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Plans revealed for new culture and heritage centre in Gwynedd town

25 Jul 2023 3 minute read
The former Spar at Bethesda. Photo via Google

Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter

A former Spar supermarket in the centre of Bethesda is set to be become a creative space for arts, a restaurant, and a venue to promote the area’s heritage.

Cyngor Gwynedd planners have received an application to transform the former Spar building on High Street.

The application has been made by Meleri Davies of the social enterprise Partneriaeth Ogwen.

Located at the heart of the town the derelict building was formerly a SPAR store and before that was known as the old post office. This is giving the new project its name – Yr Hen Bost.

The application calls for the creation of a retail space, where local artists could sell their work and a heritage centre. The scheme would reuse the former SPAR building and also see the erection of a three storey extension.

Artisans and artists

The plans include creating five business units available to rent for local artisans and artists, and a welcome space with information about the local area. Currently, there is a flat for a local tenant to the Ogwen Partnership on the first floor, beign maintained. The space next door to the SPAR is also used by BT for a box office.

The plan would incorporate a self contained flat for a local resident, in existing use, and would include the development of a workshop for artisans to use, or as a multi-purpose room for hire.

Within a new building, there would be the creation of a welcome and heritage centre, with interpretation boards, tourist information and an exhibition area.

A restaurant / catering space that opens out to external areas with an outdoor seating is also proposed on the 750 square metre site. The building’s style would reflect the materials in the local areas, and would incorporate brick and stone walls and slate roofing.

Artist view of the proposed development (Cyngor Gwynedd image)

The plans say it is hoped that the development would offer” an opportunity to create a commercial and cultural asset” on Bethesda’s High Street .

The cultural centre, it is also hoped, would also help attract more tourism into the centre of Bethesda

Partneriaeth Ogwen was originally a collaboration by Bethesda, Llanllechid and Llandygai Community Councils to provide a clerking service to the three councils and develop community projects.

According to its website, since it’s establishment in 2013, Partneriaeth Ogwen has opened the Ogwen office and Siop Ogwen on Bethesda High Street.

It also manage properties including flats, businesses and the Dyffryn Ogwen Community Library.

It has also developed environmental projects and led on the development of the Ynni Ogwen community hydro scheme.

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Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
8 months ago

Da iawn. Mae Bethesda yn enghraifft wych o’r hyn sy’n bosib yn y Fro Gymraeg. Trueni am yr hen Tesco yno sy’n llawn gwladychwyr. Angen boicotio’r lle, fel yr ydw i’n gwneud!

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
8 months ago

Does Bethesda really need this? I thought it attracted enough tourist already.

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