Bank to the fu­ture for former high street NatWest site

Bangor Mail - - News - Owen Hughes

A FORMER high street bank which closed three years ago has been trans­formed to house three lo­cal busi­nesses em­ploy­ing more than 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 restau­rant and a women’s well­be­ing stu­dio.

The three ten­ants are so­lic­i­tors Swayne John­son who opened their sixth of­fice 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.”

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-oftwo 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

Pic­ture Mandy Jones 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.”

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 10 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 man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Sarah No­ton sees the way the Old Bank Build­ing has been re­pur­posed 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.”

● Jamie Glynn of Tapestri wine bar, Shaun Hughes of Swayne John­son, Alex Wy­att of Tapestri, and Sarah­jane West-Wat­son, Fit Fanny Adams, with 13-month-old Sum­mer

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