Cemaes Community Interest Company (CIC) has secured planning consent to develop a 100 cover restaurant, community hub, visitor attraction for the 111 year old Charles Henry Ashley lifeboat, two retail outlets, a boutique cinema and holiday let in Cemaes Bay, Anglesey at the Capel Bethlehem Site overlooking the stunning bay and ancient harbour.
This major breakthrough is the cumulation of 15 months hard work by a group of nine dedicated volunteers who are committed to protecting the historic site from potential property development to create a vibrant community hub for local employment, training and skills development opportunities and a permanent home for the Classic lifeboat when it is not at sea (September – May).
Michelle Humphreys, Cemaes CIC Chair commented: “We are delighted to announce that we have been granted planning permission for this ambitious ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to create a new jewel in Anglesey’s crown for the benefit of the whole community and the island’s vital tourism economy.”
“Special thanks are extended to all the Llanbadrig Parish residents who have supported the project by attending public events to provide their valuable feedback and insight to help shape the decisions for this grassroots, community-led project. We would also like to say a huge thank you to; local charitable trust Cronfa Padrig who awarded Cemaes CIC £16,566 funding for the project’s development phase, the Capel Bethlehem Cemaes Trustees for believing in our vision, Russell Hughes Cyf Architects, Llangefni for all their support along the way and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for its generous award of £150,000 Magnox socio-economic scheme funding as early adopters to back this transformational development.”
Jonathan Jenkin, NDA Stakeholder Relations and Socio Economics Manager added: “Support for this project forms part of a £7m package of NDA funding invested in Anglesey since 2005. This mitigates the socio-economic impacts of decommissioning and helps to build a sustainable future long after Wylfa site has closed. The Magnox socio-economic scheme is providing invaluable support in the early stages of this transformational project, bringing much needed employment opportunities and boost the island’s economy through tourism to the area.”
The Capel Bethlehem Development project will bring £2m capital investment into Cemaes, provide 28 jobs in the restaurant, retail units, holiday let and the tourist attraction/cinema that will be open all year round.
The social enterprise’s business model is to lease the 100 cover restaurant on a ten year, renewable lease and lease the two retail units on a five year, renewable lease. The revenue generated from these business enterprises and that of the holiday let will provide the revenue costs of the community hub and visitor attraction and the maintenance costs for all buildings. A community skills development fund will be created from 50% of the enterprise’s profits to support the aspirations of local people by removing some of the financial difficulties of seeking employment and training.