits from a main sales area with additional raised area with store room, WC and rear access. Front entrance is within Llanelli Indoor Market Precinct. The lease will be for a term of at least five years.
Almost £5million has been spent buying town centre properties from private ownership to renovate and offer to businesses at an affordable rent, and all but one council-owned property in the main shopping streets of the town are currently occupied.
Carmarthenshire County Council Cllr Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “We have acquired many properties from private ownership in the last couple of years. In doing so, we now have control over more business premises which allows us to set an affordable level of rent that will help new businesses to establish and sustain themselves. Many people are under the misconception that the council own all properties in Llanelli Town Centre – this isn’t the case and many are owned privately and over which we have no control.
“We continue to encourage private landlords and owners to make better use of town centre buildings by offering grants and loans as part of a range of incentives, including simpler planning rules to speed up the process for investors and developers.”
Llanelli’s Altalia restaurant to close after 18 years
THE OWNERS of a family-run restaurant in Llanelli town centre have decided to call time to focus on new ventures.
Al and Tal Einon, who run Italian restaurant Altalia on the corner of Stepney Street and Market Street, will serve for the final time on Saturday, December 21.
Carmarthenshire County Council, which owns the building leased to the business, has thanked the couple for their commitment to the town over the last 18 years.
The council is currently working on proposals to transform Market Street to provide a better connection with the main town centre and Eastgate.
It was hoped Altalia would stay as an anchor tenant within the new development, and the council has worked closely with the couple over the last year to plan ahead.
However, in a personal decision, the Einons have decided to bring their time in the town centre to a close and try something new.
“We are taking this opportunity to thank all our valued customers, many of whom are now friends and always will be,” they said.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed catering for Llanelli for some 18 years. The teams we have developed over the years really have been the best at their game and the fulfilment of training them, and our daughters, into capable caterers – both front and back of house – has been the most satisfying thing of all.
“All good things must come to an end, and we look forward to a new venture in 2020.”
Carmarthenshire County Council’s regeneration team are working on plans to transform several areas of the town.
Almost £5million has been spent buying town centre properties from private ownership to renovate and offer to businesses at an affordable rent, and all but three council-owned properties in the main shopping streets of the town are currently occupied.
The team also continues to encourage private landlords and owners to make better use of town centre buildings by offering grants and loans as part of a range of incentives, including simpler planning rules to speed up the process for investors and developers.
The next phase of development will see more mixed-use retail and residential space created, a model that has already proven successful along Stepney Street.
Market Street is one of the key sites earmarked for development to encourage more footfall and flow between the town centre and Eastgate.
The council is currently working on proposals for the area, with no firm plans about the site yet in place.
Feedback from members of the public, businesses and town centre stakeholders from a series of drop-in consultation events in the town centre during 2018 will be taken into consideration.
Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council and Executive Board Member for Regeneration, said: “We thank Al and Tal for their service to Llanelli town centre for the last 18 years. They have provided a wonderful welcome to customers and have been a huge part of the town centre as our tenants. We have worked closely with the couple to plan for their future as part of our continued regeneration of Llanelli town centre, and whilst naturally we’re disappointed that they have decided to bring their business to a close, we fully understand and accept that decision and wish them well in their new ventures.”
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