A £500,000 Welsh Government loan has been given to help Neath Port Talbot Council’s plan to buy the 55-acre site of the former Metal Box factory.
Located in Neath, the historic Metal Box factory will be converted into a new “job creation site”.
The £500,000 loan is part of the Welsh Government's commitment to creating prosperity in valleys communities.
Minister for Housing and Regeneration Rebecca Evans AM announced the loan this week as she joined the Valleys Taskforce, which is working to deliver real change for the South Wales Valleys.
The aim of the taskforce is to create good quality jobs, closer to people's homes, improve people's skills, and bring prosperity for all.
She said: "I am delighted to join the Valleys Taskforce and am committed to working with communities across the Valleys to create jobs and opportunities together.
“The £20 million Town Centre Loan Fund is helping to revitalise communities across Wales and it will have a real impact in the Neath Port Talbot area.
"The Town Centre Loan Fund aims to help bring empty, underused sites and premises in town centres back into use.
“It supports activities that increase footfall in our town centres, tackle empty sites and help businesses to grow and prosper. Once loans are repaid, the money is used again to fund new loans."
The site Neath Port Talbot Council plans to buy in Milland Road, Neath, was occupied for more than 70 years by the former Metal Box container factory known locally as “The Box” but is now vacant after its most recent occupiers, the Crown packaging company, closed in 2016.
The aim is to establish offices, factory units and other businesses on the site which has excellent public transport links.
Neath will play a key role as a strategic hub in the delivery of the Welsh Government’s Our Valleys Our Future plan, launched in last year.
Speaking about the plans for the former Metal Box site, the Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Rob Jones said: “This money from the Welsh Government will be used to bring this site back into public ownership. It could possibly create 200 – 400 jobs.
“In total, the site is 55 acres and there
“The hope is the project will attract inward investment and could also be a place for local firms to expand into creating jobs that would not have existed otherwise.”
“We’re very grateful to the Welsh Government and Alun Davies (Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services) who has been leading the Our Valleys Our Future project and to our local AM Jeremy Miles for their assistance over this loan which is part of an overall plan to regenerate the valleys.”