Nyth 3.21m steps closer

Nyth (our new home) has secured £3.21m for the transformation of the grade-II listed St Mary’s Church in Bangor city centre.

To date the project has been allocated £1.8m from the National Lottery, administrated through Arts Council of Wales, £1.2m through Cyngor Gwynedd by Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme, £200,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation and £10,000 from The Douglas Pennant Family Foundation.

Once complete, the new centre 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:

“For the full plan to be realised we need £3.8m so we’re now over 80% towards our target which is magnificent.”

“The support mean we can move forward quickly with our original timeline, which includes starting the building work in 2021.”

A crowdfunding campaign has also been launched to help us reach our £3.8m target. The #Nyth30k online initiative will aim to raise £30,000 through individual giving over the weeks leading up to the construction work starting. People can donate through or by texting NYTH30K and the donation sum to 70085 (i.e. NYTH30K 5 will donate £5).

Gethin Evans, Artistic Director of Frân Wen said:

“The impact of Covid 19 on our young people, our communities and the creative sector is far-reaching. We hope Nyth will be buzzing with activity and play a key role in restoring the confidence of these communities as they look forward to a new and better future. This is a great opportunity for us to broaden our program, and raise the profile of the arts as a vehicle to inspire and make a difference to individuals’ lives.”

“We’d like to thank Arts Council Wales, Cyngor Gwynedd, Welsh Government, the Garfield Weston Foundation and The Douglas Pennant Family Foundation for their on-going support, for their on-going support, and for showing confidence in the plan.”

The funding announcement comes as the project recently gained final planning approval and listed building consent for the transformation of the old city centre church.

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, creative spaces for artist residencies and outdoor multi-purpose spaces.

Phil George, Chair, Arts Council of Wales, said:

“Fran Wen are a dynamic company who have had a transformative impact on the lives and creativity of young people. Their new home will be crucial in driving their work forward and create new and exciting possibilities. This will also be a fantastic example of the role the arts can play in community regeneration, by repurposing a building that has seen better days, and turning it into a vibrant, creative hub that will offer opportunities for the local community.”

Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, said:

“The regeneration of the old Church building in Bangor will not only contribute to the transformation of the city centre but provide a place where young people can come together. This is a fantastic example of how support though our Transforming Towns programme can be used to breathe new life into an old building and create a creative hub that will be an asset to the local community.”

Councillor Gareth Thomas, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Community, said:

“Gwynedd Council is very supportive of the Nyth project. It is an important strategic project for Bangor that will positively contribute towards the regeneration of the city centre”

The tendering stage for the construction will begin in February, with on-site construction expected to start in mid 2021.

Nyth updates