Pontypool social enterprise shop forced to close down
2:10pm Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
A SOCIAL enterprise in Pontypool town centre has had to close after just one year.
The Trysorau Arts and Crafts Shop in Commercial Street, was set up in September 2011 by United Response, a charity which supports people with a learning disability, mental health needs or physical disability.
The shop sold locally produced arts, crafts and other goods and provided work experience for people with a disability.
It received financial assistance from Torfaen County Borough Council in the first year to help the business get off the ground.
However, after its first year of trading United Response carried out a review of the project and concluded that it was operating at a loss and therefore unsustainable.
United Response team manager Paul Gray said: “At one time we had 35 suppliers making stuff for us to sell, and Christmas time was brilliant.
“It was a good idea but with the recession people aren’t buying as many gifts, so the shop couldn’t sustain itself.”
It ceased trading on September 14.
Pontypool writer Karenne Griffin, who sold items at the shop and has since had her first novel published, said: “It provided a great platform for local people to sell crafts and offered people with disabilities work experience which they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
“I think it’s a great shame that it has had to close.”
A council spokesman said: “We will continue to work closely with United Response and other providers and businesses to develop alternative opportunities to provide work experience for people who may find it harder than others to access mainstream employment.”