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Nestled at the foot of the Valleys, Pontypridd is famous for its old bridge, coal, 70’s pop icons (make best Tom Jones impression!) and for being one half of Fireman Sam’s home town. Until now!

Our Outreach Engagement guru Lesley is teaming up with ICE member, and Ponty resident Vicky Mann, to launch the Church Village 5 to 9 Club. The fully funded after-work programme is designed to support people into starting businesses and held its first session on Thursday (13 July).


The 5 to 9 Club™ aims to support individuals with an idea and help them turn it into a fully fledged business by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they will need to launch and grow. The workshops are held once a week from 5pm to 9pm, to allow those who work full time to gain the experience and support needed to grow their business idea without taking the risk of giving up full-time employment.

The Pontypridd club is being held in conjunction with Near Me Now, a Welsh ICE based-business founded by Victoria Mann, who is herself from Church Village.

Lesley and Vicky were interviewed about the club by Ponty’s own FM radio station, GTFM. Station Manager Terry Mann ask Lesley what the programme was all about:


The clubs are a key part of our outreach programme, as we look to connect with potential business founders across south east Wales.

The eight-week course features a series of workshops where attendees can develop their idea, supported by entrepreneurs who have been through the startup process and now manage businesses of their own.

Each week is hosted by a different expert who guides participants through different aspects of starting a business, from developing their business plan right through to launching and even seeking investment.

So far, the outreach programme has held workshops in Merthyr and Ebbw Vale, and we’ve got plans for further programmes in Caerphilly and Treorchy.

For more information about your local 5 to 9 Club™ contact Lesley on [email protected] or call 02920 140 040

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