Let’s give communities a real feel-good factor

Published date: 21 January 2014 |
Published by: Ken Skates
Read more articles by Ken Skates


SHOP owners and businesses in Denbighshire have the opportunity to start 2014 by securing grants to spruce up their public image thanks to a scheme being run by the county council – and I would urge them to apply for funding.

The project aims to bring a ‘feel-good factor’ to our communities and town centres by giving small businesses money to improve their frontages.

The local authority initiative offers up to 50% of the eligible costs up to a maximum of £1,000, so it’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurs in Clwyd South and throughout

Denbighshire to get the assistance they need to help their business grow in the new year.

This is an excellent scheme which will improve the appearance of our communities here in Denbighshire and which will go a long way to helping businesses project the best possible image of themselves.

Funding is limited and key premises which have the biggest impact on their areas will be prioritised, so it’s important anyone who wants to apply does so sooner rather than later.

For more information visit www.denbighshire.gov.uk or contact your local town clerk.

Earlier this month I visited Matt’s Food Bank in Llangollen and donated some much-needed supplies for the marvellous work the team of volunteers do.

Pastor Brian Smith, one of the co-founders who started the project in late 2012, told me that the new year would be a particularly busy time for the food bank, which was launched to help feed some of the community’s most vulnerable people by giving out emergency food parcels and offering free hot meals.

Food poverty is rising under the Tory-led UK Government, and charitable schemes like this are having to help more and more.

The volunteers at Matt’s Food Bank do an amazing job, but they need help. I would encourage members of the public and local businesses to donate what they can – either food or money – to help the project continue its vital work.

There is a drop-off point at the Llangollen Co-op where you can donate tins, packets and other non-perishable food, and whatever you can afford will make a real difference to people’s lives.

Matt’s Food Bank, based at City Church, serves most of the Dee Valley from Corwen to Cefn Mawr. If you can help, call Brian on 07957 728473.

One of my final constituency visits of 2013 was to Neatcrown in Corwen last month, when managing director Ben Griffiths kindly gave me a tour of the company’s headquarters.

Neatcrown has been based in the town for 40 years and is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of liquid and powder filling solutions. It employs 40 people full-time and up to 30 part-time members of staff at any time.

I have visited the plant several times before as it is a key employer in Clwyd South and plays an important role in the local economy, but I always like going back to see how the company is progressing and going from strength to strength.

The firm has long been an important part of the fabric of Corwen, but its continued success benefits the wider area as a whole.

One of my favourite parts of the job is visiting thriving local firms and meeting my constituents in their working environment, and I enjoyed talking to the employees and seeing close up what they do day to day. I am grateful to Ben and his team for hosting me and wish them all the best for 2014 and beyond.

LThis column originallly appeared int The Free Press on January 15. It had mistakenly been attributed to Llyr Gruffydd but was in fact written by Ken Skates.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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