Former bank site checks in

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

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

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