Aberavon’s famous Franco’s fish and chip shop to become a 100-seat restaurant with funding from Finance Wales and Lloyds Bank
Franco’s, the renowned family run fish and chip shop on
Aberavon seafront is to be transformed into a new 100-seat
restaurant thanks to a six-figure funding package.
The funding is made up of a £400,000 loan from
Finance Wales and a loan of £275,000 from Lloyds Bank as well
as personal investment from the business
With the Afan Lido currently undergoing a
multimillion-pound refurbishment as part of the on-going
regeneration of Aberavon seafront, the family hopes the new
restaurant will become popular with visitors and match the success
of its other seafront business, Café Remos.
The expansion is also good news for the local
tradesmen who will be responsible for the transformation and once
the restaurant opens this year it is expected to employ 20 extra
A successful business for over 30 years,
owners Ray and Monya Di Francesco serve around 75,000 tourists and
locals 250,000 portions of chips a year.
Keen to keep the business in the family the
couple’s son Anthony has joined the business in recent years, while
daughters Mia and Kristina are lined up to take charge of the
Mr Di Francesco believes the funding will
allow the family business to capitalise on Aberavon’s increasing
popularity: “Franco’s has always been popular with local people as
well as tourists, we’re often known as the ‘the shop with the
queue’ because of the number of customers we serve in peak
season. Our new restaurant will not only boost our
business, but we’ll also be employing local people to develop it
and work there.
“With the new investment being pumped into the
area these are exciting times for Aberavon. We expect our
footfall to grow significantly in the future so this funding
package has come at the right time for us, providing us with the
backing we need to capitalise on this opportunity,” he
Home to a blue-flag beach, Aberavon is an
all-year-round surfing hotspot that is also popular with walkers,
joggers, cyclists and skaters and sunworshippers alike. Alongside
the Afan Lido, the area also offers sunken gardens, an aquasplash
toddler's pool as well as a six-screen cinema and a number of other
good quality restaurants.
Mr Di Francesco hopes that the new restaurant,
which will stay open longer as well as in the winter months, will
offer Franco’s customers a new experience.
Finance Wales Investment Executive Leanna
Davies, who is based in West Wales, structured the loan to fund the
“Franco’s and Café Remos are much-loved local
institutions and firmly part of the renaissance Aberavon is
currently undergoing. Aberavon seafront is one of Wales’ longest
beaches and popular all year round.
“The family know their customers well and have
come up with an exciting expansion plan which should see their
business go from strength to strength in years to come. Supporting
small businesses like Franco’s in communities in Wales can make a
huge difference to the local economy. We are delighted to be able
to work with Lloyds bank to provide the business with the funding
needed to make their plan a reality.”
John Dury, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank
Commercial Banking, said: “Aberavon seafront is going through a
major transformation that is expected to boost visitor numbers over
the coming years.
“Ray, Monya and Anthony have an in-depth
knowledge of the local economy and a proven track record of
success, and we immediately recognised how a tailored funding
package would help them to expand the business in order capitalise
on the boost in tourism.
“We are dedicated to supporting companies like
Franco’s, and to help them achieve their ambitions we have pledged
to grow our lending to small and medium sized firms by £1 billion
net each year until 2017.”