In 2014 following a village meeting and vote it was decided that the Canolfan Y Fron Committee would proceed with their Community Plan. They put together a business plan for retaining the school building and sports field for community use with the school building as a Village Community Centre. They felt they needed an income generating activity to build up financial reserves for capital expenditure and act as a financial safety net.

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On 5th May 2015 Gwynedd Council offered the village a lease on the school building. However, the offer came with the strict condition that the funding must come from the current round of the Big Lottery Fund.

Planning permission was successful in June 2016 and the group were awarded £946,851 from the lottery the following November. With a further £195,000 from the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities Programme awarded in June 2017.

The plans are to;

  • Renovate closed village school building to become a community hub
  • Regenerate the village and local area
  • Restore lost services
    • Cafe
    • Shop
    • Community rooms
    • Treatment Room
    • Changing rooms
  • 18 Bed bunkhouse

Lesson Learned

  • It is essential to keep the community on board
  • Funding streams can conflict
  • Old buildings consume contingency allocations
  • Old buildings add programme time
  • Contractors and lead professionals have their own agendas and tastes
  • Professionals will not always listen to client’s local knowledge and/or opinions
  • You must be tough
  • Need a good team especially a detail person
  • Need to manage internal communications
  • Workload keeps growing
  • Lots and lots of friends out there
  • Opposition has made us more thorough and resilient