THE first year of a multi-million pound Wrexham ‘Commercial Village’ has been an overwhelming success.

The Ial brand at Coleg Cambria Yale successfully launched last Spring, blending retail and hospitality with education, creating new jobs, providing vital work experience for learners and supporting the local economy.

Based at the college’s £21m Hafod building, Director of Commercial Operations Maria Stevens is thrilled with how the beauty and hair salon, restaurant and training academy, coffee bar and florist performed in the last 12 months, despite the pandemic.

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“The response has been amazing when you consider the challenges we’ve faced, particularly in recruitment,” said Maria.

“Feedback for all our services has been positive, and we are organising more and more activities – such as the popular Christmas Markets – to generate footfall and give the students a flavour of real-time, real-life events.

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PIC: The Ial Restaurant.

“We have also taken on skilled industry professionals to ensure learners are ready for the world of work and support the significant increase in recruitment demand in the industry, which is already being reflected in rising demand and visitor numbers.”

Students, staff, and the public have access to these services and sectors, which complement existing provision and support the town at a challenging time for high streets across the country.

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