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businessupdate News…

Commercially speaking

By David Jones, surveyor, Hutchings andThomas, Chartered Surveyors

Football’scoming home? Well County are coming back into the centre of Newport with a move to Rodney Parade. And not a moment too soon or before time. Don’tget me wrong –Spytty has been agood home

for the ‘Port these last few years. And Newport County have celebrated some significant success at the ground not the least of which was promotion. But The Exiles need to be in the heart of the city and

there is no where better at the moment than Rodney Parade with its quite excellent facilities both on and off the pitch. Its central location and ease of access, in particular

on foot across the new pedestrian bridge over the River Usk, makes it an ideal location. And what’smore Ican, if I so desire, watch matches and also training sessions, as I can for the Dragons, from the comfort of my office on the seventh floor of majestic Clarence House! County, it’sbeen decided, will play at Rodney Parade

for at least the next three seasons after agreement was reached between the team, the Dragons and Newport RFC.

But just to be on the safe side County has also come

to an arrangement with Newport City Council, owners of Spytty Park, that, if the need arises, they can return to their former ground. County attracted some 11,000 fans to Wembley for

the York City FA Trophy final. For many this may well have been the first time they have seen Newport County in action, certainly recently. Let's hope that aproportion of these fans may want

to continue seeing the ‘Port play and at their new ground. Ahealthy attendance at Rodney Parade games will

not only be aboost for the club but the city asawhole. The many more people about may well give businesses and retailers in the city confidence to invest and expand and those looking on from outside, perhaps alittle unsure about Newport’sfuture as acommercial and retail centre, the push they need to decide to set up here and trade.

Talking about confidence –the first shoots of

greenness could well be appearing in Newport’s traditional commercial heartland Gold Tops. The recent freehold sale of Goldfields House, Gold

Tops, could beasign that matters are changing for the better and the current small forest of For Sale signs could be turning from for sale to sold. Refurbished offices, such as those completed and

now occupied by law firm Everett Tomlin Lloyd&Pratt, are abeacon to the future and show how this once thriving professional focus for the city could look if many other of the fine buildings get asimilar treatment. And with Wales insurance giant Admiral due to be

coming into the centre of the city with its 1,300 staff it has given some of my clients renewed hope of letting their vacant stock and with this in mind looking to invest substantial amounts of money to improve their existing property portfolios. We are getting an increased amount of interest in

well located and keenly priced property in the centre of the city and its immediate outlying areas and if these enquiries can be converted then the whole complexion of places such as Gold Tops and the city asawhole will change. And then there really will be something to cheer

about from the terraces!

Viridis Plastics UK –anew start up company aims to establish one of the largest plastic recovery businesses in the UK following its acquisition of the assets of Blackwood based Plastics Sorting Ltd. The Welsh Government is supporting

the acquisition with repayable finance to ensure the assets and equipment of Plastics Sorting are retained in Wales as abasis for investment and job creation. Plastics Sorting Ltd established a

100,000 sq ft plastic sorting and purification plant in Blackwood in 2007 where it recycled plastic bottles and converted them into plastic flake but went into administration with the loss of 30 jobs. The investment by Viridis Plastics UK

Ltd, whose parent company is the Ireland based Viridis Plastics Group, will initially create 30 jobs –with the potential to increase to 80 jobs within three years. Business Minister Edwina Hart said:

“I am pleased the Welsh Government is supporting Viridis Plastics with repayable business finance to ensure that the Blackwood facility achieves its full potential and becomes aleader in the sector. “By supporting this acquisition it

provides an opportunity to create a sustainable business with potential for growth that brings economic benefits and jobs to Wales. “The company operates in the energy and environment sector, one of the Welsh

Tuesday June 5, 2012 Firmplans tobebiggest in theUK

Government’spriority sectors with potential for high growth and Iam pleased to hear of their longer term proposals for the business.” The project involves the recycling/purification of waste materials to produce Polyethylene terephthalate in flake format for use primarily in the packaging industry. Gregg Twomey,MDof Viridis Plastics

Group, said their aim is to become a trusted supplier and processor of high quality material in the sector and to establish one of the largest plastic recovery businesses in the UK. They also hope to work with WRAP in

the future to develop other plastic up cycling projects.

Duoareamongthe creamof directors B

usiness leaders from across Wales, including Gwent, have been honoured in the 2012 Institute of Directors Wales Director of the Year Awards.

IoD Wales director Robert Lloyd Griffiths

said: “Our winners represent all that’sgood about Welsh enterprise; they’re hard- working individuals who have key leadership roles in wonderful modern businesses. “There’sagreat deal of effort amongst

private sector leaders to help steer Wales and theUKaway from difficult economic times and our winners are brilliant examples of that drive and skill.” The two Gwent winners were: Andrew

Padmore, of Egnida, Cwmbran who won the Environmental leadership category, and EmmaSaysell, St David’sHospice, Newport, in the South Wales small business category. The Chairman’sAward went to Roger

Evans, plant and automotive sales director at bearings manufacturer Schaeffler UK, Llanelli. He is also director of the Wales Management Council and chairman of the Welsh Manufacturing Forum. IoD Wales chairman Gareth Williams

said: “Roger is agreat inspiration to fellow business leaders. “He shows leadership, encourages

innovation, invests in research and development, builds partnerships with suppliers, trains employees to high standards and generates profits to guarantee security. “He’sanenthusiastic leader who adopts

key external roles to formulate national strategies within his sector, he shares his management knowledge with others and seeks to persuade the Welsh Government to adopt key policies." More than 300 tickets were sold for the

SWALEC Stadium finale and Welsh Government Business Minister Edwina Hart

Emma Saysell, of St David’sFoundation, who was one of the award winners

joined guests. Guest speaker was IoD Director General Simon Walker. Edwina Hart congratulated the winners

and all those who had been shortlisted. She said: “I was very impressed by the calibre of those nominated.Weneed leaders and managers with the vision, confidence and skills to create strong, successful and

sustainable businesses to revitalise the economy and create jobs. “These awards are important as they

recognise and reward those making a significant contribution to the success of the businesses and organisations they work for, despite the very challenging economic climate.”

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