Ministry Open Day Success!

Metal Box opens its doors to the Future – Croeso i’r Dyfodol

On Thursday 13th October 2022, we welcomed customers, suppliers and friends of the business to the iconic Metal Box site for our official open day. Attendees learned of the ambitious plans of Metal Box occupants and moves to put the site back at the heart of the local community.

A jam packed day started with an opening address from our MD Graham Hirst, followed by the legendary Max Boyce. The Welsh comedian, singer and entertainer worked in the factory for five years before paving his current career, and famously references the experience in the last verse of his iconic song ‘Duw It’s Hard’. “It is amazing to see the place reopened,” he said.

Our VIP guests joined us for a quick ribbon cutting on the clock tower steps to the iconic Metal Box factory before Simon Brennan, Head of Property & Regeneration at Neath Port Talbot Council took to the Ministry soap box to share an update on investment in Neath and the regeneration of the Metal Box site.

Our guest speaker presentations were held in the impressive factory space where we plan to expand our own production facilities in the future and bring our business together under one roof. Our team are passionate about the development of this site and the employment opportunities it could offer.

Following Simon, Stuart Moyse, Educational Building Consultant discussed the creation of learning environments for the 21st Century. This theme was developed further by Andrew Beadle, Director of Education at Powell Dobson Architects who offered insights from the architects perspective.

A delicious networking lunch was supplied by Starvin Jacks in Swansea, before Dr Debra Williams shared an update on the new Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) which is being developed on the Neath & Powys border.

This £300 million pound project is the second largest infrastructure project in the UK behind HS2.

Situated on the former Nant Helen opencast site and Onllwyn Washery, the 550 hectare facility will include two test loops, one being a 6.9km electrified high speed rolling stock track with a maximum speed of 177km/h and the other a 4km 65km/h test track. Other facilities will include a dual-platform test environment, rolling stock storage and maintenance facilities, operations and control offices, staff accommodation, shunting staff facilities and connections to the nearby main line. Read more on

Jon Rae, Director of Resources at Welsh Local Goverment Association concluded our presentations in the factory space sharing his knowledge of the ‘Hidden challenges of Agile and Hybrid working’.

Our neighbours SO Modular very kindly provided tours of their production facilities at Metal Box during the day for our guests to experience the art of the possible. Visitors who attended the tours could view the empty factory space we plan to occupy along with Vortex IOT and Safety Letter Box and then got to see the incredible production facilities at the opposite end of Metal Box where SO Modular create sustainable timber framed modular buildings.

Fab Four Coffee & Castell Howell Foods Ltd provided gorgeous coffee all day (special thanks to James Hook, Lee Byrne & Haydn Pugh).

Thanks also to our neighbours Vortex for providing the final talk in their suite at Metal Box & to everyone for coming including Morgan Sindall Construction, Kier Group, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Swansea University, Swansea Council, AB Glass (Doors & Windows), Cardiff University, J G Hale Construction and Powys Teaching Health Board to name just a few.

Our image gallery can be found here – can you spot yourself? Credit to Tim at Behind the Lens Media for capturing our open day so effectively. He is highly recommended by the Ministry team.

All presentations from the day can be viewed here:

Please contact if you’d like to visit us at Metal Box or request a visit from one of our friendly experts who can help you transform your space. Thanks for reading!

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