AN ATHLETE who claimed the scalp of Sir Mo Farah is setting a different pace by launching a new business.

Abergele’s Tom Carter, a former Great Britain mid-distance runner, has opened up the Trainer Container, selling “On”, a new brand of Swiss trainers, alongside a range of sustainable sportswear from Wrexham’s Vinyl Bear.

Based at Y Shed, Meliden, the Trainer Container is one of three new businesses to set up there in the last few weeks.

Joining Tom in the converted shipping containers-turned business spaces are beautician Johannah Hughes and podiatrist Lorna Hicks.

Tom, who beat fan’s favourite Sir Mo in a Grand Prix race, gave up running after achieving his aim of completing a mile in less than four minutes.

A qualified sports teacher and son of Olympic runner and 800m champion Andy Carter, Tom is looking to pass on his knowledge to other racers.

Not only will he be introducing “try-before-you-buy trainers”, enabling customers to have a run out in the footwear, but he will be hosting a Y Shed question and answer evening for runners of all abilities as well as hosting a race at Marsh Tracks, Rhyl.

“Y Shed has given me a great springboard to start my new business,” said Tom, who narrowly missed out on a place in the 2012 London Olympics.

“On is an up-and-coming brand and I really like their ethos. I am looking to build a running community here, one that supports and helps each other.

“I’ve not longed moved to Y Shed but business is heading the right way already and runners and runners’ clubs have given me a warm welcome.”

A project championed by charitable housing association Grŵp Cynefin and Meliden Residents Action group, Y Shed opened its doors in 2019 and, despite pandemic lockdowns, has still managed to attract about 40,000 visitors a year.

For Tom, Johannah, and Lorna, Y Shed’s sense of community was a big draw.

Aimed at start-up or growing businesses and based on the Prestatyn to Dyserth railway, Y Shed gives traders help to get their feet off the ground with affordable rents, free wraparound support including marketing, and a start-up grant to spend on their business.

Beautician Johannah, from Rhuddlan, has been sharing space with her hairdresser daughter in Prestatyn but, after 20 years in the business and with a growing clientele, decided to branch out to a place of her own.

Podiatrist Lorna, had also been sharing space, but wanted to develop a clinic that would allow her to use her full range of skills and new therapies.

Both bring a solid client base with them who, in turn, are also making the most of Y Shed’s other offers, including a café and gift shops.

Johannah said: “Every day, I have to pinch myself. Y Shed is not just in the most extraordinary location with beautiful views, but the support on offer is great.

“These units are ideal for small businesses. I love to make people feel their best, and now I can do that in a place that’s just wonderful.”

Lorna, from Dyserth, with more than 30 years’ experience in diagnosing and managing foot and lower limb problems, added: “There is an overlap between my knowledge of foot mechanics and human movement, which links nicely with Tom’s new On trainer range, while some patients of mine may like to spoil themselves with the exclusive beauty care from Johannah.

“From the outset, we all wanted to help each other as there is some natural correlation between our respective businesses.

“I’m excited to be working alongside them.”

Tom, Lorna, and Johannah will be hosting a “meet the businesses” week in March with a range of activities planned.

The event will run from March 17-20 and will feature all Y Shed businesses.

The timetable is:

March 17: Meet podiatrist Lorna Hicks and discuss your foot health needs.

March 18: Exclusive Beauty’s Johannah Hughes will be sharing top tips.

March 19: Running tips and more with Tom Carter.

March 20: Be inspired by gifts for the home, friends or just you with Grumble Studio’s Meg Roberts.