Welsh ICE, a Caerphilly-based entrepreneurial hub, welcomed Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies, to discuss strategies for promoting economic growth and innovation in Wales.

Mr Davies, who is also MP for Monmouth, engaged with entrepreneurs, small business owners, and stakeholders to explore opportunities for supporting entrepreneurial initiatives across Wales.

The visit highlighted Welsh ICE's role in driving economic growth and its commitment to growing a thriving community of businesses.

Discussions focused on the challenges and opportunities facing businesses and how government support can further facilitate their success. Welsh ICE showcased its diverse range of businesses and services, including coworking memberships, business support services, and its flagship training program, the 5-9 Club.

The UK government has also contributed more than £1m to Ffos Caerffili, a shipping container-style market which is home to a variety of independent traders and food and drink vendors.

David Davies chatted to customers and traders on his tour and discussed how the project is helping to revitalise Caerphilly’s town centre.

He said: “I’ve much enjoyed visiting Caerphilly today and seeing for myself the huge difference that UK government funding is making to communities like these.

"Welsh ICE is providing a valuable resource for small businesses, helping them grow and flourish and contribute to the prosperity of the town. And the new container market is really vibrant place which attracts visitors and locals to support independent traders.

“Congratulations to everyone who has worked hard to make these projects a success.”

Welsh ICE has received significant funding from the UK government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, administered through Caerphilly County Borough Council and Newport City Council to support economic growth in Wales. Additionally, support initiatives from the Welsh Government through Business Wales have enabled Welsh ICE to expand its programmes and services, providing valuable support to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Welsh ICE chief executive Lesley Williams said: "We are really grateful for the support from the Shared Prosperity Fund and other partners, which has allowed us to expand our efforts in driving economic growth and innovation in Wales."

Welsh ICE remains dedicated to fostering collaboration and innovation within the business community. To date more than 2,000 businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs have been supported, more than 75 per cent of which are still trading after three years compared to the UK average of 61 per cent.

For more information about Welsh ICE go to www.welshice.org