Welsh Government Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn has visited the new regional hub in Port Talbot established by global digital solutions consultancy Keytree.
Based in London’s Covent Garden, Keytree opened its new Managed Services Centre of Excellence based in the historic former Port Talbot Magistrates’ Court building at the end of last year.
The centre currently employs around 40 staff but there are plans to increase the head count to 120 over the next 18 months with recruitment already under way.
Keytree works with some of the biggest brands in world business, including BP, British Gas and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as Governmental departments and organisations such as the UK Ministry of Justice and Transport for London.
After Neath Port Talbot Council recently completed its transformation into office of the neo-Georgian style, Grade II listed former magistrates’ court building, now known as Harbour Court, Keytree moved in.
The £1.9m project to transform the old magistrates’ court was part funded by the Welsh Government’s Building for the Future programme, via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Targeted Match Funding (TMF) supplied by the Homes and Places Division, Welsh Government.
On Monday (February 10th, 2020) the Welsh Government Minister saw Keytree’s new Port Talbot centre for herself. The centre will enable continued growth, fuelled by demand from existing clients. It will also support clients who have implemented Keytree’s industry packaged digital solutions.
Keytree specialises in the design and building of apps to solve complex integration challenges and provide cloud infrastructure to enable companies to become leaner, faster and more agile in a fast-changing technological business world.
The company is now creating highly skilled technology jobs in the town with the aim of developing a centre for innovation in South Wales.
The former Magistrates’ Court has strong historic interest as it was once the head offices of the original Port Talbot Steel Company before being converted into a Magistrates’ Court in the 1980s.
Situated on Harbour Way, one of the main gateways to Port Talbot, it is also adjacent to the Harbourside strategic employment site area and has first class transport links being close to the M4, the Port Talbot Parkway Railway Station and the town’s the Integrated Transport Hub.
Work on site began in August 2018, the scheme having been delivered for Neath Port Talbot Council by TAD Builders Ltd. The building was designed specifically to attract technology focused companies by providing high specification, industrial style offices with ultra-fast broadband connectivity.
Hannah Blythyn said: “I’m pleased to see how Welsh Government funding is breathing new life into old buildings – and this Government has ambitious plans to transform towns like Port Talbot to make them fit for the 21st Century.
“This investment from the Welsh Government will attract highly-skilled technology jobs to the town, which will increase footfall – providing local businesses with a much needed boost.
“We want to support our towns to ensure they are attractive, vibrant places for people to live, work and visit. I look forward to seeing this business flourish and grow.”
Cllr Annette Wingrave, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development, added: ”I am pleased our regeneration of this former court building has attracted a leading technology company like Keytree and it is a great reward for all the hard work that has been put in.
“It’s a very well placed site, with excellent road, rail and bus links literally on its doorstep and we are delighted to welcome Hannah Blythyn to see this new development in the heart of Port Talbot and at the gateway to our strategically important Harbourside district.”
Keytree managing director Tim Kyle said: “Our office in the former magistrates’ court continues to thrive and this is in no small part down to the support of the local government and community. We look forward to continued success together, to nurturing our local partnerships and working with and employing the very best talent from the region.”
In addition to its headquarters in London, Keytree has recently established a development centre in Bangalore. It also has offices in Madrid, Sydney and Toronto.