A CARDIGAN business has switched from building boats on the Teifi estuary to manufacturing visors for NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Swallow Yachts, at Gwbert Road, has been closed under the current lockdown but its staff volunteered to produce visors – with 6,000 made in its workshops during the past few weeks and all paid for by the firm’s customers.

The business is run by Matt and Ana Newland and Matt said: “My wife said we should do something but I thought by the team we geared up, the supply chain for personal protection equipment would have caught up.

“But that’s not been the case and after making the first one, we got them NHS-approved.

“We took it to Bronglais hospital and they told us what they liked and what they didn’t like and we took it from there.”

And in a generous gesture, many of the firm’s customers were only too happy to contribute to buy the materials.

“There are so many who have come forward to help and we would like to say a huge thank you to them all,” said Matt.

“We found ourselves in a lucky position to make the visors. We have just finished our new workshop, replacing the one that was burnt down last year, and it is still mainly empty so we were able to use that and there was plenty of room for social distancing.

“We have made about 6,000 visors in all, sending them as far as Cardiff where one of our staff’s sister is a trainee nurse and where they needed protective equipment.

“We have also sent boxes out to Bronglais, Withybush and to Glangwili in Carmarthen.

“The staff involved have been fantastic but now we have decided to end it as the supply chain seems to be catching up to where it should be.

“We are just hoping now to be able to start building boats again in the near future. Restrictions at marinas in England have been lifted and people want their boats but we won’t start again until it is safe to do so.”