The Caernarfon Waterfront and Town Centre Regeneration Initiative is an ambitious and innovative programme of projects to develop a: “vibrant and distinctive town which provides a wealth of opportunities to Caernarfon’s residents and visitors through the use of its unique assets making it the lead cultural destination in North Wales”.
Building upon recent investments, the vision aims to boost the town’s economic prospects by making the most of its unique strengths and assets to create sustainable jobs and economic growth.
The initiative is led by Gwynedd Council and delivered through a multi-agency partnership that consists of Cadw, Arts Council for Wales, Antur Waunfawr, Gisda, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, Caernarfon Harbour Trust and Galeri Caernarfon.
In November 2014, Gwynedd Council and the partnership were successful in securing £1m from the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places Tackling Poverty Fund. This funding, in addition to further funding from partners has enabled the initial development of some of the programme’s initiatives.
Work is underway to secure the remainder of the funding package.
Here are the projects that form the programme:
Empty Shops Initiative: A comprehensive package linking individuals with suitable commercial properties to help develop their business idea. Although the scheme completed in March 2015, work is ongoing to see if there will be options to offer further opportunities.
Mentro Mlaen: Led by Gisda, and funded by the Big Lottery in Wales to empower vulnerable young people and provide them with the skills required to increase their confidence and assist them to progress from support to employment. Funding from the Caernarfon Programme has helped the renovation and improvement of two locations in the town centre to facilitate the project’s activity. Find out more about the Mentro Mlaen project here.
Ideas:People:Places: An innovative and exciting new project funded by the Arts Council of Wales to regenerate Caernarfon in an imaginative and ambitious ways by working with artists and communities. Find out more about the Ideas:People:Places project here.
Business Improvement District: The programme will provide capital support to pilot initiatives identified by the business sector to strengthen the attractiveness and vitality of the town centre.
Beics Menai: The recent acquisition of Beics Menai by Antur Waunfawr offers an opportunity to develop the offer and provide employment and training opportunities for people with learning disabilities. Find out more about the Beics Menai project here.
Island Site, Slate Quay: The historic Slate Quay at the heart of Caernarfon Waterfront offers a significant regeneration opportunity with the ability to be a key catalyst – pivotal to the wider development of Caernarfon Waterfront. The development will be looking to bring the currently dilapidated buildings of the site back into a mixed-usage development. Find out more about the Slate Quay project here.
Welsh Highland Railway Caernarfon Terminus: The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland narrow gauge railways run through some of Snowdonia’s most outstanding landscapes, and are one of the longest in Europe. Work is underway to look at improvements to the current facilities to improve the visitor welcome to Caernarfon. Find out more about the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland railways project here.
Caernarfon Castle: A World Heritage Site of international significance, it is a key attraction in Caernarfon. Building upon recent developments, a further round of improvements to the visitor facilities will be undertaken. Find out more about Caernarfon Castle here.
Galeri: The Creative Enterprise Centre at Galeri has established itself as an innovative blend of theatre, performance studios, art space, creative and artistic workspaces. Its success has led to an increased demand for space, where options are being considered to extend the current building. Find out more about the Galeri here.
Housing Schemes: Alongside the efforts to develop the demand and supply for labour are efforts to improve the housing supply within the town. A number of schemes are operational in bringing empty properties back into use to improve the housing supply, developing opportunities for new housing developments as well as raising the energy efficiency of targeted homes to tackle fuel poverty. Find out more about the housing schemes here.
There has been an urban characterisation study completed which underpins this work and can be viewed on our Caernarfon Waterfront Urban Characterisation page.