Christmas got off to a great start this year with the Town Council Christmas Lights on Ceremony, with the Town Council giving out thousands of light sticks FREE!
Neath Inspired supported with the Wave and Swansea Sound advertising 2 weeks before the event and the Wave Roadshow on the night. Supplying loads of free children’s goody bags, tasty mince pies and warming mulled wine from the Neath Inspired gazebo.
Halloween was celebrated in Neath Town Centre by hundreds of children and their Parents. They learned the dance in the Town Square
They Monster Marched through the Town. Scary!
Great fancy Dress
Great Make up.
Prizes to Finish
A massive thanks to all the businesses that got involved! Stage 8, The Round House, Treats, Lorraine’s Tea Shop and the Cosy Cafe.
The tenth anniversary Food & Drink Festival attracted over 60,000 people over the 3 days, pushing the week’s footfall up to 117,000 for the Week
Over the 3 days footfall was 75% up compared to the previous week.
Neath Inspired and Neath Camera Club’s ongoing partnership has resulted in many professional quality photographs covering all the events supported by Neath Inspired throughout the year.
This has culminated in the first Neath Inspired Photographic Competition. The challenge “The Best Photograph of Neath” that gives a flavour of the many things that Neath Town Centre has to offer. Well done Neath Camera Club & thanks.
Short Listed 27 Images that all tell a story:
A Brand New Free Event For Neath
It’s a half term Halloween a Free Event with Neath Inspired and Stage 8 Dance Studio
2.00pm Learn the Dance in Neath Town Square
2.30pm Assemble at Cafe 46 [top of Queen Street]
3.00pm Monster March through town to Neath Castle
Free Hot Dogs @ 4 local Cafes
Halloween Fancy Dress Prizes for :
1st Place Child & 2nd Place Child
Best Couple & Best Dressed Dog
COME & JOIN US
MAKE NEATH SPOOKY
Gareth Nutt Director for the Environment Neath Port Talbot Council
Up-date to Neath Inspired Marketing & Accessibility Meeting Monday 17th September 2018
Gareth made positive comments on the diversity of Neath town centre and its low vacancy rate at around 8.9%, almost half the average rate in Wales. Privately developed A3 café bars are helping to enhance the town centre offer and increase reasons to visit.
NPT Council have been active in investing in the fabric of the town grant aiding Café 46 and the Plaza Café and other businesses with development grants.
He commented on the successful partnership working between the BID and the Local Authority in providing parking initiatives including free parking, after 3.00pm, every day, on the third floor of the Multi-storey Car Park and free parking after 10.00am on key seasonal event days.
Gareth went on to confirm that town centres were a priority both for the Council and the Welsh Government. He outlined some of the forthcoming initiatives and funding streams that were announced in 2018 by Alun Davies, Cabinet Secretary in the Welsh Government, naming Neath as one of the seven valleys strategic hubs. The “Our Valley Our Futures”* project will help NPT Council fund several economic regeneration projects.
NPT Council are currently:
- Negotiating to buy the Crown Packaging site*, the former Metal Box Factory, to provide local jobs.
- Planning to up-grade Neath Railway Station, the project will be to create a better, modern interface with the town centre.
- Planning to refurbish No.3 Wind Street to develop a start-up hub for businesses.
- Progress the WG initiative: Homes as Power Stations to deal with fuel poverty and carbon issues.
- Are re-locating NPT Council Social Services employees into the town centre, having purchased the ex-County Court Building next to the Police Station.
- Negotiating a Property Enhancement and Regeneration Grant, which will be Welsh Government funded, to up-grade town centre properties.
- Global Centre of Rail Excellence preferred site in Onllwyn /Nant Helen at the top of the Dulais Valley.
On the physical regeneration agenda Gareth outlined the Boots Yard development.
Coastal Housing Group will be on site early next year, having received planning permission for a new development consisting of a 3-storey mixed use block comprising 5 units of ground floor commercial with 12 residential units above with associated changes to the existing service yard access and configuration of the public realm.
Gareth went on to explain that the Neath Town Centre Retail Scheme* for the ex-Tesco/Wilco site had been approved with Kier appointed to undertake the next phase under a design and build contract.
Kier* will now start work on detailed designs for the main retail project as part of a planning application for the second phase of the town centre re-development scheme.
There will be enabling/surveying activity on site during October and November.
Currently there are no firm commitments from potential retail stores who do not commit to “off plan” developments, however, commercial letting agents have confirmed that there is potential demand.
*Information from Our Valleys, Our Future Progress report 2018 One Year On
“A £500,000 town centre loan, in addition to an earlier £1m loan, will support regeneration in Neath Port Talbot, as part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to creating prosperity in Valleys communities. Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council is seeking to use the loan funds to acquire key sites close to Neath town centre to support major regeneration programmes. The council intends to develop derelict or under-used buildings and sites to provide residential, commercial and employment opportunities. The Town Centre Loan Fund is designed to help bring empty, underused sites and premises in town centres back into use. It supports activities that increase footfall in town centres, tackle empty sites and help businesses to grow and prosper. Once loans are repaid, the money is used again to fund new loans up to a 15-year period.”
* Approval of the Neath Town Centre Retail Scheme https://businessnewswales.com/approval-neath-town-centre-retail-scheme/
Starting in April this year Springboard footfall counters have been monitoring footfall in Neath Town Centre.
The count is made on a line drawn between the corner of Holland & Barret and the corner of the Card Centre in Neath Town Square.
The count is for both way movements across the line.
The count is for one central location, however, pro rata comparisons can be made by businesses for other areas of the town.
BID Businesses that do not already receive this data should email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the emailing list
The above graph shows footfall recorded by the hour, week commencing Monday 13th August 2018
Footfall by Day, week commencing Monday 13th August 2018
Footfall by Week commencing Monday 2nd February 2018 showing increased footfall for the Neath Inspired sponsored event dates.
[Great Guitar Gig 26th & 27th May, Comedy Festival Launch 30th June & Music Festival 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th July]
Neath Real Ale and Cider Festival appeals to everyone, family, friends for fun and laughter. The festival goers benefited from super weather to make this year’s event the best so far.
With 29 ales, 9 ciders and plenty of prosecco on offer in the town hall it was an event that everyone could enjoy. All the cafes and bars joined in the celebrations and made it a day to remember.
Free Parking allowed shoppers to participate too.
The Neath Inspired, Town Council, Neath Port Talbot Borough Council and the Wave & Swansea Sound all worked together to put on this much acclaimed event, with people travelling from Llanelli, Port Talbot, Merthyr, Bridgend and other towns specially for the event.
The first Neath Music Festival together with free car parking after 10am in the town centre pay & display car parks boosted footfall over four days by 26% [week on week comparison].
Both traders and the public alike made very positive comments on the lively & friendly ambience that Neath was providing to visitors and shoppers.
The music festival took place at three different locations through the town providing over 100 hours of music.
Footfall for the week was 104,578 counted by our Springboard footfall counters recording the highest numbers of people in town since counting began.