Former bank site checks in
AFORMER bank site that closed four years ago has now reopened as a deli, shop and play centre. The HSBC was once a crucial part of the shopping offer in Penygroes, drawing people in to the Gwynedd village.
Its closure in 2014 impacted on the community with surrounding shops affected.
But now community regeneration group Antur Nantlle has opened the site again after a £150,000 investment backed by funding from the EU and Magnox.
Y Banc includes a shop selling local food, drink and crafts, and a soft play area for children. There is also Deli’r Banc on the site, providing fresh food.
Antur Nantlle chief officer Robat Jones said: “The closure of the bank had a big effect on the economy because people would come here to use the bank and then also stop and shop in other places.
“Our role is to create employment and training opportunities so we wanted something that would do that and also help to attract people back to the village.”
Antur Nantlle had already bought the building in 2002 and rented it back to the banking giant before its closure.
They then secured European Union funding from the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities Development Fund and the Magnox Socio-Economic Fund to make the revamp possible.
Robat said: “Banks are always in prominent buildings like this so they leave big gaps when they close. That is why it was so important to bring this back.”
As well as creating five roles the development will support local producers and craft makers – with service charges kept low to ensure they get maximum benefit.
Among those selling at the site will be Poblado Coffi, Aber Falls, Bragdy Lleu, artist Josie Russell and crafts and card maker Inc Pinc.
Robat added: “The intention is that it is not only about creating jobs here but also bringing more income and employment to small crafters and producers in this area.”
Jonathan Jenkin, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority stakeholder relations and socio-economics manager, said: “Supporting this project has boosted the local economy, creating a new business enterprise and giving local producers an opportunity to form a co-operative and expand the local supply chain.
“It has also provided much-needed picture: ARWYN ROBERTS social amenities which will help to create sustainable local communities and mitigate the impacts of decommissioning Trawsfynydd.
“Magnox is committed to providing and enabling socio-economic support for the communities in which it operates.
“Our community investment is supported by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Cavendish Fluor Partnership.”
● Mother and son Amanda and Iwan Williams who run the new Deli at the Banc with Robat Jones from Antur Nantlle