Wales' most innovative and influential think tank

Connect: Twitter Facebook LinkedInTel: 01685 350938

The Everyday Economy in three valleys towns

February 20th 2020

What helps or hinders the growth of the everyday economy in the valleys?

This project seeks to explore the circumstances and conditions that affect the everyday (foundational) economy in different parts of the valleys. *Sign up for our fortnightly project updates.

Treherbert South Wales

Why focus on the valleys?

The south Wales valleys are said to be an ideal place where the everyday (foundational) economy can be developed.  A commitment to increase the number of jobs in the everyday economy was included in the Valleys Task Force delivery plan in 2017, and the approach continues to be a high priority for the Welsh Government.

Some places in the valleys are experiencing growth in the everyday economy, with new retailing, businesses, cafes and hairdressers. However, some towns and villages are experiencing a contraction, with local banks, post offices, food shops and bus services closing.  These variations within the everyday economy across the south Wales valleys suggest that some places may be better placed than others to grasp the potential.

The project will identify what the opportunities and barriers to supporting and developing these economic policies by working in partnership with three distinct communities in the south Wales valleys. They are:

  • Treharris in Merthyr Tydfil,
  • Treherbert in Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Cwmafan in Neath Port Talbot.

What does the project aim to achieve?

The everyday economy has gained real traction over the past few years and is now firmly on the Welsh Government’s policy agenda.

Understanding the pre-conditions of growing the everyday economy in response to the different circumstances of different places can help ensure that public policy and resources are effectively targeted, and that the potential of the everyday economy is maximised. The project will

  • Identify the essential conditions for the everyday economy to grow
  • Recommend actions needed in areas with more limited opportunities to grow it
  • Recommend actions that maximise and add value for areas that are already well placed to experience a growth in the everyday economy.
  • Increase community and public understanding of the everyday economy


In August we released a report – ‘The business potential of the foundational economy in the south Wales valleys‘ based on our work with local businesses in the three towns over May and June 2020. We found that:

  • In all three communities there are businesses with potential to grow. The vast majority of these businesses are small businesses, micro-businesses and the self-employed.
  • New businesses are being established and existing businesses are adapting and growing new activities.
  • Many businesses had plans for expansion before the coronavirus pandemic, and despite the challenges of lock down, have confidence that they can bounce back.

You can read the report and find out our recommendations here

For further information about the project, please see our fact sheet here

Get involved

We have set up dedicated Facebook groups for each town: Cwmafan Facebook Group, Treharris Facebook Group, Treherbert Facebook Group.

This project is funded by the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund

Welsh Government's Foundational Economy Challenge Fund logo


To find our more or get involved in the project, please contact Lloyd Jones at [email protected]

Sign up to receive our Everyday Economy Today project updates

* indicates required

Please select the town that is relevant to you: *

Please confirm that you’d like to receive our fortnightly project updates:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

Comments are closed.

In Print

Exchange Magazine »

Exchange 17: Autumn 2020

Wales’ best policy and politics magazine! This bumper issue reflects on the impact of Coronavirus on Wales’ economy and society, and highlights some ways forward to recover, renew and reset Wales in its aftermath. This issue includes articles by: Darren […] »

Events »

Friday Connect: February 2021

We warmly invite you to our new, informal discussions – Friday Connect Many of us feel we have too many online meetings, but they can also be a great way of connecting with others especially when we can’t meet in […] »