Grŵp Cynefin takes pride in a local community enterprise, Siop Griffiths Thursday 9 January 2020

Just nine months since opening its doors, Grŵp Cynefin is proud of the confidence and initiative of the community at Penygroes, Dyffryn Nantlle, as Siop Griffiths, a community venture on the high street goes from strength to strength.

Grŵp Cynefin takes pride in a local community enterprise, Siop Griffiths

Siop Griffiths Ltd is a community benefit enterprise giving local people a voice, and since opening the café, Yr Orsaf, on Penygroes high street in February, visitors have been flocking to sample the sweet and savoury dishes available whilst enjoying a cup of tea or coffee.

Ben Gregory, Grŵp Cynefin’s senior community officer who has been supporting the group, said: “£900,000 of European funding, Welsh Government, Lottery and a number of smaller trusts have been secured over the last two years. It’s amazing to think that a small group of local people here in Gwynedd have been able to attract so much investment. This is in addition to the £54,000 raised locally by 150 shareholders for the original purchase of the building.

“Local people should be applauded for their vision, confidence and enterprise skills associated with this project. But most of all, they should be praised for their hard work and dedication to the scheme. It is a huge credit to the community that Yr Orsaf is open and that the parlwr is now also available for community hire as a meeting or small events location. The first acoustic gig was held at Yr Orsaf a few weeks ago, so the venue is fast becoming established as a social activity hub for the community to come together and enjoy.”

A business has been run from Siop Griffiths for 90 years, and as one of the oldest buildings in the village, it was important that the building, which dates back to 1829, should continue as a place of work.

The next stage of the scheme is to open a digital training centre, where young people can come to use the resources, be creative and learn new skills - activities such as film making, music and podcasts. The centre is set to open in the New Year.

There are also plans in the pipeline to develop a 16 bed accommodation for groups or families during the coming year.

“Grŵp Cynefin has offered technical advice to the board during the past two years,” explains Ben Gregory. “We have supported the group with building plans, advice, design and paperwork for the development.

“When there was a problem with a funding grant shortfall, we were able to draw on the professional experience of the housing association and offer a different path to reach a specific goal. The collaboration has been very positive and we are proud of the success of the enterprise.”

Councillor Judith Humphreys, who represents Penygroes residents on Gwynedd Council, said: “It’s been refreshing to see Yr Orsaf opening its doors and seeing the support of local people for the business objectives. With the local history of Siop Griffiths on the high street, it was important to continue the long standing tradition of the location and safeguard its heritage. Our heartfelt thanks must go to a number of people for persevering with the vision and working so diligently to reach this stage of the project. The enterprise brings work to the area and offers training to young people - two very important aspects for this part of Gwynedd. There is more work to be done and I look forward to continuing to work with the management board over the coming months.”

For more information about the enterprise visit: Yr Orsaf on Facebook or email: / 07410 982467.

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