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Former Chapel brought back into use in Cwmgwrach - supported by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

A vacant, former chapel is to be given a new lease of life and will provide a much-needed service to the local community in Cwmgwrach, thanks to a grant received from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Croeso Day Nursery1

New owners Samuel and Megan Fender are currently overseeing the renovation project, which on completion will be home to Croeso Day Nursery, providing a Welsh-medium child-day care service to Cwmgwrach and its neighbouring villages. 

Renovation of the former Calfaria Welsh Baptist Church, located at High Street in Cwmgwrach, will see a complete conversion of the disused building, bringing it back into functional use for the community. 

The building, although not listed, has been recognised as a ‘building of local importance’ and having been stood empty for the last few years, the new owners are keen to renovate the property in a sensitive and sustainable way, retaining the original frontage, stonework and signage, so the visible view from the public realm remains intact. Internally, works will include new electrics, plumbing, insulation, new stud walls, kitchen and bathroom. Energy efficient lighting and heating systems will also be installed. There will be improvements made to the rear garden space, transforming it into an outdoor play area, which will also see additional green planting and bird boxes installed. 

The capital renovation project has been part-funded through Neath Port Talbot Council’s Valleys and Villages Prosperity Fund (VVPF) by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. VVPF is a capital grant and forms part of the Council’s package of grant schemes that have been made available thanks to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. 

Owner Samuel, attended a ‘Let’s Talk Business’ event in Glynneath last Summer, to receive advice and support on expanding the business and was subsequently supported in making a funding application to the Valleys and Villages Prosperity Fund, which was successful. 

Owner Megan, is a registered and award-winning childminder, who has been running her business from home in recent years, so this new venture will allow her to extend the business and also increase the number of children she is able to care for, creating new jobs in the process. 

Croeso Childminding is already a successful business that has established links with local primary schools. Croeso Day Nursery will provide bilingual childcare, aiming to encourage children to learn the Welsh language from a young age and Megan also hopes to use the building as a community space to host other activities including parent/baby groups and baby yoga. 

Renovation works commenced in April this year and the couple hope to open the doors to their new business this Autumn. 

Owners Samuel and Megan Fender said “We are very grateful to have been awarded this funding from the Valleys and Villages Prosperity Fund. The funding is helping us to renovate the building to a high standard, to provide much needed childcare in the area and we would like to thank everyone involved who has helped us”. 

Cllr. Jeremy Hurley, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economic Growth at Neath Port Talbot Council said:

“It is fantastic to see UK Shared Prosperity Funding being utilised to support local businesses, enabling them to expand and create new jobs for the community, as well as bringing empty buildings back into good use, that would otherwise be left standing empty. This is exactly the type of project that the Valleys and Villages Prosperity Fund was designed to support. I wish Samuel and Megan the very best of luck with the venture”. 

You can hear more about the project in this video: Croeso Day Nursery - Case Study (

The ‘Let’s Talk Business’ events are arranged by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Economic Development Team and are made possible thanks to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. 

Further details along with dates of future events can be found here: Business Events | Business Support Services | Neath Port Talbot (

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