A new market will launch in Wales built entirely from shipping container conversions, comprising food and drink outlets, shops and workspaces.
It has been revealed the project will be called Ffos, which translates to ‘moat’ in English, and will open in Caerphilly, south Wales.
James Pritchard, deputy leader of Caerphilly Council, spoke to Wales Online about the impressive initiative, saying: “Ffos Caerffili will be a place that celebrates the spirit of small businesses and local traders.”
He went on to say: “The realisation of Ffos Caerffili will provide a place for our citizens to meet, shop and work, while building more reasons to visit the town.”
The project forms part of Caerphilly County Borough Council’s 2035 regeneration masterplan.
More than half (58 per cent) of the cost will come from the Welsh government, thanks to a £2.09 million grant, and a Transforming Towns loan worth £600,000. The council will foot the bill for the rest of the project, as well as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Welsh government minister for climate change Julie James said the Transforming Towns programme is providing £100 million to support town and city centres across Wales until 2025.
“Town and city centre sites should be the first consideration for all decisions on the location of workplaces and services,” she added.
Work is expected to start on the enterprise, which will be located on Cardiff Road, in May or June, and it is hoped to be completed by November 2023. Once finished, it will feature 28 food and drink units, independent stores, and office spaces. There will also be an external terrace where music concerts and outdoor dining can take place.
Caerphilly will not be the only Welsh location with shipping container retail units, as Cardiffis expecting to open something very similar.
Tiger Yard in Cardiff Bay will see 25 brightly coloured shipping containers being turned into a permanent food court. It will be located on Heol Porth Teigr, replacing the former Doctor Who Experience.
Once operational, it will feature three covered dining areas, and have seats for as many as 1,000 people.
The line-up of food and drink establishments that will set up shop in Tiger Yard is expected to be announced in May, with local chefs, restaurateurs and traders invited to occupy the units.
According to organisers, this will “bring a taste of independent Cardiff to the Bay”, with the location having “long been dominated by the bigger chains”.
The new food court is intended to give tourists a more authentic Welsh experience, being able to sample local food and fresh ingredients. At the same time, it will provide opportunities for smaller businesses to gain publicity and boost trade at this popular location.
The plan is for the food court to open to the public from June, offering food and drink between 1700 and 2330 from Wednesdays to Fridays, and after 1200 over the weekend.