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Praise for record-breaking attendances at council-run events

Caerphilly County Borough Council offices in Tredomen (Pic: LDRS)

EVENTS across Caerphilly County Borough over the past year have brought in more than a quarter of a million attendees, according to council figures.

Those events, combined with growing levels of support for local traders, show the council is working to “promote” the area as “a place to do business”, deputy council leader Jamie Pritchard said on Tuesday.

He told a meeting of the authority’s corporate and regeneration scrutiny committee that the council had used UK Government funding to almost double the amount of business support over the past eight months.

Cllr Jamie Pritchard (Pic: Caerphilly County Borough Council)

Using money from the Shared Prosperity Fund – a Westminster initiative – the council’s own Caerphilly Enterprise Fund has created 225 jobs and “safeguarded” another 883, said Cllr Pritchard.

On top of that business support, several events organised using Shared Prosperity Fund cash had reported record numbers of attendances in the past year.

These included 2023’s spring fairs in Blackwood and Bargoed, Risca Beach Party, Little Cheese Festival, Caerphilly Pride, and Caerphilly Winter Food and Craft Fair.

In total, ten events backed by the Shared Prosperity Fund since last spring brought in 271,000 visitors.

Committee member Cllr Gary Enright, of Plaid Cymru, commended the “extremely popular” events programme as “spectacular” for local businesses.

The recent events had been “spot on” and succeeded in “bringing people in” to town centres.

But he asked Cllr Pritchard for clarity on the council’s footfall figures, claiming the current system of measuring attendees may not be “100% accurate”.

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Cllr Pritchard noted there could be concerns about “double counting” and the committee was told the council would soon be reviewing its system for tracking footfall at events and in town centres.

Following the meeting, Cllr Pritchard, who is also the cabinet member for regeneration, said he was keen to build on recent successes.

“We have to promote Caerphilly County Borough as a place to do business,” he said.

“That means supporting our existing businesses to keep them buoyant, but to also aim a few steps ahead.

“I know from visiting a lot of businesses how important that help has been through the Caerphilly Enterprise Fund.

“A pro-business, positive agenda is necessary to encourage the private sector to grow in Caerphilly borough”.