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01656 815322 | Economic Development Unit

It's your time to shine...

spring 2014

Welcome jobs boost to Bridgend Page 2

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Forum's fantastic 500! Page 4

First Minister visits LIF success stories in Bridgend Page 7

Investments bring welcome jobs boost to Bridgend Bridgend County Borough is at the centre of a major jobs boost with a number of organisations announcing substantial investments in the area.

Guardian Global Technologies, a world-leading supplier of specialist Ballistic Delivery Systems (BDS) equipment to the oil and gas industry has confirmed the creation of 22 jobs with the potential of a further 20 roles within the next 12 months. The business has received a £500,000 grant from the Welsh Government to assist with the purchase of new plant and machinery. The grant has also allowed for the refit of its 11,000 sq ft R&D centre centre, test facility and stores. The company, which has been trading for more than a decade and, following private equity backing in 2008, has grown from 18 staff to its current workforce of more than 90 in 2014. Biomet UK is expanding its range and creating more than 60 new jobs at its Bridgend facility as part of a £2.7m investment with financial backing from the Welsh Government.

Amongst the investors are three world-class companies based in the county borough; Sony UK Technology Centre, a world-leading manufacturer of professional and broadcast camera systems is creating 26 new jobs at its Pencoed site, Guardian Global Technologies has announced the creation of 22 jobs at its research site in Pyle, whilst hip and knee replacement product manufacturer Biomet UK is creating more than 60 jobs in a £2.7m expansion at its facility on Waterton Industrial Estate, bringing the total to over 100 new posts.

The facility on the Waterton Industrial Estate was named as Biomet’s worldwide centre of excellence for manufacturing hip joint implants in 2009 when significant investment was made to upgrade equipment and facilities. That investment by the US business was also supported by the Welsh Government. Products from Bridgend, which include knee joint implants, are exported globally. This latest investment for plant and machinery and the

The positions at Sony UKTEC are being created to support an increase in demand across all areas of the business, including its core manufacturing business of professional and broadcast cameras and camera systems, which saw six additional products introduced to the site’s production line last September.

“These companies make a vital contribution to the local economy. Not only are they major employers, but they are also nurturing essential skills and bringing new, innovative approaches to manufacturing in Bridgend.” Councillor Mel Nott, OBE, Leader BCBC The new roles will be responsible for all aspects of the manufacturing process from logistics to product assembly, product testing and packing. Sony UKTEC will be investing £120,000 to develop the customer service centre to include additional work stations, new equipment to support the 4G technologies built into the Xperia Z Range products as well as extra training for existing and new staff.


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expansion of clean room capacity will secure production of an extended range of replacement hip/cup systems. It follows the successful launch of the technically advanced G7 system in 2013. Bridgend County Borough Council Leader Mel Nott, OBE said: “This is excellent news for Bridgend County Borough. I am delighted to hear that these global organisations are continuing to invest in the area. “These companies make a vital contribution to the local economy. Not only are they major employers, but they are also nurturing essential skills and bringing new, innovative approaches to manufacturing in Bridgend.”

Bridgend is ideal location for new R&D centre In another boost for the county borough, finance technology firm Ideoba has recently opened a research and development centre at the Sony UK Technology Centre, Pencoed. Ideoba, which has backing from Harvard professor Harry Lewis who taught both Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) is developing an expert search engine for the financial investment sector. Professor Lewis said Ideoba’s data-mining and profiling technologies will effectively provide a quantum leap in capability. It will have the capacity to map the total global knowledge base of an estimated three hundred million professionals as opposed to existing businesses which utilise smaller-scale, manually generated databases. The business was founded by Andrew Auerbach, Ideoba CEO, who owns the Wall Street New York based Auerbach Group, and Adam Price, Ideoba Director of Strategy, the former MP, who met and planned the venture while studying at Harvard University.

“The second reason is that Wales has a good pool of talented people with the right skills, knowledge, and experience that we are looking for. The third reason is the support from Welsh Government which has been extremely helpful to us, and has provided us with useful advice, introductions and grant funding. “We look forward to continuing this mutual relationship with the Welsh Government to grow Ideoba and create more jobs in Wales. “Over the course of the next few years, as Ideoba grows, we expect to create hundreds of jobs in the South Wales area in our R&D centre and in a customer service and support centre.” Nine people will initially be employed during the R&D phase in 2014-2015 with numbers set to increase rapidly during 2015 following beta testing with a number of key customers and initial commercial operations. For more information on Ideoba visit:

Professor Lewis, the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University, is Chair of the Ideoba Advisory Board and also a minority shareholder in the company. Ideoba’s R&D centre based at the Sony UK Technology Centre in Pencoed is backed by private finance and has received SMARTCymru funding from the Welsh Government. Mr Auerbach said: “The team being established at the research and development centre brings together Welsh and international expertise to develop Ideoba’s technology platforms, with Harvard “DNA” continuing to drive our vision for delivering a powerful tool for powering knowledge. “There are three main reasons why we chose to launch the business R&D centre in South Wales. The first is that my business partner and cofounder, Adam Price, is Welsh. “Adam and I met at Harvard while he was in a mid-career Master’s degree program and I was an undergraduate. Adam has a strong passion for Wales, and has been an excellent representative for Wales at Harvard (particularly during his commencement ceremony address).

Andrew Auerbach, CEO of Ideoba

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Mark Standley, Handelsbanken with Alison Hoy, Bridgend Business Forum.

Forum’s fantastic 500! Bridgend Business Forum, supported by Bridgend County Borough Council has celebrated a fantastic start to 2014, with the news that it has reached another major milestone of 500 members.

Bridgend Business Forum Awards last year, which has been hailed as a huge success. This year promises to be even bigger and better!”

Commenting on their recent membership of the Bridgend Business Forum, Mark Standley, Branch Manager at 500th member, Handelsbanken, was founded in Sweden and Handelsbanken said: “We were thrilled to learn that we had first opened in the UK in 1982. Rated by Bloomberg (May become the 500th member of the Bridgend Business Forum, a 2013) as Europe’s strongest bank, they have over 770 branches in 24 countries, 170 of these number which clearly evidences in the UK, and more than 11,000 “We were thrilled to learn that we the success and commitment of employees worldwide. The full-service had become the 500th member of the those involved. As a bank built on close relationships and bank, with a decentralised way of working, opened a new branch at Bridgend Business Forum, a number traditional values we will be an active member of the forum. Bocam Park, Bridgend in August 2013 which clearly evidences the success following the company ethos of and commitment of those involved.” “Offering a full range of establishing a strong local presence. corporate and individual banking Mark Standley, Branch Manager, Handelsbanken Chairman of the Bridgend Business services, we aim to have the Forum, Alison Hoy said: “We are delighted to welcome most satisfied customers handling all of their banking needs Handelsbanken as our 500th member. It is a well-established within our Bridgend branch. At Handelsbanken we are able organisation with an excellent reputation. I am sure they will to focus entirely on the needs of our customers as we do not have internal sales targets or product campaigns, and we are be able to offer valuable input as members of the forum. genuinely empowered to make the great majority of our “Having celebrated our fifth birthday recently, I am pleased to business and credit decisions locally.” say the forum is growing in both strength and numbers. We have a full programme of diverse and innovative business For more information on the Bridgend Business Forum events already scheduled for 2014. We also launched the first visit:


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It’s your time to shine…

electric and the anticipation built as the winners were announced - needless to say there was much celebration afterwards!” The awards will culminate in a glittering ceremony with a gala dinner on Friday 19 September 2014, at the Coed-yMwstwr Hotel, Coychurch, Bridgend. Details on the awards and how to apply will be available at the launch event and on the website: from the 1 May 2014. Please note: Places are limited please ensure to book early.

Alison Hoy, Gary Lynch AMSS and Sian Lloyd.

The best of Bridgend businesses are invited to the launch of the 2014 Bridgend Business Forum Awards – which aim to shine a spotlight on dynamic and innovative companies in the county borough. The free launch event, which will be hosted by BBC newscaster and presenter, Sian Lloyd will be held on 1 May 2014 at the four-star, Coed-yMwstwr Country House Hotel, Bridgend from 8am - 10am.

enter, aim to reward and celebrate the many progressive businesses in the county borough.

How to book: Email: (booking is essential)

Alison Hoy, Chair of the Bridgend Business Forum said: “Last year’s awards were a huge success for Bridgend Business Forum. The competition was tough and some excellent businesses submitted applications. The sell-out awards ceremony was a fantastic evening, with great entertainment and excellent food. The atmosphere in the room was

For more information contact: Mary Pope on 01656 815320 or email: You can also find out the latest information and updates on the business awards by: Follow us @Bridgendforum Like us

Businesses will have the opportunity to network and find out how their business “If you are proud of your organisation, what can benefit from you have achieved and the people that entering the awards, while enjoying a full have helped you get there – then these cooked breakfast. awards are the perfect platform for you to Open until 2 July showcase this and celebrate your 2014, the awards, Alison Hoy, Chair, Bridgend Business Forum which are free to

Join us Main sponsor


Design sponsor


Dates for your diary: 29 April 2014

4 June 2014

25 June 2014

Social media and how to use it – an introduction to Twitter Waterton Centre, Bridgend, 8.30am for 9 until 12noon In partnership with Wales Quality Centre and Software Alliance Wales (SAW)

Social Media: WordPress for beginners’ one day workshop Waterton Centre, Bridgend, 9am for 9.30 until 4.30pm In partnership with Wales Quality Centre and Software Alliance Wales (SAW)

Speed networking business breakfast Heronston Hotel & Leisure Club, Bridgend, 7.30 for 8am until 10am

1 May 2014

12 June 2014

19 September 2014

Launch of the Bridgend Business Forum Awards 2014 Coed y Mwstwr Hotel Hotel, Bridgend 8am for 8.30am until 10am

Energy efficient breakfast for SMEs – energy management training Waterton Centre, Bridgend, 8.30am for 9 – 11.30am In partnership with Carbon Trust

Bridgend Business Forum gala dinner and awards ceremony 2014 Coed y Mwstwr Hotel Hotel, Bridgend 7pm for 7.30pm until 11.30pm

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Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates AM speaking at the event in Bridgend

“Superfast Cymru has the potential to transform the broadband landscape in Wales and help us in our aim of promoting economic growth and providing sustainable jobs. Making Wales one of the most broadband capable countries in the world will also make us attractive to new investment.” Ken Skates, AM Deputy Minister for Skills & Technology.

Bridgend’s ‘fibre for breakfast’ event proves a perfect start to the day Businesses in Bridgend County Borough had the opportunity to learn more about the significant benefits of high speed internet access through the ‘Superfast Cymru’ programme at a business breakfast delivered by BT Superfast Cymru, the South Wales Chamber of Commerce and the Bridgend Business Forum supported by Bridgend County Borough Council. The county borough is amongst the first in Wales to benefit from access to superfast broadband thanks to the multi-million pound programme which is installing fibre broadband nationwide. Offering much faster download speeds and a more reliable service, fibre broadband brings multiple benefits to businesses and individuals. Speaking at the event Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates AM emphasised the importance of the Superfast programme: “These days we operate in a global environment where technology transcends any geographical boundaries. We want to ensure that Wales is ahead of the game and our businesses are given every chance to develop and succeed,


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especially in an increasingly challenging financial climate. “Superfast Cymru has the potential to transform the broadband landscape in Wales and help us in our aim of promoting economic growth and providing sustainable jobs. Making Wales one of the most broadband capable countries in the world will also make us attractive to new investment. I would encourage all businesses based in south Wales to attend these events to learn more about how they can maximise the benefits from Superfast Cymru.” BT Programme Director Ed Hunt who also spoke at the event said: “Superfast Cymru is a hugely ambitious programme that will place Wales at the forefront of broadband technology. The economic impact of such a programme cannot be underestimated as it will provide an environment allowing businesses to establish and flourish. “Businesses need to start thinking now as to how they could benefit from this technology and these information events will allow them to start talking and planning for the future.”

Fibre broadband is already available in many areas of Bridgend County Borough including Aberkenfig, Bridgend, Pencoed, Pontycymer, Porthcawl and Kenfig Hill, while the two remaining exchanges in Maesteg and Ogmore Valley are being upgraded shortly. Council Leader Mel Nott, OBE said: “Bridgend County Borough Council is fully behind the ‘Superfast Cymru’ programme. It’s great news to hear that homes and businesses in Maesteg and Ogmore Valley are becoming the latest to gain access to a high speed internet service. “I would urge internet users across the county borough to visit the superfast cymru website to check whether they can connect to a fibre broadband service.” To find out more, please visit the postcode checker at and if fibre broadband isn’t available for you yet then you can sign up to receive updates on when it might become available.

Accelero Digital Solutions

Spectrum Technologies PLC

First Minister visits LIF success stories in Bridgend First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM paid a visit to Bridgend County Borough recently to witness the benefits of Local Investment Fund (LIF) support for local businesses. The fund which has been administered by the council’s Economic Development Unit since 2009 has to date, provided over £1.2m of financial assistance to local businesses, which in turn has been match-funded by a total of almost £2m invested by the businesses themselves. 211 grants have been issued to assist capital investment and job creation; 142 existing businesses and 41 start-ups have been supported through the scheme with a total of 320 jobs being created as a direct result.

Espack Eurologistica SL

by investing in capital equipment projects, such as the purchase of plant and machinery, ICT equipment, website development, marketing and internal and external building works. Councillor David Sage, Deputy Leader at BCBC who accompanied the First Minister during his recent visit said: “One of the council’s identified priorities is to provide local businesses with advice and financial support using European Regional Development Funds. The LIF scheme is proving to be a real success story here in Bridgend County Borough, helping to create good quality employment opportunities and safeguarding vital jobs.” The South East Wales LIF is a financial support scheme delivered in partnership across Bridgend County Borough, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil and Torfaen. The project was developed with support from Welsh Government through the European Regional Development Fund, under the Convergence Programme.

Many businesses in the county borough have been assisted to develop and grow including Accelero Digital Solutions, Spectrum Technologies PLC and Espack Eurologistica SL,

Double accreditation gives Workare an anniversary to remember Achilles Link Up means that the company can now offer occupational health, medical surveillance and drug and alcohol screening services to the rail industry, and this combined with SEQOHS, ensures the quality is guaranteed.

On the first anniversary of its SEQOHS Quality Award audit, Waterton-based occupational health company Workare Ltd has achieved another accreditation – ‘Achilles Link Up.’

Managing Director, Lorainne Jenkins said: “24 January is now a significant date in the Workare calendar, thanks to all the hard work from my team. We are now the only occupational health company in Wales that holds both accreditations. “We have to be re-audited every year for both accreditations and so we have to maintain our standards. We check with

our clients regularly to ensure that we are providing a high standard of service. Lorraine added: “We have had support from the council’s Economic Development Unit throughout the process and we are grateful for access to their expertise when we needed it.” When asked what was going to be next on the list Lorainne said: “I think it has to be ISO9001 but I won’t be waiting until January for that one - we will be aiming for sooner than that!” "The Economic Development Unit can expect to hear from me very soon!" For more information on Workare visit:

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“It is the closest thing I will get to home Senior Open and Royal Porthcawl is special for me as I won my first European Tour title there way back in 1982. It is a great course so I couldn’t be happier that the Senior Open is going there for the first time.” Gordon Brand Jnr

Brand Jnr inspired by Porthcawl return Former Ryder Cup player Gordon Brand Jnr is hoping that Royal Porthcawl’s first staging of The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex can inspire him to Major success, 32 years after he claimed his maiden European Tour title at the famous Bridgend links. Brand Jnr held off the challenge of future World Number One and Major Champion Greg Norman to win the Coral Classic in 1982, sealing an unforgettable breakthrough victory just a year after turning professional. He will return to Royal Porthcawl from July 24-27 when the venue hosts Wales’ first Senior Major Championship, and the Scot, who has been a long-time resident in nearby Bristol, is targeting another title challenge. Brand Jnr said: “It is the closest thing I will get to home Senior Open and Royal Porthcawl is special for me as I won my first European Tour title there way back in 1982. “It is a great course so I couldn’t be happier that the Senior Open is going there for the first time. “I would hope to contend in the Senior Open. I’ve not done too well in the last two, but there is no reason I shouldn’t. I know the golf course well and I do like links golf courses, so it is just down to me and whether I take my game with me or not.


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Gordon Brand Jnr

“I think there is always a bit of support which comes across from Bristol and I have the good memories of the course. You try to focus on those things and it is a case of remembering you can play the golf course even though it is tough.” Brand Jnr’s best finish to date in The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex was a share of 12th position in the 2011 Championship at Walton Heath. However, he is relishing the opportunity this year to take on a links course that he will know better than the majority of the field, having also finished fourth at Royal Porthcawl in the 2010 Ryder Cup Wales Senior Open. He added: “It’s a links course, right by the sea, but the good thing about Porthcawl is it doesn’t just go out and come back. It’s all over the place and the wind is going to be difficult there. There are a few blind tee shots and you have to drive the ball well. It’s an extraordinary clubhouse there – it has a lovely feel to it when you get there and it is a very pleasant place to play.

“It’s a classic links course in the same bracket as Birkdale and Turnberry, where we have played the last two Senior Opens. We are very fortunate to play on these classic courses. They really haven’t changed the dynamics of them. I know Porthcawl will play a little longer but they don’t need to change these classic courses as they are so good.” American Mark Wiebe won The 2013 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Royal Birkdale, defeating two-time Masters Champion Bernhard Langer in a play-off. The Championship delivered the best of senior golf with Wiebe and Langer joined in the field by stars such as Fred Couples, Sandy Lyle, Tom Watson and Welshman Ian Woosnam, along with Colin Montgomerie, the man who led Europe to Ryder Cup glory at The Celtic Manor Resort in 2010. Tickets for The 2014 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex can be bought online via or by calling +44 (0)800 0232557, with details of hospitality packages also available.

Conference highlights benefits of tackling mental health issues at work Over 130 organisations, many of them businesses, attended a conference focusing on tackling mental health issues in the workplace at The Orangery, Margam Park, Port Talbot recently.

Mark Drakeford, AM Minister for Health and Social Services speaking at the event

Delivered as part of the Big Lottery funded five year Siaradwn Ni – Let’s Talk programme, the conference was organised by Mental Health Matters Wales Ltd in partnership with Bridgend Business Forum, supported by Bridgend County Borough Council and Siaradwn Ni. Mark Drakeford, AM Minister for Health and Social Services was amongst the speakers, who stressed that the workplace was a vital place to start, in ending the stigma of mental health. The programme also included an address from Jennifer Dunne from the Equalities

and Human Rights Commission and from ‘Time to Change’. Employers had the opportunity to learn more about supporting staff who are experiencing issues with mental health and delegates also learnt first-hand from employees who shared their own personal experiences. Councillor David Sage, Deputy Leader and Mental Health Champion, Bridgend County Borough Council who chaired the conference said: “This conference was an excellent opportunity for organisations to learn more about how they can support staff through difficult times. “We have heard from many organisations today that help people through periods of mental illness. The message which comes across loud and clear, is that employers who have procedures in place to support their staff will undoubtedly benefit from a healthier, more motivated and productive workforce.”

Delegates at the event

common – in fact one in four of us experience mental health problems at some time in our lives. “Work-related mental ill health costs the UK economy up to £26 billion every year through lost working days, staff turnover and lower productivity – for the Siaradwn Ni Programme to make inroads into this area was a significant step to highlight and inform employers about simple, low cost and cost effective measures that can be put in place to support the most vulnerable of your workforce.” If you want to find out more about wellbeing in the workplace, call 0845 601 75556 or visit

Siaradwn Ni Programme Co-ordinator Stuart Burge-Jones who also spoke at the event said: “Mental ill health is very

3D printing technology makes a major impact on new product development

niches using 3D Printing and capitalise on new potential markets. This will help create new skilled jobs and develop future economic growth in the region using this sustainable technology.

A Swansea University-run project sponsored by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is helping to increase innovation and allow new products to be fabricated quickly and at low cost using 3D printing technology.

3D Printing for instance could benefit a chocolatier who needs a low cost custom set of moulds, a jewellery designer wanting to make a one off piece or a small manufacturing business that needs a mould to make a short production run of a component. New products can be quickly and accurately produced at much lower cost than conventional manufacturing technologies.

The Low Impact Materials Network (LIMNET) offers assistance to local small and medium-sized firms to use 3D Printing technology to develop innovative products and services. The aim of this project is to help businesses to forge profitable

Any companies interested in having a scoping discussion or for further information on the LIMNET, contact Dan Thomas at Swansea Universities Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating on 01792 295533 or email:

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Caroline Wright, director of BESA, Chris Malcolm, Managing Director of Daydream Education, Craig Moss, Marketing Manager of Daydream Education, Jo Brand, Comedienne

Dream comes true for company which picks up international award Bridgend-based company, Daydream Education, provider of educational posters and interactive software, has been awarded a prestigious Bett Award, in the ‘Educational Apps’ category, as part of the world’s largest technology in education show. Daydream Education, which has provided over two million resources to more than 150,000 educational establishments worldwide, won the award for its multiplication app. The Bett Awards play a key role in identifying and rewarding innovative ICT resources and services for use in education. The winning organisations were announced at the Bett Awards dinner in London earlier this year. The awards are associated with Bett, the world’s largest learning technology event, which showcases the latest learning support resources. The judges commented: “The multiplication app is great value for money at just £2.49 and would be of use to


teachers and parents in helping students Chris Malcolm, Managing Director at learn mathematical concepts. We were Daydream Education added: “It is a huge particularly impressed by the instructional honour to receive such recognition from presentations. The app, which works on both iPad and Android devices, is “Becoming a Bett winner is something linked to the methods of teaching that companies strive to achieve. The multiplication in the new national 2014 Awards mark the 16th year of curriculum.” celebrating and acknowledging the Caroline Wright, Director of BESA, world’s leading developments of ICT pioneers of Bett, the Bett Awards and within education. We applaud Daydream the education sector’s trade Education for the excellence it provides.” association commented: “While the unprecedented number of entries has within the industry. To win such a made it tougher for the judges, it does prestigious award, especially knowing mean that Daydream Education has been how strong the competition was, shows identified as the very best in its product how our simple yet innovative approach category.” to learning is paying off. A great deal of Debbie French, Portfolio Director at i2i credit and thanks goes to our dedicated Events Group summarised: “Becoming a team of employees and consultant Bett winner is something that companies teachers who are vital to our success and strive to achieve. The 2014 Awards mark ensuring that we are at the forefront of the 16th year of celebrating and latest learning technologies.” acknowledging the world’s leading For further information visit: developments of ICT within education. We applaud Daydream Education for the excellence it provides.”

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EU backed employment project branches out to Bridgend An EU backed employment project has branched out to support jobseekers and employers in Bridgend County Borough. Now, residents of the county borough are able to access help from the South West Workways project which has already helped over 4,000 people across South West Wales into work since 2009. Workways supports people to overcome the barriers which prevent them from finding employment. Participants are helped with job applications, CVs, interview techniques, personal development and access to training. Workways also provides recruitment support for local companies by advertising vacancies to its pool of job ready participants, shortlisting candidates, organising recruitment days and exploring business support avenues. Since 2009, the project has been in contact with 4905 businesses across South West Wales. The number of local employers that have received support and assistance from South West Workways is continually growing, and Employer Liaison Officers are already working

closely with companies such as, AS Wellington, DLT Training and Red Dragon Air Conditioning to name just a few. Since the project was launched in Bridgend in October 2013 the number of companies seeking support from the project has increased again. Bridgend Workways Team

Derek Gaynor of Gaynor Group Ltd said: “I contacted Workways looking for someone to start as soon as possible. They found me a candidate who was very well suited within a week, and he is now settled and working well as part of the team.” Engagement with organisations in the care sector has proved beneficial. Workways has built a very good relationship with Steddy & Associates, and recently held a job fair in conjunction with the health care company for any individuals that were interested in this type of employment.

support we offer alongside the strong relationships we have with local employers.” South West Workways is led by Neath Port Talbot Council, in collaboration with Bridgend, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Swansea councils. The project is backed by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. For more information call 01656 815154 or visit

Marjorie Bartlett, Workways Regional Project Manager said: “Workways has already demonstrated its effectiveness by helping over 4,000 across South West Wales into work. The project’s success is down to the one to one

Liberty Horses looking for partners to help it gain pace A Porthcawl social enterprise giving disadvantaged people the opportunity to learn about horses - and know what it feels like to own one - is looking for local businesses to become partners with, or sponsor, the project. Liberty Horses was set up to help specifically - but not exclusively - young people improve their personal and social development and life skills through an inclusive and affordable service. The Nottage-based initiative has over the past year seen Katy Overton and Keziah Rhoden introduce 200 participants to handling horses, horse agility, horsemanship and personal development through their learning programme and pony days.

The business partners received £3,400 from the EU-supported South East Wales Community Economic Development (SEWCED) programme towards a feasibility study to help it assess market demand and plan to create a sustainable organisation. Company Director and Secretary, Katy Overton said: “The aim of Liberty Horses is to share the joy of horses and the benefits of natural horsemanship within the practical reach of those with a lack of time, funds and/or experience. “It ensures a safe environment where vulnerable young people can develop confidence and self-esteem, and meet others with whom they can improve their social skills.”

As a social enterprise, the company also provides horse riding lessons, pony parties and intensive horse training as methods of income generation. Those who have benefitted include young people with emotional and behavioural problems, those in care and outside mainstream education, people with autism and learning difficulties, adults with mental health problems, carers, families dealing with difficult circumstances and people facing barriers to employment. For more information visit:

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Rate relief scheme extended for another year in Wales

Small businesses in Wales will be able to benefit from the Welsh Government's rate relief scheme until March 2015. First Minister, Carwyn Jones has confirmed the extension of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme in Wales when he told the Council for Economic Renewal in Cardiff the extension of the scheme was the latest in a number of business rates measures that would help businesses in Wales. “Extending the scheme will support small firms across Wales with many paying no rates at all. This is in addition to other targeted business rate schemes

“Just Ask Wales” is the message of a new campaign being launched by the Welsh Government to attract inward investment into Wales to create jobs and economic growth. The new marketing campaign is part of the Welsh Government drive to attract more UK and foreign-owned companies looking to grow and expand to consider a future in Wales. The year-long campaign will initially focus on London, South East England,


that we have established to boost businesses across Wales and encourage growth. “We have also asked Professor Brian Morgan to seek the views of Welsh businesses about how we can make the best use of new powers over business rates when they are devolved to us.” During the meeting of the council, Economy Minister Edwina Hart also announced the Welsh Government was looking at options for a targeted fund to support businesses negatively affected by the deferral of revaluation. Mrs Hart said: “The UK Government recently announced it intends to fully

devolve business rates to Wales following the Silk Commission recommendation, which we supported. “But we aren’t standing still waiting for full devolution. We recently announced that business rates increases would be capped at two per cent next year – a move which will inject money into the Welsh economy. Now we have successfully pressed the UK Government to extend Small Business Rate Relief in Wales. I will now look at the options for a fund to further support businesses, particularly those who have been disadvantaged by the deferral of business rates revaluation until 2017.”

and the M4 corridor. It will include advertising at central London Underground stations, as well as rail stations at Paddington, Liverpool Street, Heathrow, Woking, Slough, Reading and Bracknell.

competitive advantage, we have to differentiate what Wales has to offer.

A suite of sector-specific posters and marketing materials have been created for the “Just Ask Wales” campaign, directing businesses to the new website. Advertising will also appear in newspapers such as the Financial Times, Telegraph and London Standard. Launching the campaign, Minister for Economy Edwina Hart said: “The foreign direct investment market is extremely competitive so in order to build on our successes and gain a

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“Our “Just Ask Wales” campaign emphasises our strengths and focusses on customer requirements – what companies need in order to grow and how we can deliver for them. We are launching it in the South East of England as our proximity to London is a major advantage for many businesses. “Among the other key elements we are highlighting are the skills, support, space and speed of decision making in Wales – as well as the number of highly successful companies already based here that have benefited from Welsh Government support.

Mayor spends time in great company! The Mayor and Mayoress of Bridgend County Borough, Councillor Clive James and Councillor Pauline James have been undertaking visits to local companies, to gain a better understanding of the types of businesses that operate in the county borough and to speak with them about their current operations and future plans. Since his inauguration almost 12 months ago, the Mayor has visited ten local companies including some of the winners and runners-up of the Bridgend Business Forum Awards 2013. Amongst these are; Aircraft Maintenance Support Services (AMSS) Ltd, headquartered at Village Farm Industrial Estate, Pyle; a global leader in the design and manufacture of aircraft docking systems and ground support equipment. TSW Training Ltd established for over 40 years and a leading commercial and vocational training provider. Home & Colonial Fine Foods a high-end delicatessen located in Porthcawl, voted within the top three percent of delis in the UK and Fruity Bouquets R Us who produce fruit bouquets and sweet trees as an alternative to flowers. Councillor James, who has a lengthy background in industry, having undertaken an engineering apprenticeship with British Rail and spending most of his career with British Petroleum (BP) in Baglan, has been keen to make contact with as many local companies as possible during his term as Mayor.

Home & Colonial Fine Foods


Fruity Bouquets R Us

Councillor Clive James said: “I have met some excellent, interesting and diverse businesses during my time as Mayor. It has been a pleasure to speak to so many astute and ambitious business people, who bring so much to our local communities. “I am extremely impressed with the calibre of businesses operating in our area. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience. Although I have not finished yet! I’m looking forward to a few more visits, which have been scheduled in before I pass the baton onto the new Mayor in May.” If you are interested in hosting a visit from the Mayor, please contact Merete Bang, Mayoral Services, BCBC on 01656 643130 or email

TSW Training Ltd with their South Wales Business Award

Economic Development Unit


Is your business complying with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (FSO)? South Wales Fire & Rescue Service Business Fire Safety Department enforces the provisions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO). The Fire Safety Order (FSO) came into force on October 1st 2006 and replaced the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations. It is now the primary fire safety legislation. The Order affects all non-domestic premises and even applies to certain activities taking place outdoors. The Fire Safety Order places the emphasis towards risk reduction and fire prevention.

It affects employers and anyone with managerial responsibility for premises to which the public as visitors or employees has access. Responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order rests with the 'Responsible Person'. In a workplace, this is the employer and any other person who may have control of any part of the premises, for example, the occupier or owner. In all other premises the person or people in control of the premises will be responsible. If there is more than one responsible person in any type of premises, all must take all reasonable steps to work with each other. Self-employed persons and the voluntary sector are also covered by the legislation.

Where does it apply? The FSO applies to virtually all premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure and open space. For example:

• offices and shops • premises that provide care • community halls • common areas of houses in multiple occupation • pubs, clubs and restaurants • schools • tents and marquees • hotels and hostels • factories and warehouses The department is keen to work with businesses of all sizes. For further information on how your business can comply with the FSO, please contact the Business Engagement Officer, Mathew Bradford on 01443 232540 / 07880 786464 or email or visit (Business Fire Safety)

New units on the market Maesteg Market which underwent a £2.5m revamp last year has successfully let 11 out of the 13 newlyrefurbished units. The scheme represents the fourth phase of regeneration which has taken place in Maesteg since 2004 including a new market square, covered performance space, new indoor bus waiting area and improvements to the site’s public realm. The market, which located on Talbot Street at the heart of the town centre, consists of permanent indoor stalls and casual and permanent outdoor units. The market hall is located on the lower ground floor of a three storey, Grade 2 listed Victorian stone building, which is occupied on the ground and first floor by the town hall.

Valleys Strategic Regeneration Area Fund and Bridgend County Borough Council.

The £2.5 million Maesteg Market has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund (Town Centre Convergence Projects), the Welsh Government’s Western

For more information on available units, contact BCBC Property Services on 01656 642700 or email:


Economic Development Unit

Business@Bridgend Spring 2014  
Business@Bridgend Spring 2014