Female entrepreneurs are leading the pack as part of a new £1.2 million development set to open its doors this summer.
Charitable housing association Grŵp Cynefin and Meliden Residents Action Group are behind a project to transform a delipidated old railway shed into a thriving community hub.
After extensive renovations, work is almost complete on transforming the old building on the walkway at Meliden, near Prestatyn, into a centre with heritage displays, café, meeting space and business units.
With the aim of breathing life into the community and supporting up-and-coming companies and creative individuals, the first people set to move onto Y Shed’s site have been unveiled.
They include sisters Rachel Roberts and Jane Roberts who are setting up a new venture together and will be running Y Shed’s café, launching a menu which pays homage to the local area.
Occupying the business units at the Grade II listed site will be wellbeing specialist Ffion Medi Davies Kelly, acclaimed artist Susie Liddle, jewellery and craft maker Sandra Payne, and dog groomer Melanie Cawthray.
Mair Edwards, Grŵp Cynefin’s Community Initiatives Manager, said:
“The idea behind Y Shed was two-fold – to support the community by bringing in visitors and to support up-and-coming business people, providing them with an affordable space to work from.
“The Welsh Government recently launched a new initiative to increase the number of women entrepreneurs, but it appears, in this corner of Wales, they are leading the field. We had a wide range of applicants and each went through a rigorous application process so those joining us have their place on merit. What is great is the diversity of the services on offer with each offering something very different but connected to the area.”
For new café owners, Rachel and Jane, Y Shed will be something of a departure. Rachel runs a successful children’s nursery in Rhuddlan, and Jane is a retired midwife who helps her husband Derek run his Prestatyn restaurant La Ricetta.
The sisters wanted a new venture to work on together and set their sights on the café. They will be joined by Rachel’s daughter Meg, a trained barista who was delivered by Jane during her time as a midwife.
“We were impressed with Rachel’s and Jane’s enthusiasm but also how they plan to weave their menu into the local area. Visitors can expect dishes named after the mountainside and the fish caves which surround Y Shed.