With £15 million of funding secured, a number of exciting regeneration projects are progressing well in the Caernarfon waterfront area that will improve the town as a place to work, live and visit.
A key milestone was reached recently as the Heritage Lottery confirmed that the Cei Llechi project will receive £3.5 million. This forms part of a wider £15 million Caernarfon Tourism Attractor Destination project led by Croeso Cymru, and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
The waterfront area of Caernarfon has been identified as a key redevelopment area by Gwynedd Council. Through the Caernarfon Waterfront Initiative, the Council is working with a number of key local partners to deliver the Galeri 2, new Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways station and the Cei Llechi Island Site projects with the aim of making a major contribution to Caernarfon’s regeneration along with the wider local economy.
Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development said:
“Caernarfon’s waterfront is steeped in history and we want to ensure that it can look forward to a vibrant and sustainable future. Through a range of exciting projects, the Caernarfon Waterfront Initiative includes local partners working together towards a shared vision that’ll provide a major boost for local residents, businesses and visitors.
“The Cei Llechi area will be a hub for crafts makers and artisans, offering quality workshops for them to produce their goods. This area is fortunate to have so many creative companies, and Cei Llechi will help to strengthen and nurture this further.
“Galeri will also be adding to its already diverse programming, ensuring that local residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the latest film releases in a cinema situated in a unique location at Doc Fictoria.
“The new Ffestiniog & Highland Railway Station terminus will create a natural link from the railway to the town and create a convenient route to the Maes. The new railway will encourage visitors to stay in the town longer, and will provide the gateway for many to experience the significant historic and cultural assets Caernarfon has to offer.
“The fact that we have been able to put in place a significant funding package is a huge vote of confidence in Caernarfon and a further boost to our efforts to regenerate the town and surrounding area.
“Together with our partners, we want to make the most of the town’s heritage and cultural assets to ensure that Caernarfon is a thriving destination for the local community and visitors alike.”
Gwynedd Council is managing the initiative on behalf of a number of key partners. This is encouraging and strengthening links between the three key projects and other relevant organisations, communities and bodies. Work is progressing on the three major projects that are part of the Caernarfon Waterfront Initiative.
Since opening in 2005, the Galeri has provided the local area with a platform for the arts and creative industries, developing itself as a hub for local artists, musicians, students and residents.
Galeri’s new two-screen cinema has been progressing well over the past months. Enabling work on the site of Galeri’s new two-screen cinema extension is drawing to a close with the demolition of Galeri’s iconic tower earlier in the month. The new cinema in Galeri will become Anglesey and Gwynedd’s only multi-screen full time cinema – showing films ‘on release’ throughout the year.
Gwyn Roberts, Galeri’s chief executive, said: “It’s satisfying to see work now progressing on the site. The estimated construction period is around 12 months, so the new cinema spaces will be open during the Summer of 2018.”
Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways
Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways are developing a new station building which will form a key part of the Waterfront Initiative.
Paul Lewin said:
“We are proud to be investing in Caernarfon. The new station will offer much improved facilities for visitors arriving by road or by rail and is bringing £2 million work to the local area in the next 12 months. With the opening due in the summer of 2018, the station will create a good impression for arriving visitors and encourage them to take time to explore Caernarfon and its many attractions.
“The railway held a number of public consultation events in the town and has incorporated ideas and suggestions made by local residents and visitors into the new two-storey design, which will include a railway shop, coffee shop, a spacious modern interpretation area and modern fully accessible toilets.
“Local artist Bedwyr Williams is part of the design team, who intends to showcase images and information regarding the history of the quayside area and the railway.”
Caernarfon Harbour Trust
The recent confirmation of a £3.5 million Heritage Lottery fund investment means that the Caernarfon Harbour Trust is closer to redeveloping the site, ensuring the local artisan sector will have a hub to make and sell their products. Last month planning permission was granted for the scheme. Cei Llechi will be managed on behalf of the Harbour Trust by Galeri Caernarfon Cyf.
Bob Lowe, Chairman of Cei Llechi Project Board was encouraged by the Lottery grant:
“With the exciting announcement of the Heritage Lottery Enterprise grant award for the Cei Llechi scheme, we are a major step forward in achieving the Trust’s objective of securing the future of the site.
“The regeneration of this part of the historic waterfront will provide space for local artisans to develop existing and new businesses, creating up to 30 new jobs; refurbishing the listed Harbour House and Office and offer three quality holiday units. With a fair wind we hope to make a start on-site soon after Christmas 2017 and be open for business by the summer of 2019.”