WELSH building contractor, J.G. Hale Construction, has completed work on an innovative development consisting of 12 residential dwellings and five commercial units in Neath town centre for social housing provider Coastal Housing.

The development has been built as part of Coastal Housing’s plans to deliver low-cost homes and affordable commercial properties across Wales. The £2.2 million scheme has been part-financed by a £1 million social housing grant from Welsh Government.

The completed three-story development consists of five small retail units on the ground floor, and two 1-bedroom apartments and ten 2-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors. The residential dwellings are all available for social rent, and it is hoped the retail units will attract small independent local businesses – in line with Coastal’s social aims.

The development is part of a wider regeneration scheme being undertaken by Neath Port Talbot Council. Phase one has now been completed and includes a new multi-storey carpark and Wilkinson store opposite the new town centre development. The next phase will make use of the adjoining land and will include a retail park and leisure centre.

During development of the site, J.G. Hale Construction and Coastal Housing delivered many community benefits, providing donations to a wide range of local community groups and initiatives. These included a £600 donation to Neath Food Bank, a donation of equipment to Neath Air Cadets to the value of £1,500, a £500 donation to Neath YMCA for new flooring, and repair and restoration work to the nearby St David’s Church.

J.G. Hale Construction were also able to supply 342 targeted recruitment and training weeks to local apprentices and trainees during the development. These included hiring three new staff members, one traineeship and eight apprentices. It also included seven on-site work experience placements, offered in collaboration with the Cyfle Building Skills coordinated Onsite Hub work experience programme.

David Harrhy, Managing Director at J.G Hale Construction, said:

“J.G Hale Construction is delighted to be able to hand over this new development to our much-valued client Coastal Housing. The development is aimed at providing housing for those in the community at most need, as well as encouraging and giving opportunities to small local businesses within the city centre. 

“In addition to providing housing and retail space for the local community, the development also provided a number of social benefits for local groups and organisations, which we are very proud to have contributed to. Everyone here at J.G. Hale Construction wholeheartedly back Coastal in all their social aims and look forward to working with them again on our next project together.”

Kelly Tomas, Executive Director of Growth and New Business at Coastal Housing Group, added:

“We’re really pleased to be bringing a mix of high-quality homes and retail to Neath town centre. Schemes like this can have a huge impact on an area but are only possible thanks to Welsh Government funding and the cooperation of local authorities. These new apartments have easy access to all that Neath already offers, whilst the retail units will encourage new businesses into the area.”