The Towy Community Church have transformed a huge 2.7 acre site into a thriving social enterprise serving the Carmarthen community in a multitude of ways. The project team acquired a disused St Ivel cheese packing factory in Carmarthen as an asset transfer and has transformed it into a thriving social enterprise.

Opening in 2013, the bowling alley not only provides the majority of the group’s income, it has fast become a social hub for all sections of the community. It has a family friendly atmosphere with a cafe offering great quality food. Offering a soft play area and discounts aimed at all sections of the community, it caters to all.

They received almost £800k from the Big Lottery Community Asset Transfer Programme to fund the acquisition and refurbishment of the redundant former cheese packing plant in Carmarthenshire.

 

Download Supporting Documentation

The Xcel project involved converting the building into a multi-purpose community facility including

  • a state of the art ten pin bowling alley
  • soft play centre
  • cafe
  • food bank
  • furniture recycling facility
  • community shop on site

The organisation spent a considerable amount of time consulting with the local community to ensure they ended up with an offering that would meet expectations, as well as attracting a customer base ready for their opening.

The project has;

  • Created over 40 jobs
  • Attracted over 100 volunteers
  • Supported over 8000 people locally
  • A turnover of £1 million

Lesson Learned

  • Build a good team
  • If you don’t know ask
  • Appreciate everyone

The next phase of the development is a state of the art conference centre.