NEW plans for affordable housing and industrial units which will allow two local businesses to expand at Seaward Way in Minehead were warmly welcomed.

A consultation event was held at The Beach Hotel on Tuesday evening where the plans, which will sit on land to the south east of the Premier Inn along Seaward Way, were on show.

Two local businesses, Snazaroo and The Lighting Company are prospective clients for the new industrial units as they look to expand, and potentially free up other units for smaller businesses to move into.

Adrian Ryan, the general manager of Minehead's face-painting specialist Snazaroo said that although it was still early days, he was optimistic about the development.

"Our current properties at the Minehead Enteprise Centre and on the Mart Road industrial estate are not purpose built, whereas this will potentially allow us better facilities and bring everything under one roof. We are hoping for a 50 per cent growth of our business in the next five to 10 years so we need to look at expanding."

Snazaroo only sells about a third of its face-painting products in the UK, Mr Ryan explained, with roughly a third of business going to the United States and a third around the rest of the world.

"It has been a real success story. We started out doing fancy dress items for Butlins and now we are one of the largest global suppliers of facepaints," Mr Ryan said.

Lynne Hickin and her husband Greg, co-directors of The Lighting Company currently based in the Vennlands Centre said they had considered moving the business elsewhere before this opportunity came along.

"Our business is expanding and we needed new facilities. We wanted to stay local ideally because we have a fantastic staff team we did not want to lose, but until this opportunity arose we thought we might have to move out of Minehead," Mrs Hickin said.

The Lighting Company currently employs 13 people, and Mrs Hickin said the new facility would give them the potential double that and offer skilled jobs for young people.

The plans also include up to 40 affordable homes to be run by Magna Housing. The homes vary from one to four bedrooms and include a mix of properties for rent and shared ownership, which development manager Helen Rafferty said 'offer a great stepping stone for young people to get on the housing ladder'.

Minehead Chamber of Commerce's Graham Sizer welcomed the proposals.

"These two entrepreneurial businesses are very forward-thinking and opportunities for them to expand are most welcome," he said.