Supporting local start-ups and organisations
Urban Foundry’s PopUp Wales initiative is providing business support to start-ups and organisations in Bridgend County. This includes offering pop-up space, workshops, events, and one-to-one business support.
The goal is to support businesses and improve the places where we live, making businesses more robust through training and support. The project currently occupies 22 Adare Street (the former Works) in Bridgend and will be acquiring additional spaces in Porthcawl and Maesteg very soon. The project will have a county-wide focus, not just focusing on the economic clusters.
Facilitating business growth
Businesses will be supported by providing space for them to work and hold meetings, enabling them to do what they need without the burden of high hire fees. This will help small businesses to grow.
The new space on Adare Street will be a multipurpose area for desk space, pop-up events, and training, which will significantly support new and small businesses by removing some of the barriers to growth. This space provides a flexible and low-risk environment for new businesses to trial their services.
Launch week highlights
During the launch week held in mid-January, a Marketing and Social Media Marketing workshop targeted at small businesses in the Adare Street space was well-attended despite Storm Jocelyn!
This was followed by the official launch of PopUp Wales at the Heronston Hotel in Bridgend, in partnership with Cwmpas, who launched their new project; mapping out social enterprises and providing support through training sessions.
Urban Foundry’s PopUp Wales Manager Gareth Willis-Falco said, “The launch week made a real impact and generated so much interest. The next steps will be providing more training sessions and officially opening the Adare Street and Porthcawl spaces for pop-up use. We have a long list of interested organisations keen to utilise the spaces. Charities and all organisations are welcome to use the PopUp Wales services, and we are ready to listen to feedback to understand what training and support businesses need.”
Supporting market traders
The project has assisted some of the Indoor Market traders to find new space following the need to relocate because of roofing issues. This has been a significant success, filling the Rhiw Shopping Centre with these traders, at least temporarily, and boosting the centre with new shops.
Economic, social, and cultural benefits
The long-term benefits of PopUp Wales have already been seen in other areas, such as Swansea. It enhances public perception of town centres, supports start-ups and businesses, and revitalises empty shops. It’s economically, socially, and culturally beneficial.
Vicky Jones, Local Enterprise Co-ordinator, Bridgend County Borough Council said, “PopUp Wales is a transformative project for Bridgend County, offering tangible support to the heart of our local economy – our start-ups and small businesses. By providing accessible pop-up spaces, workshops, and business support, we are not just nurturing business growth, we’re building economic resilience. The success of our launch week, speaks volumes about the entrepreneurial spirit in Bridgend.”
To find out more about our PopUp Wales initiative, please visit our website or email us to find out more about training and spaces. We can also hear from local landlords who can save money on their empty spaces by using the PopUp Wales project.
This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus