Local community breaths new life into Victorian chapel
Work has begun to develop an old chapel in Hermon, Pembrokeshire, into a heritage centre, café, and affordable flats, thanks to the local community and support from the Welsh Government.
Brynmyrnach chapel in Hermon near Crymych was built in 1888 and closed in 2022 due to the deterioration of the roof.
Subsequently the local community created a Heritage & Housing trust to take on the building which will be remodelled to offer affordable housing on the first floor with a heritage centre and pop-up cafe on the ground floor.
The new project is the latest in a series of community initiatives in the village, which has leveraged funding of over £2.5m in community shares and loan finance dating back almost 20 years.
The community are now on the verge of purchasing the old chapel building and starting the development of the site.
Thanks to £21,000 of financial support from the Welsh Government, the cooperative behind the project, CarTrefUn has been able to appoint project officers, create architectural plans and site surveys to develop the new centre.
The government’s Perthyn Small Grants scheme has helped more than 20 groups create economic opportunities and provide affordable housing by supporting Welsh-speaking communities which are suffering due to high densities of second homes.
The local Perthyn Project coordinator Cris Tomos of PLANED said: “It is so important that local communities have a chance to retain and use local assets for community initiatives such as the scheme at the old chapel in Hermon and to ensure community assets are retain for future generations”.
The Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles added: “When a chapel closes, it often means that an important community centre is lost. It’s great to be able to support this exciting initiative and ensure that there will be opportunities for people to live and socialise in Welsh. Creating affordable housing makes a huge difference to the sustainability of our Welsh-speaking communities.”
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