An award-winning Newtown business is investing £600,000 in an exciting project to regenerate the town’s Ladywell Shopping Centre.
Successful groundworks and civil engineering business EvaBuild have begun work to transform the 8,000 sq ft former supermarket in the centre into a modern, open plan office that will employ up to 100 staff. Negotiations are progressing with prospective tenants.
Work is expected to take eight months to complete and the company is renaming the centre as Ladywell Business Hub. The centre will be transformed externally and internally and the car parking layout will be amended to accommodate both cars and bicycles.
The transformation project is being supported by Powys County Council with a £280,000 loan from the Town Centre Loan Scheme.
EvaBuild owns 10 of 12 units in the centre – excluding the doctors’ surgery – and the remaining retail businesses will continue their tenancies.
The company bought Ladywell Shopping Centre, which was originally built by the Development Board for Rural Wales and extends to around 18,000 sq ft, in December 2017 from Townson Investments Limited. The total site, including the car park, extends to more than one acre.
EvaBuild’s directors Nick Evans and Dan Jones said it was the first project of its type to be undertaken by the company and they planned to employ local contractors wherever possible.
“This project has been instigated by the need to inject ambition, innovation and sheer guts into private investment in our home town,” they added. “We are planning to demonstrate that regeneration has to come from within the community and by local businesses reinvesting it will show that positive changes can and will happen to meet the needs of local residents.
“We see ourselves as innovators creating a better, new and exciting environment for those that live and work in it.”
Jason Bullock, EvaBuild’s development manager, said:
“The feedback we have had for this project from Newtown Town Council, Powys County Council and the existing tenants of Ladywell Shopping Centre has been very positive. Hopefully this project will be the first of many undertaken by EvaBuild.
“Nick and Dan have a vision to regenerate the Ladywell area of the town centre as they want to give something back to the local community. Newtown has a lot going for it and it can only be positive when local businessmen invest in and promote the town.”
Councillor Martin Weale, Powys County Council’s cabinet member for economy and planning, said:
“I’m delighted that we have been able to support the re-development of Newtown’s Ladywell Centre through the Town Centre Loan Scheme.
“Empty and underutilised properties in town centres can be an eyesore but this scheme is the type of initiative that will invigorate our towns and encourage investment into the county.”
Newtown’s Mayor Cllr Sue Newham also welcomed the project.
“I am delighted that a local company is investing in the regeneration of a town centre building that has been empty and neglected for years,” she said. “I wish EvaBuild every success with the venture.”