A £4 million project designed to put Blaenau Ffestiniog back on the map has reached completion.
The Blaenau Ffestiniog Regeneration project was implemented by Gwynedd County Council, working in partnership with the Welsh Government and local community group Blaenau Ymlaen (Blaenau Forward). The scheme was designed specifically to rejuvenate the area and improvement works were carried out on existing retail units, public realm areas and to key gateways into the town.
As part of the scheme public transport was also improved, with the creation of a transport hub that caters for rail, coach, buses and bikes. Meanwhile, the town’s unique creativity was reflected through the installation of new pieces of public art.
Pryderi Rhisiart, Gwynedd County Council, said:
“The aim of the project was to ensure that the town is a great place to live and visit and the scheme celebrates the unique culture and heritage of the town, maximising its most important assets – its people, language and landscape.
“Along with the physical works, the project supports 13 businesses – with grants towards new shop fronts – and was designed to develop a brand for the area which is backed by a strong marketing campaign.
“Social benefits feature as a strong part of the scheme with five pathways to apprenticeships also being created.”
Work began on the Blaenau Ffestiniog Regeneration project in November 2011 and reached completion in November 2012. Sion Williams of Capita Symonds Ltd was the project manager, whilst Balfour Beatty Regional Civil Engineering Ltd was the main contractor on the project.
Miller Research Group and Macgregor Smith Landscape Architects designed and developed the concepts on the scheme.
During the course of the regeneration project existing businesses, which were included as part of the scheme, remained open to the public, so site staff worked closely with the business community to ensure that work did not interrupt trading hours. Community involvement was key throughout the project, with over 15 events held to update residents and gather opinions on the work.
Commenting on the importance of the project, Pryderi said:
“The vision was to create an exciting, vibrant and attractive place to live, work and to visit, that is renowned for culture and the arts, as well as a strong sense of community and the stunning environment.”
“The project is a key strategic project for Gweynedd County Council as Blaenau Ffestiniog has been recognised as having huge potential for regeneration. By developing the infrastructure of the town and working with other key developments such as the Antur Stiniog downhill cycling facility we believe that the project will be a catalyst for private sector involvement in the area.
“The Blaenau Ffestiniog Regeneration project goes beyond bricks and mortar; it raises confidence and pride in the town.”