Nyth planning secured!

Planning permission has been granted to restore a former grade 2 listed church in Bangor into a creative centre for young people.

Nyth, the new home for Welsh language theatre company Frân Wen, has gained final planning approval and listed building consent for the transformation of the old St Mary’s Church in the city centre.

Gethin Evans, Frân Wen Artistic Director, said: “We’d like to thank the local people for their support during this process. Ultimately we aim to ensure their ownership is at the heart of our programming and the buildings future – one that involves young people, communities, artists and the people of North West Wales.”

The plans include creating a new ground-level entrance that will provide equal access to the building. It will also include a small, informal performance and rehearsal space, an underground studio and creative spaces for artist residencies.

Once complete, Nyth will become a creative hub where young people and artists can develop their ideas and create exceptional and relevant theatre that speaks from North West Wales to the rest of the country and beyond.

Irfon Jones, independent chairman of the Frân Wen board, said: “This is another exciting step forward for an exceptional new hub that will give young people equal access to the creative arts.”

“Our search for a new home has taken 5 years, and a lot of hard work, so it’s extremely pleasing to reach this important phase.”

The initial design and development stage has secured financial support from the Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government’s Targeted Regeneration Investment Programme and the Architectural Heritage Fund.

Sian Tomos, Arts Development Director, Arts Council of Wales, said: “Frân Wen has been one of the cornerstones of theatre in Wales and for over three decades has entertained and inspired thousands of children and young people. They’ve provided countless career opportunities and have nurtured a whole host of stage technicians, actors, producers and writers along the way.

“We’re delighted to be supporting this scheme which brings the company closer to the community.”

Frân Wen aim to bring a new lease of life to this important local heritage building and bring it back into use as a home for the company and a community asset which will contribute to the regeneration and cultural offer of the region.

Bangor City councillor Luke Tugwell, who represents the Hirael ward where he grew up, said: “I played in the grounds daily growing up in the adjacent street, and like many local people attended numerous functions and events here throughout my life, so I’m really pleased the site will be in use again for such an exciting project after many years of neglect.

“It will be a huge asset to Bangor’s city centre.”

The construction phase is expected to start in mid 2021.