Thanks to funding and support from the Council’s Enterprise Investment Fund, a Treforest business has been able to secure an exciting partnership to develop a range of healthcare products locally – creating 18 high-quality jobs.
Gwalia Healthcare, based at Treforest Industrial Estate, is developing the geko™ product range owned by Firstkind Ltd. A geko™ device is worn like a wristwatch below the knee, helping to prevent and treat a range of acute medical conditions. Several of its components are produced locally, taking advantage of Gwalia Healthcare’s manufacturing expertise, assembly line and capacity to facilitate ongoing research and development activities in Treforest.
On Wednesday, February 5, Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Enterprise, visited Gwalia Healthcare’s operations base, located at Treforest Industrial Estate.
He met Rod Parker, the owner and director of Gwalia Healthcare, along with Mark Whalley, Head of Manufacturing and Logistics at Firstkind, to find out more about the new partnership – and to see first-hand the benefits of the Council’s grant funding and associated support.
The Council’s Enterprise Investment Fund offers financial help to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, private and social enterprises, and start-ups – to help them improve their long-term profitability. Grants of up to £10,000 are available, and Expressions of Interest can be made on the Council’s website.
The Council has recently approved a £10,000 grant to Gwalia Healthcare, which will make a significant contribution towards laser technology equipment required to assemble the geko™ product range. There is also an opportunity for a further £10,000 grant to be offered via the Fund.
Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said:
“The Council offers a range of grant opportunities for local businesses through its Enterprise Investment Fund, in order to help them improve their long-term profitability – which will in turn help achieve economic growth across Rhondda Cynon Taf.
“I was pleased to meet Rod Parker and Mark Whalley about the partnership between Gwalia Healthcare and Firstkind Medical in Treforest. The Council’s financial help, and invaluable Officer support, has been a great asset to this exciting venture in the Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing sector.
“The partnership has created 18 local jobs, which are high-quality and well-paid – which is a fantastic outcome for the area, and shows the real difference that the Enterprise Investment Fund is making in our communities.”
Mark Whalley, Head of Manufacturing and Logistics at Firstkind Ltd, added:
“Firstkind are delighted to have found a partner within Rhondda Cynon Taf which is so committed to giving us the technical assistance and the supportive collaboration that we need to continue developing our product range, while providing us with the capacity to scale and fulfil our growing global customer base.”
Originally published online by Business News Wales, 17th February 2020.