Centre opens up community for new businesses
A NEW Community Enterprise Centre has been officially opened to the public in the Afan Valley, in a bid to help people set up their own businesses.
The facility in Croeserw, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, will provide flexible accommodation for community enterprises and small start-up businesses.
The centre also includes a wide range of community facilities such as dedicated youth rooms, an IT training area and workshops for construction and hair and beauty training courses.
Investment in the centre has been accompanied by a number of public realm improvements throughout the village, including gateway features, new footpaths, tree and shrub planting and a new children's play area at the site of the old community centre.
Councillor Ali Thomas, leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, said: "This is great news not only for Croeserw but the whole Afan Valley.
"The centre will be a great boost to the village, offering small business units and a much needed social and meeting place for local people."
A spokeswoman for the centre said: "These first few weeks have been great. We have had a lot of people calling in to look around and quite a few courses on, it's going really well — it's great for the valley."
Councillor Scott Jones, whose ward the new centre is in, added: "I am delighted to see the investment made into the new Croeserw Community Centre, particularly in times of austerity. This centre has been overdue and very much needed to serve our communities for a tremendous amount of years.
"I am pleased to see investment and commitment by European Funding, Welsh Government and Neath Port Talbot Council.
"I would sincerely thank everyone past and present that has played a vital part in the delivery of the wonderful building and opportunity that it has brought."
He said he believed the centre would serve as a centre of excellence in the valley, adding: "I look forward to continuing to work with constituents, community groups, colleges, and partners in the future in ensuring that as many services are provided in my ward and in the Afan Valley as possible."