Community Hub: Inaugural Welsh project from Pub is The Hub with backing of The Royal Countryside Fund helps support the wellbeing of locals.
The Ty’n Llan in Llandwrog, Wales, was the first pub to be supported as part of a two-year programme for Wales from Pub is The Hub and The Prince’s Countryside Fund, now renamed The Royal Countryside Fund (RCF).
Pub is The Hub is supporting a variety of projects in rural areas across Wales after receiving a grant of £25,000 from RCF.
The Ty’n Llan in Llandwrog, Wales, was a privately owned pub that closed in 2017. With no other facilities or places to meet in the village, people felt a huge sense of loss with Ty’n Llan being closed, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, where community life became even more important for people’s health and wellbeing.
Informal conversations with the residents saw a strong desire to see the pub reopened and a public meeting over Zoom in February 2021 was attended by over 100 households. Menter Ty’n Llan was established in March 2021 as a Community Benefit Society to help with this aim.
News that the pub was up for sale saw over 1,000 people invest in the share issue to raise enough funds to buy the pub in June 2021.
The Grade-II listed building, which was built around 1855 by Lord Newborough to support his Glynllifon Estate, reopened after repairs and decoration in December 2021. Volunteers worked to prepare the building for reopening with several weeks of repairs and painting while they also set about cutting the grass and tidying up the garden.
Since reopening the pub Menter Ty’n Llan has carried out £650k of further restoration supported by the UK Community Ownership Fund, Welsh Gov Community Facilities Programme and WCVA CADF Fund. They have also been awarded further funding from National Lottery for further works.
The aim of reopening the pub was not just to have it trading again but to enrich the lives of local residents by bringing people together.
The vision was to create a busy community hub, encouraging a wide range of ages and interest groups to come together by providing a welcoming place to eat, drink and socialise. The aim was also to have a dedicated space where social and special interest groups – so long deprived of an adequate facility – could meet and thrive.
New clubs have been formed including a chair exercise group, book club, walking club, coffee morning and Welsh learners’ group.
A Pub is The Hub Community Services Grant (assisted by RCF) was provided to help support the pub’s calendar of social events, groups and volunteer opportunities.
The grant helped with the purchase of equipment to support the community and its groups, including a crock pot, soup warmer, bingo machine, portable PA, garden tools, IT equipment, PlayStation, iPad, and garden tools.
All the equipment is being used extensively across the different groups and clubs at the pub. For example, Welsh and French language clubs are using all the IT equipment to support their members.
Groups and volunteering opportunities
The Pub is The Hub grant has also helped to support the lunch club for the over 60s, quiz and bingo evenings for all the community, and the local clubs including a young people’s group, which have Chromebooks and a PlayStation for educational sessions, entertainment and socialising.
There are now also opportunities for volunteers to be involved in the upkeep of the garden, which includes a sensory and wellbeing corner, for all the community to enjoy.
Boosting health and well-being
As well as bringing people together these groups are benefitting attendees by promoting well-being and decreasing feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
The range of activities has created a real sense of community, has improved people’s health and wellbeing through volunteering, socialising and learning new skills. People who would never have previously visited Ty’n Llan as a pub, now visit on a regular basis to participate in activities and meet friends.
The project is not just about people attending the pub but about supporting the wider community. Older people that cannot leave home due to health reasons can also have a hot meal delivered to their door.
The pub’s groups and activities are also enabling volunteers to develop new skills and school pupils are enjoying being part of a community activity and networking with the older population.
Menter Ty’n Llan chairperson Caryl Lewis, said:
“Re-opening Ty’n Llan as a community enterprise has been so rewarding and it has created a real buzz and a sense of purpose for many. Ty’n Llan has also created vital services and opportunities for a rural community. We have no facilities here in the village, no shop, community centre and we lack public transport.
She added: “Due to Covid-19 people were feeling very isolated and lonely, and so Ty’n Llan has created a focal point, a place to gather, to meet friends new and old, learn new skills and socialise. We are grateful for the contribution from Pub is the Hub, which will help us further develop our events and activities for the community. The journey is only beginning, we have many exciting plans to come.”
What the Pub is The Hub Advisor said
Wales regional advisor for Pub is The Hub Malcolm Harrison said: “The Menter Ty’n Llan has established the Ty’n Llan as a pub that is truly at the heart of its community. It has become the hub of the area and the focus of activities for those in the village.
“It is tackling the ever-growing societal issues of loneliness and social isolation for those living locally and bringing people together.”