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Coastal pub diversifies to help local residents

01 May 2024 4 minute read
Tafarn yr Heliwr, in Nefyn, Gwynedd, has diversified to help local residents

A remote coastal pub has diversified its offerings by opening an outdoor events space to help improve health and wellbeing, tackle loneliness and provide an opportunity for locals to learn new skills. 

Expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub was provided to help with the purchase of a gazebo for Tafarn yr Heliwr, in Nefyn, Gwynedd’s community garden to provide an all-weather space to bring people together including volunteers, groups and families.

The funding has also helped to landscape the garden and create tall, raised beds to support green-fingered volunteers with mobility issues.

Pub is The Hub, is a not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services. It is supporting projects in rural areas across Wales after receiving a grant of £25,000 from The Royal Countryside Fund.

“Important resource”

Gardd Yr Heliwr Community Garden was established by volunteers, organised by the pub, who gave around 1,000 hours of their time towards the design and initial development of the project.  Many Nefyn residents live in traditional, small, terraced homes with little or no garden space, so the community garden is an important resource for locals. 

By creating a new formal seating area inside the gazebo, with benches and chairs, the garden committee plan to enable more activities, such as apple pressing, volunteer training, and coffee and cake mornings. 

The new structure will also mean that there is space to hold more events and meetings within the garden, supporting groups to socialise together which can help to tackle rural isolation, and improve wellbeing. 

The outdoor events space is to help improve health and wellbeing

Chair of Yr Heliwr Rhodri Evans said: “This wonderful outdoor events space will encourage local people to spend more time together and volunteer in the garden. It will also provide an outdoor space where we can offer educational as well as social events.” 

Pub is The Hub Wales advisor Malcolm Harrison said: “This events space will have a positive impact in helping to bring people together to help combat loneliness and isolation. Volunteering in the garden and using this outdoor space will have a real social benefit for local resident and those in the wider community.”

Tafarn yr Heliwr was an integral part of community life in the conservation area of Nefyn for many generations, until it finally it sadly closed its doors in 2009 along with several other local shops and businesses in the town.

In 2018, locals decided there was a real need to get the pub reopened. The building was successfully purchased by the community in November 2018. 

Pub is the Hub

Pub is The Hub is a not-for-profit organisation, which offers independent specialist advice to publicans on rural services diversification or the options for the community ownership of pubs, so they can all provide viable local services and social value at the heart of their community.  

Pub is The Hub has worked with great publicans to open shops, libraries, cafes, community cinemas, allotments, play areas and much more. Since 2013, the organisation has also been able to offer small grants through its Community Services Fund.

The all-weather space, supported by Pub is The Hub, will bring people together including volunteers, groups and families

Pub is The Hub has helped over 600 pubs across the UK to diversify, with almost 200 of these benefitting from help through the Community Services Fund. 

In April 2022 it was revealed that Pub is The Hub would be supporting diversification projects for Welsh pubs after receiving a grant of £25,000 from The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

The new two-year programme will enable Pub is The Hub to help some pubs provide much needed local services and amenities in rural areas across Wales. This could include a wide range of diversification projects such as village stores, community cafes, IT Hubs, allotments and libraries.

Building on its community services work, in 2018 Pub is The Hub conceived its ‘Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’ campaign. ‘Join Inn’, specifically looks to support publicans and their communities to become better connected, helping local people feel less isolated and, in the process helping to alleviate loneliness

If you know of a pub in Wales that could help your local community by diversifying services, point their landlord in the direction of for further details.

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