£15m waterfront plans ‘major boost’ for region
A £15 MILLION regeneration of Caernarfon’s waterfront will make it a “must-see” destination for visitors.
The Heritage Lottery has earmarked £3.5m for the Cei Llechi (Slate Quay) project, which will transform the area into a hub for craftsmen. This, coupled with the building of a second cinema screen at The Galeri at £3.5m, and the creation of a new Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway station, expected to cost £2.3m, will pull in thousands more tourists and locals to what is a relatively undeveloped part of Caernarfon.
As part of a second phase, Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic monument service, is considering carrying out improvements to the castle and upgrading road links, which will push the total cost of the project to around £15m.
The town’s mayor and Gwynedd Cabinet member for economic development Ioan Thomas said: “Caernarfon’s waterfront is steeped in history and we want to ensure that it can look forward to a vibrant and sustainable future. The initia● tive 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; Galeri will also be adding to its already diverse programming, ensuring that local residents and visitors willill beb ablebl to enjoy the latest film releases in a cinema situated in a unique location at Doc Fictoria.
“The new Ffestiniog and Highland Railway Station terminus will create a natural link from the railway to the town and create a convenient route to the Maes. “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.”
The new cinema in Galeri will become Anglesey and Gwynedd’s only multi-screen full time cinema. Galeri chief Gwyn Roberts said: “It’s satisfying to see work now progressing on the site. The estimated construction period is around 12 PICS: ARWYN ROBERTS months,h so theh new cinema spaces willll b be open during summer 2018.”
Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways chief Paul Lewin said: “We are proud to be investing in Caernarfon. The new station will offer much-improved facilities and is bringing £2m work to the local area in the next 12 months. With the opening due in summer 2018, the station will create a good impression for arriving visitors and encourage them to take time to explore Caernarfon and its many attractions.”
Cei Llechi Project Board chairman Bob Lowe said: “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. 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.”
● Caernarfon waterfront regeneration includes work on the Slate Quay and a new railway station (below) and CADW are now considering castle and road improvements as part of a second phase of works
Mayor Ioan Thomas