A former high street bank which closed three years ago has been transformed to house three local businesses employing over 20 people in the thriving Anglesey town of Menai Bridge.
The old bank building in Uxbridge Square was the long-time branch of the NatWest but now instead of becoming an empty eyesore it is home to an expanding law firm, a stylish restaurant and a women’s wellbeing studio.
The three tenants are solicitors Swayne Johnson who opened their sixth office here on the first floor in February, Tapestri, a small plates restaurant and wine bar on the ground floor and Fit Fanny Adams on the top floor.
Three years after bank staff cashed up for the last time, the building is buzzing again and Shaun Hughes, a solicitor with Swayne Johnson, said: “It’s really been an amazing transformation. We had wanted to have a presence on Anglesey for some time as part of our planned expansion and this just fitted the bill perfectly.
“We realised when we came to Menai Bridge that it was a thriving town and very much a gateway to the island but still with easy access to Gwynedd and this opening makes our services much more accessible.
“In this area it is vital not only to be able to offer a fully bilingual service but also to offer real expertise and to have the local knowledge that Sara and I have and the range of expertise the firm has means clients can get a high quality, specialist service that clients may not realise are available from a large regional firm.”
Swayne Johnson, managed by Welsh-speakers Shaun and Sara Lloyd Evans, opened in February with six full-time and one part-time staff, with Fit Fanny Adams, run by mother of two Sarahjane West-Watson, and Tapestri, headed by couple Jamie Glynn and Alex Wyatt, following.
Sarahjane, a qualified personal trainer who also has up to six specialists offering a range of services covering yoga, nutrition, sports massage and osteopathy, is a former triathlete and mountain biker and she said: “It’s a lovely space and a great location and it’s even got disabled access as well.
“We offer services for women at all stages of their lives and it’s proving very popular with women of all ages and particularly with mums.
“It’s about sorting your body out and tuning you back into who you are. The services we offer are about restoring you. You can go to a gym but this is about so much more than just exercise.”
Sarahjane, a women’s health and fitness professional, of Fit Fanny Adams, provides women’s health, fitness and wellbeing services including core restoration, yoga, nutrition, sports massage and osteopathy.
The former triathlete and mountain biker said: “It’s a lovely space and a great location with the added bonus of disabled access.
“We offer services for women at all stages of their lives, with Fit Fanny Adams specifically offering core restoration for every woman from pregnancy right through to post-menopausal.
“It’s not just about sorting your body out; it’s about learning to reconnect with it and tune back into who you are and how you move. Anyone can go to a gym and tick the fitness box, but this is about so much more than just exercise.
“We offer services for women at all stages of their lives and every fitness level. The concept is proving very popular with women of all ages and abilities.”
Jamie and Alex previously ran the popular Bocca, an Italian restaurant in nearby Wood Street, but the newly-fitted out Tapestri with its 80 covers has offered them a chance to expand and Alex said: “We set Bocca up six years ago but we had outgrown it and this is a much better location.
“The building is really fit for purpose and is more about what suits us with more space, a brand new kitchen and a shift in style to small plates with more of a Mediterranean flavour than purely Italian.
“We employ about ten people and source most of our produce locally and while we are currently open from Thursday to Saturday, we do plan to open all week from the spring.”
Swayne Johnson, which was founded in the 1850s, has grown from two offices in the Vale of Clwyd in 2010 to a total of six branches across the region from Menai Bridge through Llandudno, St Asaph, Denbigh and Ruthin to Tattenhall, near Chester, employing over 60 staff.
Swayne Johnson Managing Director Sarah Noton sees the way the Old Bank Building has been re-purposed as a template for the redevelopment of town centres and she said: “Where there was once one traditional business here there are now three, each offering different services.
“We see this as a very positive move in the way to regenerate our town centres and it certainly works for us and it is playing its part in the ongoing regeneration of Menai Bridge as a busy, thriving and welcoming town.”
For more on Swayne Johnson go to http://www.swaynejohnson.com/