Neath Businesses Re-assured About Rates Budget Promises

Neath AM, Jeremy Miles, has reassured Neath Businesses that all funding that comes to Wales as a result of the UK Government’s Budget announcement on non-domestic rates will be used to support Welsh businesses.

In a response to an enquiry from Neath Inspired, Jeremy confirmed that he totally appreciates the very real concerns raised on behalf of local businesses, which are shared by many.  Jeremy said  “The Welsh Government wants to roll-out a support package as quickly as possible to help businesses deal with the impact of Coronavirus. Plans are underway, but confirmation from the UK Treasury is currently holding this back.”

“Throughout this Assembly term, each time new money has been made available to extend non-domestic rates support in Wales, the Welsh Government has matched – or exceeded – the funding provided to deliver the most suitable support for Welsh businesses.”

Rishi Sunak announced in his budget speech that English companies with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the tax holiday. It is part of a package of “extraordinary” measures to support the UK economy in the face of disruption from the coronavirus outbreak.

The measures only apply to firms in England as Welsh Business Rates decisions are devolved.

Rishi Sunak said the business rates system as a whole would be reviewed, with the conclusions published in the autumn.

Firms in England have campaigned for several years for the system to be reformed, arguing it makes it hard for bricks and mortar retailers to compete with online rivals.

Mr Skates, WG Minister for Economy & Transport, announced today that: “We committed that every penny of the funding which will come to Wales as a result of the UK Budget announcement about non-domestic rates relief in England will be used to support businesses in Wales.

“We are urgently seeking clarity from the UK Government about the package of funding available for the emergency coronavirus response so we can develop our business support. “We will do all we can to protect the Welsh economy and support Welsh businesses.”

Jeremy Miles office reported that: We are currently working with the Welsh Government Economy Department, putting together a briefing for businesses in Neath town and across the constituency. This will include FAQs and all relevant information that you will need.

10 Reasons to shop in Neath this Christmas!

Neath Christmas Shopping

Sure, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but the festive season is not without its challenges. Trying to find the perfect gift for someone you love amongst the hustle and bustle of crazed Christmas shoppers and paying extortionate amounts for parking. Fortunately for you, shopping locally in Neath this Christmas can ease some of the stress. Here’s ten reasons to shop local for your gifts and groceries this year… 

1) FREE Parking 

Neath Parking Shopping

Free on Floor 3 after 3pm!

Christmas is expensive enough without paying for parking on top. Make the most of free parking initiatives available throughout the festive period… 

Friday 29th November (Christmas Light Switch On) – Free parking after 10am in any Neath Town Centre Council Pay and Display Car Park provided by Neath Inspired

Saturday 30th November (Small Business Saturday) – Free parking after 10am in any Neath Town Centre Council Pay and Display Car Park provided by Neath Inspired

Saturday 14th December until Wednesday 1st January – Free parking in any Neath Town Centre Council Pay and Display Car Park provided by Neath Port Talbot Council

Everyday on Floor 3 after 3pm – Free parking in Neath Multi Storey Car Park, every day after 3pm on Floor 3. Provided by Neath Inspired.

2) Local is Personal 

Neath Shopping Christmas

Beautiful ‘Baroc’ at Christmas

By regularly shopping with small businesses in Neath, you are building a relationship that often extends beyond that of “just a customer”. The fantastic shop-keepers of Neath will always provide a positive and personalised shopping experience.


3) Don’t battle the crowds

Shopping locally is much better than battling the Christmas crowds at a large shopping complex. Remove the stress by shopping in Neath to avoid city traffic, car park queues and herds of people in cramped stores.


Local shops support local people

4) You’ll be boosting the local economy

 Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business. 


5) You’re likely to get better service

Local business owners do what they do because they are passionate about their products and typically take more time to get to know their customers. They’ll often go the extra mile to help you and to ensure you’re a satisfied customer.


6) Make a day of it!

Neath Christmas Shopping

Cosy up at Moruzzi and Co with their delicious Pizzas

Christmas shopping can be hard work! Be sure to schedule in a pit stop at one of Neath’s fantastic cafes, bars or restaurants. From traditional hand stretched pizzas at Moruzzi and Co to Christmas themed drinks at Smashed Rasperry, there’s something for everyone on offer. 


7) Shopping locally is the ethical choice

Neath is home to our beautiful, historic Victorian Indoor Market which showcases the best of local produce. Local butchers, bakers, florists, and greengrocers are much more likely to provide produce with a much shorter ‘field to fork’ journey. In addition to supporting local farmers and producers, the food you buy is more likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging. 

Neath Shopping Local

Local Produce from Anthony James Butchers and Deli at Neath Market

8) You’ll find something different

Our Independent shops have shopped around to select a host of amazing products and bring them right to your doorstep. This often includes items you might not find at national chain stores – like this unique Bara Brith scented candle from Valley Mill. If you’re struggling to find a unique gift, the chances are that the shop assistant will go above and beyond to help you make the right choice. 

Neath Shopping Christmas

Bara Brith Scented Candle from Valley Mill

9) Combine your shopping with ‘not to be missed’ events

Neath Christmas Light Switch On

Neath Christmas Light Switch On – Friday 29th November from 6pm

Neath Town Council are proud to present their annual Christmas Festival. Both Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November will see Christmas Market Stalls line the streets of Neath showcasing unique handmade crafts, beautiful gifts and delicious food. The ‘switch on’ of Neath’s Christmas Lights will take place on Friday 29th November from 6pm – with Santa’s Grotto, Snow Globe, Bierkeller and plenty of children’s entertainment. Neath Inspired will be providing FREE mulled wine for the adults and FREE goody bags for the children. 

10) Neath needs you!

Neath Shopping Christmas

Neath Market

The rise of internet shopping has taken it’s toll on high streets across the UK, and our town of Neath is sadly no exception. Despite this, our town still has so much to offer, and the more we support it, the more likely we are to see it thrive. 

Progress on Anti Social Behaviour in Neath

With Anti-Social Behaviour always high on our agenda at Neath Inspired, earlier this week we met up with Inspector Matt Otteson and team, for an update on matters relating to the town centre.


It’s no secret that anti-social behaviour effects the image of a town, and therefore has a knock on effect on trading in town centres. Every town in the UK isn’t without it’s individual issues, and whilst Neath is no different, we strive to work together with a variety of organisations to sustain a positive, welcoming environment in Neath.

Inspector Otteson has been in post for over 5 months now, and has already made some great structural changes meaning that more focus and resource has been dedicated to policing the town centre. ‘Operation Tesla’ is an ongoing operation looking at a number of issues in Neath Town Centre including drug misuse, anti-social behaviour and street begging. The operation is continuing to make some great progress, with SW Police are only looking to further improve.

Inspector Otteson wanted to remind businesses and individuals of the importance of reporting a crime or incident via 101 or 999 as appropriate. All complaints get logged and create a system of intelligence for our officers which builds a picture and allows them to allocate workforce accordingly. This information is vital to our local police team, so please ensure to pass any important information you have on to them. It’s never been easier to log a report – either via the 101 telephone route, by calling CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111, via email or directly on their website

We look forward to continuing to work alongside South Wales Police and supporting them in their efforts to make Neath a safer, more vibrant town for all.

Nightmare in Neath – A Family Halloween Spooktacular!

Neath, Neath Town Centre, Neath Event

Something spooky is happening in the streets of Neath! Following the success of 2018, we’re excited to announce the second annual Family Halloween Spooktacular “Nightmare in Neath” in partnership with the fantastic team at The Stage – Y Llwyfan! A FREE event with heaps of fun guaranteed! 

Join us in your creepiest costumes at 12pm on 31st October, in Town Square, Neath (by Holland and Barrett). There you will learn the famous ‘Monster Mash’ dance with your fellow monsters, before marching through the streets of Neath, showing off your new moves and causing terror in the town! With cash prizes for the best dressed in the following categories… 

  • Best Dressed Child 
  • Best Dressed Family 
  • Best Dressed Dog 

There will also be a Pumpkin Hunt, finishing at The Stage Y Llwyfan with more fun games and a chance to check out their fabulous new premises above Holland and Barrett! Make sure you don’t miss out on this fantastically fun event, which is set to get the whole family in the spooky spirit! 

View the flyer here – Nightmare in Neath


Neath, Neath Town Centre, Neath Event

Neath Comedy Festival 2019

The weather is looking good for Neath Comedy Festival 2019. A month long celebration of comedy with many Edinburgh Fringe try outs participating.

The festival kicked off with a well attended Kids comedy show in the Neath Castle grounds.

Get directions and news of other events from Neath Comedy Festival Facebook page.

Edinburgh here we come!

And at the Bluebell, Blues Lounge

Neath Inspired Business Breakfast [Superfast Business Wales]

Austin Walters of Superfast Business Wales attended the latest Neath Inspired Business Breakfast, held in the Bluebell Hotel, Neath Town Centre last week.

Austin delivered an informative taster session, outlining to the businesses present the advantages using new and multi-media marketing channels that are now easily accessible to all businesses.

Austin will be holding a FREE masterclass on Social Media on Tuesday 14th May in the Gwyn Hall, there are still limited places available. If you would like to attend this free event please email: ASAP.

Austin’s top tip – sign up to Google My Business today. It’s simple and effective in letting people know about your business AND it’s FREE

Thanks Austin and the Superfast Business Wales Team – We recommend them to all BIDs in Wales

Revised Plans for Neath’s New Development

Neath is set to benefit from a brand new leisure centre, providing modern facilities and boosting footfall in the town.

At a meeting of the Regeneration and Sustainable Development Cabinet Board today (12th April) Councillors approved a proposal to amend the existing Neath Town Centre Redevelopment plans for the former Wilko and Tesco Metro site in Water Street to include a new leisure centre, replacing the current one at Dyfed Road, in addition to retaining six of the original eight new retail units already agreed for that location.

The future of town centres depends on having a diverse offer including shopping, leisure and culture, and development plans need to adapt to changing market situations and customer preferences.

Looking at the national picture and the future of retail and high streets, the aim is to increase footfall into towns to provide an attractive proposition for new businesses and retailers.

Whilst the main element of the plans for the town centre is the retail offer, the scheme is flexible to allow for changing trends and to take advantage of other opportunities that may arise.

Cllr. Rob Jones, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council said: “We want to maintain a leisure offer in the town and we want to make sure that people in Neath have access to modern facilities and activities to improve their health and wellbeing.

“Planning ahead and looking at Neath in the round we now have an opportunity to improve our existing proposals and provide Neath with a new leisure facility whilst delivering the retail element of our development plans. This will not only benefit existing retailers in the town but help to attract new businesses.”

Dyfed Road Leisure Centre is now over 50 years old and requires significant maintenance investment in the next few years just to keep it open. The original mechanical and electrical services need to be replaced and extensive repairs are required to the roof and external fabric. The maintenance work is estimated to cost in excess of £1m and would require the facility to close for up to 12 months.

The Council believes that investing in a new facility, rather than facing increasing maintenance costs for an ageing building, will be better value for money.

To maintain a leisure offer in Neath the total number of retail units will be reduced from eight to six and a new leisure facility will be built as part of the new development.

It will include a 25m, 6 lane pool and learner pool, improved gym and multi- purpose areas for different leisure offers and classes. New squash courts will be provided at Cwrt Herbert Leisure Centre alongside the existing dry-side facilities.

This means that half the space within the scheme will be occupied upon completion, improving footfall and providing an immediate boost to the town. This will benefit existing retailers and also offer an attractive proposition to attract new retailers and businesses into the town centre.

Richard Lewis, Chief Executive of Celtic Leisure said: “We are excited by the new proposals for Neath which will provide us with modern, high quality facilities that will meet the needs of our customers. We believe that the new centre will attract new customers, encouraging more people to improve their health and wellbeing. We will be working with our current customers to ensure a smooth transition to the new facility.”

Robert Williams, Chair of Neath Inspired Ltd. said: “Town Centres across the country are facing very challenging times, and Neath is no exception. It is increasingly difficult to attract anchor stores and I commend the Council for continuing with the development and taking a proactive step to incorporate a brand new leisure facility right in the heart of Neath. The increased footfall and visitor numbers will enable businesses throughout the town to benefit.”

The scheme will now be redesigned to incorporate the leisure centre, with construction starting on site within 12 months.

We’re Having a Business Breakfast

If you are a BID Levy Payer or a Voluntary BID Levy Payer and would like to come please contact 

The event will be held on Wednesday 1st May in the Bluebell Hotel.

The Breakfast will commence at 7.30am and finish at 9.00am.

The Breakfast is one of a regular series of Neath Inspired Business Breakfasts that are held in various venues in the town centre.

You will have the opportunity to network with other Neath businesses from all sectors of the retail trade, service industries and local government.

On the day, we will present three short informative talks:

Austin Walters from Superfast Business Wales will give a short “taster talk” on the benefits to your business of multimedia marketing channels via “Social Media”.

Austin will follow this taster with a Social Media workshop on Tuesday 14th May in the Gwyn Hall. This is a free event.

Places on the workshop are limited so if you are interested get in touch today or alternatively  book a place at the Business Breakfast.

More info @

 Andrew Shufflebotham will provide details on the Neath Inspired web site as a BID information hub.

There will be a short presentation from NPT Council on the progress of the New Development 

We look forward to welcoming you to the event.

Please confirm that you will be attending so that we will know how many guests to expect


Low Pay Commission to Visit Neath

The Low Pay Commission is the independent body that advises the Government on the National Living and Minimum Wage rates (NLW and NMW). Every year they visit each country of the United Kingdom, covering different types of places to get a rounded view of the effects of the minimum wage ‘on the ground’.

If you would like to attend the meeting that will be held on Wednesday 20th March 4.00pm [venue to be advised], please contact

The following topics cover most of what they want to hear about. If you have any other evidence on the minimum wage they are interested in hearing about that too.

  • The effects of the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates we recommend, and business responses to recent increases. Issues we are keen to hear about include:
    • Changes to employment and hours
    • Changes to pay and benefits
    • Productivity
    • Prices
    • Profits
    • Compliance and enforcement
  • View on future NLW increases – to £8.21 in April and a projected rate (subject to change) of £8.62 in 2020, based on a target of 60% of median earnings.
  • Evidence on the economic outlook more generally.
  • Workers’ and apprentices’ views on the minimum wage rates and their work more generally.
  • Views on the youth and apprentice rates – we will conclude our review of these rates in the summer and are still keen to hear evidence on their use and level.
  • The future of the National Living Wage. The NLW has a target of 60% of median earnings by 2020, but it is uncertain what will happen after this date. In the 2018 budget the Chancellor announced the government’s ambition to end low pay, but we don’t know exactly what that would mean for the minimum wage.

Attending: The head of the Low Pay Commission David Massey, three of our commissioners, Professor Sarah Brown from the University of Sheffield, Martin McTague from the FSB  Kate Bell from the TUC, and Joseph Cooper LPC

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