Neath Port Talbot Council has completed the purchase of the former Crown/Metal Box factory in Neath to establish a major new employment site with the potential for significant job creation.
The Milland Road site was occupied for more than 70 years by the Metal Box container factory known locally as “The Box” but has been vacant after the previous occupiers, the Crown packaging company, closed in 2016.
Located within an important employment zone in Neath, the site forms part of the Welsh Government’s Neath Valleys Strategic Hub. Neath is to play a key role in the delivery of the Welsh Government’s ongoing Our Valleys, Our Future plan, which aims to close the employment gap between the South Wales Valleys and the rest of Wales, creating new and sustainable jobs.
Following the purchase, part funded by a Welsh Government Targeted Regeneration Investment (TRI) grant, phase 1 of the refurbishment and re-development of the site will now focus on works which will allow it to attract new investment and create jobs.
The Council is currently seeking tenders for the re-development and refurbishment project which will also involve other necessary remedial works to ensure the former Crown/Metal Box site attracts new business investment and secures the long term sustainability of the site.
A block on the site for office space will be secured with a new roof being provided and new windows will also be fitted to all floors, the refurbishment works aimed at upgrading the property to provide modern, well specified office accommodation to meet clearly identified demand in the area.
The site could provide space for up to 500 jobs with interest from a number of locally based companies.
Councillor Rob Jones, the Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council said:
“The purchase of this strategic site signifies the council’s commitment to Neath and its communities to ensure there are opportunities for job creation close to the town centre and to valleys communities.
“This acquisition will enable the council develop a centre for both offices, manufacturing and other uses which will help develop expansion and growth and create jobs.”
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn said:
“The Welsh Government’s flagship Targeted Regeneration Investment programme is providing £100m of capital funding across Wales over three years to support regeneration projects in town centres and neighbouring areas. This funding is supported by estimated further investment of at least £60 million from other organisations and businesses, providing an overall boost of £160 million to communities all over Wales.
“This project is an excellent example of how The Targeted Regeneration Investment programme is breathing new life into old buildings, attracting employers, creating jobs and improving the appearance of communities.”