Creative industries supplier makes the cut as forum’s 800th member!


Photo: (L to r): Jay Ball, Vice-chair, Allan Kelly, Dan Hunt and Fran Kelly, Frankly Materials Ltd with Councillor Charles Smith.

Only a few weeks after celebrating the 5th annual Bridgend business awards, Bridgend Business Forum, supported by Bridgend County Borough Council, is celebrating another major milestone of reaching over 800 members.

Vice-chair of Bridgend Business Forum, Jay Ball, Managing Director at local telecommunications supplier, Datakom Ltd and Councillor Charles Smith welcomed the 800th member, Frankly Materials Ltd at a recent visit to their offices at Tondu Enterprise Centre, Bridgend.

The company, which was set-up in July of this year, supplies materials to the film, theatre and TV industries for the construction of props and special effects. Managing Director, Fran Kelly is originally from the Bridgend area.

She moved to London in 2010 to train and work as a freelance prop maker before returning to Wales in 2014. She began to set-up her own business with fellow Director, Sheila Kelly in 2015. Fran said: “I studied prop making at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and after graduating I remained in London to continue my career.

Whilst working in London, I not only gained valuable experience but also built up a strong base of clientele within the film and theatre production industries. It also became evident that there was a gap in the market for a prop making suppliers in Wales.

“The creative industries are growing rapidly in Wales, with no other Welsh prop making suppliers. Even though we are a new business, we have already established a good reputation and also offer specialist advice through our prop consultancy service.

“We’re thrilled to become the 800th member of Bridgend Business Forum. Here at Frankly Materials we feel it’s important to be an active member of the local community. We joined the forum to network with other local businesses and to keep up to date with upcoming events. We’re excited to be part of the Bridgend Business Forum community and we’re already benefiting from our membership.”

Jay Ball said: “It was great to visit Frankly Materials recently, I like to champion small businesses, having started from humble beginnings myself, I know how valuable a strong business support network can be.

“We are pleased to welcome them as our 800th member. They have joined at an exciting time for the business forum, with the creation of the new executive group, which we hope will bring a new momentum to the forum. We hope that by joining us they will become well-established within the Bridgend business community and make the connections they need to progress their business and customer base.”

Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration said: “I’m very pleased to see the Bridgend Business Forum continuing to grow and nurture new businesses. It is important that the council maintains this strong and successful link between the public and private sector in Bridgend County Borough and the business forum offers an ideal way to achieve this.

“I’d like to congratulate Frankly Materials Ltd on becoming the 800th member, and wish them every success for their business in the future.”

To find out more about Frankly Materials Ltd, visit:

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