Member Article

An important step for a new innovative Gwynedd health and wellbeing scheme

Plans to develop a community health and well-being project in Dyffryn Nantlle, Gwynedd is about to take its first step, according to housing association Grŵp Cynefin.

Situated in the village of Penygroes is the vision to create a modern, bespoke hub for the community to access health, dental, pharmacy, preventative services, social services, care for the elderly, offices, a crèche facility and an arts space all on one site.

Central to the plan will be community-based activities that encourage well-being, in addition to educational and intergenerational elements. Activities that bring the older and younger population within communities together to socialise has proven an effective tool in promoting the health and well-being of residents in other communities

The first phase of this ambitious project between Grŵp Cynefin, Cyngor Gwynedd, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Cwmni Theatr Bara Caws will be the demolition of the old buildings on site at the centre of Penygroes village.

It is anticipated that the work will begin at the end of September under strict health and safety restrictions, as part of the planning process. Grŵp Cynefin purchased the site for the proposed scheme in Penygroes back in August 2019.

Grŵp Cynefin’s chief executive, Shan Lloyd Williams said: “There has been tremendous work on-going behind the scenes over the past year to reach this important milestone. The plans for the concept of a community health and well-being centre bodes well.

“Our consultation with the local community to share our vision has been very positive. We had strong support from the young people of the area and from members of the community living in Penygroes, Llanllyfni, Groeslon, Llanwnda, Talysarn and Fron.

“It is a largescale scheme that can bring real benefits to Dyffryn Nantlle and Gwynedd, and the fact that the Welsh language and culture forms such a core part of the scheme is vital to the partners and the community that it serves. We will now be working on the master planning document as a next step in the development process.”

Gwynedd Council’s health and well being cabinet member and deputy leader, Councillor Dafydd Meurig, said: “The scheme is exciting and innovative, and the first of its kind here in North Wales. As a Council, we have agreed to invest £3.5m into the project and look forward to working with partners to secure the full investment.

“With key health services increasingly collaborating on-site such as local doctors, dentists and pharmacists - the integrated element of the scheme for the community is important.”

Wyn Thomas, Assistant Area Director of Primary Care for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “Bringing services and care closer to people’s homes is a central part of the Health Board’s vision for providing health services in the future.

“The development in Penygroes will provide a focal point for primary care and community-based health services in the area, as well as services from our partner organisations, all under one roof.

“The development provides an opportunity for the Corwen House Surgery, serving the area, to have access to a modern building and work closely with other service and agencies for the benefit of their patients.

“We’ve seen great success with similar developments elsewhere in north Wales and look forward to developing more detailed plans over the coming months.”

The Welsh Government has endorsed the vision and has contributed financial support through an ICF grant to develop the planning stages.

At the end of September, work will begin on site with the demolition of the old buildings, following a period of securing site boundaries, a procurement process to appoint a contractor and confirmation from the local authority’s planning permission to demolish the former buildings.

Further consultation will shortly take place with residents of the local community to share the detailed planning design that has been created for the site.

The completion of the project’s master planning will also continue in earnest. It is envisaged that the scheme is completed in three years’ time.

Grŵp Cynefin manages 4800 homes in North Wales and North Powys. It is responsible for extra care schemes in Holyhead, Porthmadog, Bala and Ruthin. The housing association has also developed three centres offering community support, training or business opportunities at Yr Hwb in Denbigh; The Shed in Meliden and Congl Meinciau in Botwnnog, Gwynedd.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Alice Lee .

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