Grants help to give Porthmadog shops a new and improved look
If you’ve been to Porthmadog recently, it’s likely that you will have noticed that some of the town’s buildings have been transformed.
A total of 14 properties have received financial support to improve their appearance including new signage, painting, new doors and windows thanks to the Porthmadog Town Centre Partnership Shop Front Improvement grant.
A total of £10,000 grant support was available for the scheme through contributions by Porthmadog Town Council and the town’s Chamber of Trade. This total has resulted in more than £29,000 of private investment in the buildings, which means that for every £1 that has been offered as a grant, property owners have been contributing on average almost £3 of their own money towards the work.
One property which has benefited from the grant is Rob Piercy Gallery in the town. The gallery has been transformed following substantial work to the frontage in order to display artwork. Rob was very keen to use local contractors in order to ensure the maximum benefit to the economy by keeping the money local.
Rob, who has been running the gallery in Porthmadog since 1986, said: “As part of the ongoing development of our retail premises on Snowdon Street, we needed to upgrade the old shop front. It hadn’t been altered since it was the town’s library, many moons ago, and replace it with an exterior which would be in keeping with our art gallery and picture framing business.
“The cost of totally replacing the shop front was substantial as we were determined to reverse the tacky trend of our high streets these days of using cheap plastic frontages. We decided instead to use a timber front built locally at Penamser industrial estate in Porthmadog by a local craftsman. Unfortunately good quality work comes at a price and it was therefore a big help to be able to receive the grant from the Porthmadog Town Centre Partnership Shop Improvement Scheme. It went some way to helping us achieve our objective.”
Porthmadog Town Centre Partnership have been actively working over the past months developing ideas to attract more visitors and residents to the town in order to boost the local economy.
Councillor Selwyn Griffiths, who is a member of the Partnership, said: “I’m extremely pleased that this scheme has been a success with all the funds now allocated. The visual appearance of shops is vitally important in order to attract people here to shop. There is no doubt, that some of the businesses that received a grant have been able to move forward to complete their improvements sooner and that the external appearance of the shops are more attractive.
“Not only do the shops look better, but the money has gone to local builders to carry out the work.”
Councillor Nia Jeffreys, who represents Porthmadog’s east ward on Gwynedd Council noted: “As a newly elected Councillor for Porthmadog I am impressed by the work the Patrnership has done to improve the look of our High Street.
“We are very lucky in Porthmadog to have so many independent shops selling everything from flowers, to paintings, to toys, to pottery, to burgers! All these small businesses make a vital contribution to our local economy and I am pleased to see the Council support them.”
The Porthmadog Town Centre Partnership is funded by Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council.