Adding value to empty spaces in a way that responds to the needs of local communities
An open call was published on Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig’s social media to find communities or organizations that owned a vacant building and were looking for ideas on how to use it. Following the impact of the pandemic, many organizations are facing the challenge of diversifying the use of their spaces as smaller numbers of individuals need to be accommodated immediately. Other organizations are keen to look for new ways to attract income as they lose income by traditional means.
Following the open call, a workshop was held in April 2021 to come up with new ideas on how to use the empty spaces. 10 organizations came together during the workshop: Siop Griffiths (Penygroes), Antur Aelhaearn, Llanaelhaearn Church, Antur Waunfawr, Llyn Maritime Museum (Nefyn), CBC Textiles (Bethel), Caernarfon Town Council, Tafarn yr Heliwr (Nefyn), Nantlle Barracks and Blaenau Ffestiniog Town Council.
Not only was the workshop an opportunity for everyone to share ideas about use for their spaces, but it was also an opportunity for people to network and identify opportunities to work together and share skills. Some themes stood out when sharing ideas: creation and re-use space, art space, community cinema, youth club, and local markets.
After the workshop, each organization was asked to prepare an action plan communicating their ideas so that AGW understands everyone’s requirements and looks at how to support as many spaces as possible.
Resolved to support the following organizations/spaces:
– Bro Ffestiniog Community Center to create a pop-up shop, local market, and co-working space
– Siop Griffiths to establish a co-working space