Bakers, brewers and baristas: breathing new life into a historic Welsh harbour town

From left, Baroness Andrews, Ceri Phillips, Ideas, People, Places Project, Gwynedd County Council, Ioan Thomas, Chair of Caernarfon
HLF has earmarked £3.3million to regenerate the former slate quay on Caernarfon waterfront, transforming it into a vibrant shopping and tourist hotspot fit for the craftsmen of today.

Supported through the Heritage Enterprise programme, shops and craft spaces will be coupled with tourist accommodation as part of an ‘artisan quarter’, celebrating the site’s historic purpose as a place of manufacturing thanks to both the slate quay and iron works that once dominated the waterfront.

The island site is being visited today by the newly appointed UK Trustee and Chair of HLF Wales, Baroness Kay Andrews, who is thrilled by the plans: “Our heritage is a tremendous asset and it is already clear that this award from funds raised by the National Lottery will make a real difference to people, places and communities.

“This ambitious project for a national landmark site is a perfect example of how our past can become an economic driver for today, creating new jobs, more visitors and a real sense of pride for the people who call Caernarfon home.”

The Heritage Enterprise programme’s sole purpose is to support economic growth by investing in neglected historic buildings and bringing them back into commercial use. By working with not-for-profit organisations, Heritage Enterprise also encourages private sector investment as well as levering in additional funding from government and local authorities.

Lying at the gateway to Snowdonia National Park and nestled between a world-famous castle and the Welsh Highland Railway, Caernarfon boasts a unique waterfront steeped in centuries of history. In former years slate was unloaded on the quay before being sent around the world for roofing, and iron was forged before being used in such historic buildings as the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey by Brunswick Ironworks.

Now, thanks to National Lottery players, Caernarfon waterfront can once again become home to Welsh craftsmen of the 21st century, helping knit modern Caernarfon together with its proud industrial heritage.

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