Gwynedd older people new development brings economic benefits Thursday 21 February 2019

A major new building project for older people in Gwynedd has given 12 north Wales apprentices valuable experience of the building industry, with 92% of the workforce also living in the region.

Gwynedd older people new development brings economic benefits

Grŵp Cynefin housing association’s £7.8 million Hafod y Gest development in Porthmadog has recently opened, allowing older people from the area to benefit from a new independent lifestyle facility in a safe community environment with flexible care services available.

Hafod y Gest is a partnership development between Gwynedd Council and Grŵp Cynefin developed by Anwyl Construction. It is located in the heart of the town and community of Porthmadog, and close to the shops and facilities. The development consists of 26 two-bedroom apartments and 14 one-bedroom apartments and boasts communal areas, including a dining room, lounges, gardens and activity rooms.

85% of the workforce who worked on the development project lived within a 30mile radius, in north west Wales with seven of the apprentices also travelling within the same locality. In addition, 93% of the goods, services and overheads of the Hafod y Gest contract was spent with small and medium sized businesses in Wales.

As main contractor, Anwyl Construction set a targeted recruitment approach within Gwynedd and north Wales and appointed a strong supply chain, purchasing goods and recruiting trainees as locally as possible. Some of the training opportunities included trades such as scaffolding, technical & design, joinery, bricklaying, mechanical & electrical, plumbing, cladding, logistics and dry wall fixing apprenticeships.

Carina Roberts, community services director at Grŵp Cynefin said: “Giving local people the opportunity to benefit from our building projects, is one of our core values, as an organisation.

“Economic prosperity as well as training and community benefits played a key role in the development of Hafod y Gest, and we are delighted that this project has reached its fruition in Porthmadog.”

Tom Anwyl, managing director of the construction division at Anwyl Construction said: “Having been present in Porthmadog for a substantial time whilst developing Hafod y Gest, we’re thrilled to have been able to contribute to the local community, Gwynedd and North Wales in such a positive way.

“Whilst at times, the project has been challenging from a construction point of view, the targeted approach to procuring this project has created a fantastic scheme with many great outcomes for local people and Welsh businesses.”

Shan Lloyd Williams, Grŵp Cynefin chief executive said: “Developing a project of this magnitude within a town centre location has a knock on effect on the community. As we arrive at this important juncture, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their support and patience during the development stages. We wish the new residents of Hafod y Gest well as they settle into their new homes.”

One of the new residents, Mrs Penelope Drew who hasn’t been enjoying the best of health recently said: “I’m looking forward to settling in and having my own space again. I had a fall at home in Tremadog back in August, and broke my hip so spent a number of months at Ysbyty Alltwen.

“I’ve since been recuperating at a residential home in Criceth, so now I’m on the road to recovery, I’m ready to settle back into my own space again.

“My family have been busy getting the flat ready for me, putting up curtains, sorting my bed and carrying my things to the new flat at Hafod y Gest. It’s like a beautiful hotel, and I’m looking forward to settling in properly. Everyone has been extremely kind.”

Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Care, Councillor Gareth Roberts said: “We celebrate the fact that residents are settling into their brand new extra care housing development. It allows older people from the area to benefit from an independent lifestyle in a safe and secure community.

“We are delighted that this major construction project has benefitted the Gwynedd workforce, the local economy and ensured young people have been given traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities.”

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