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17 April 2024

£1million Revenue in Sight for Revamped Social Club

A social club which was facing closure is now forecasting more than £1m in revenue this year thanks to business support which unlocked funding.     

Merthyr Tydfil Labour Club, which has served the community for more than 100 years, had been facing a bleak future due to the aftermath of Covid closures, decreased footfall, and energy costs tripling overnight.

Club Secretary Marnie Bollard contacted Business Wales for support to help safeguard the business and its workforce.

Business Wales’ support, combined with assistance from Merthyr Tydfil Community Borough Council, became the backbone of successful funding applications, which included securing more than £30,000 via Creative Wales’ Music Capital Fund.

The club secured a total of £55,000 in funding and made significant refurbishments to its facilities, including a complete overhaul of its function hall and the installation of new PA and lighting systems.

Working with the Merthyr Enterprise Centre, MTEC, and local contractors the club was able to remain open to customers during renovations. Those updates have already attracted a new, younger customer base.

Business Wales decarbonisation advisers will also help the club explore options to supplement energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint through technology, such as solar panels.

Marnie said:

“Before working with Business Wales the future was very uncertain. Being able to access support from a range of advisers changed everything for us. We quickly learned that with the right policies and procedures in place we could make a real business case for why our club – our community – deserved support that could save us.”

Marnie and her team are now working to attract new bands and entertainers and to market the club as a wedding venue, while growing their workforce.

Marnie said:

“There are a lot of misconceptions with clubs like ours. People think we only serve older generations, that we’re stuck in the past. Nothing could be further from the truth. We’re working to ensure that this building serves generations to come. Thanks to the support we’ve received and the hard work of our bar staff, we’re already attracting new customers. 2024 promises to be a landmark year for us, with the chance to break £1m in revenue, but we think it’s only just the start.”

Jayesh Parmar, a relationship manager for Business Wales, said:

“Marnie and her team have worked tirelessly to save the business. It has been a real work of collaboration, with multiple Business Wales advisers joining forces with the local Council, and contractors to save this historic community hub for generations to come. With continued support and collaboration, I can see the Club’s door remain open for another century.”

Gerwyn Evans, Head of Creative Wales, said:

“The Music Capital Fund has supported venues all across Wales, helping them to become more sustainable businesses. Improved facilities will add to the range of use of venues, attract better artists and increase audience numbers. All of this will have an immediate economic benefit to music businesses, their supply chains, and the industry as a whole.”

Andrew Evans, Enterprise Manager at MTEC, said:

“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Marnie and the team at Merthyr Labour Club, and to be able to provide the necessary business support alongside Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Business Wales to enable them to realise the club’s potential.

“This is hopefully just the start of the journey, and we look forward to continuing to support the Labour Club going forward with their future plans and aspirations.”


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