Sunday, 21 October 2012

Roll up! Roll up to the Pengwern.

Since March 2011 the community has owned the Pengwern Hotel and it is run democratically through a management board and board of directors elected annually by shareholders. The building was improved by means of voluntary work enabling the bar and function room to be reopened in May 2011. By July 2012 the kitchen was brought up to standard and the restaurant was opened for business.

Watercolour of the Pengwern by David Cox about 1830
by kind permission of the Martin Gregory Gallery, London
The vision is to restore and develop the Pengwern over time to create a first class resource; a pub, restaurant, hotel and eco-accommodation of high standard which will also be a social and educational centre. The aim is to provide local employment and a prosperous business with all the benefit coming to the community. This is part of a wider vision for the Ffestiniog area whereby local resources are developed by social enterprises, owned and run for the benefit of the area and the entire community. This way forward is becoming an example and an inspiration to communities throughout Wales.


The management board and directors of the Pengwern wish to express their gratitude to the residents of Llan Ffestiniog and to supporters everywhere for their ready and continuing support. There are several ways of helping the Pengwern:

1. Some 180 people have bought shares in the company, to the value of £33,000. The more shareholdings there are the greater the chances of succeeding with grant applications to develop the building. In order to finance the next phase of the development programme a target of an extra £5,000 in shares has been set. This will enable the detailed plans for the improvements to the buildings to go ahead. Thus, those who have already purchased shares are asked to consider adding to their investment in a business which has now proved its success. New shareholders, locally and nationally, are also invited to become part of this pioneering venture. The minimum shareholding is £100 and, as we are a co-operative company, each shareholder has one vote irrespective of the number of shares held.

2. One of the main aims of the Pengwern is to provide local employment opportunities. By July 2012 seven people were employed part time. Until such time that the business is fully developed the venture depends upon volunteers to do much of the work. More than 60 people have already contributed their labour freely in various ways; work on the building and garden as well as bar, cleaning and admin work and raising money, planning and organising. There are also opportunities to volunteer in several other ways such as marketing, with entertainment and with environmental, social, educational and cultural aspects of the venture.

3. Supporting the pub and restaurant and the hotel once the bedrooms have been done up. The success of the growing programme of entertainment and environmental, social and cultural events depends upon widespread support.

4. Becoming a Friend of the Pengwern at a membership cost of £1. The greater the membership the stronger are our applications for grants. Becoming a Friend enables us also to keep in touch about events and developments at the Pengwern.

If you want to get more information, buy shares or volunteer please contact: Y Pengwer, Sqwar yr Eglwys, Llan Ffestiniog, Gwynedd LL41 4PB. Tel: 01766 762200 email:

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