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Llanbedr Airfield

Exciting developments have been announced recently for the airfield.

  1. The site has been earmarked as an Enterprise Zone by the Welsh Government.
  2. The site has been listed as one of eight to be considered as a possible UK Space Port.

A public consultation regarding access to the Airfield has taken place and plans for a village by-pass proposed.

 QinetiQ has announced that their testing programme will start soon:

QinetiQ demonstrated the use of Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) in tackling environmental issues in a one-week project in November 2015.

Snowdonia Aerospace Centre, Llanbedr Airfield, part of Snowdonia Enterprise Zone

Cutting-edge technology combined with an airspace unique in the UK are helping the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre to thrive – with plans to develop the Snowdonia Enterprise Zone site as an international centre of excellence for the next generation of manned and unmanned aircraft systems.
 
2016 has seen the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre host trials of innovative technology vital to environmental monitoring and flood prevention teams thanks to the safe operating environment at Llanbedr Airfield, and the 7,100km² of segregated airspace, stretching out over Cardigan Bay. 
 
The airfield has facilities which make it a prime test location for unmanned aircraft as part of the broader Wales Unmanned Systems environment, but Llanbedr is also a front-runner to become a UK Spaceport site. An operational spaceport would provide the whole of the UK with infrastructure for the aerospace industry – and could mean that in the future spaceplanes carrying passengers and small satellites into space are launched from the Llanbedr runway. 
 
At the heart of the National Park the Snowdonia Enterprise Zone is a priority area for the Welsh Government and home to two unique sites tailor-made for low carbon energy, ICT or aerospace-related businesses – at Llanbedr and Trawsfynydd. Both sites have Tier 1 Area status meaning that some of the UK’s highest levels of financial support can be available.

Snowdonia Aerospace Chief Executive Lee Paul said: “The past 18 months have been about creating the right operating environment, completing the first phase of investment and getting us ready for the future. Already the site has been used to test civil and military craft – wide ranging campaigns from fisheries enforcement projects to hosting a multinational military training exercise involving Malaysian, Japanese and US forces.  
 
“We hope that new developments in 2017 will mean that Llanbedr is even more appealing to world-wide investment. We are now working with partners to put together a package of investments such as on site accommodation, better site access and licensing to instil even greater investor confidence.
 
The airfield at Llanbedr has all the attributes of a former RAF site, plus state-of-the-art facilities following significant investment with more already underway. 
 
Lee Paul continued: “This year, the site has been used by civil and defence bodies but we’re also seeing the much-needed economic benefits that businesses are bringing to the area. We are supporting 15 companies and 50 jobs on site and our analysis suggests that the next phase of investment could see the site support over 100 jobs and deliver some £4.2m to the local economy. 
 
“We’re really pushing the limits of what we can do at the airfield. In the summer – we were proud to be the site of a Guinness World Record first – setting the land speed record for a remote-control car. We’ve established links with commercially-focussed, research universities like Bangor, Aberystwyth and Manchester with specialist areas including ICT, Space, Electronic Engineering and Autonomous Systems.

“Unmanned aircraft, civil drone development and testing along with supporting the UK military defence training programme are two of the core activities scheduled for the future here. The facilities we are developing together with the unique environment make Llanbedr a “one off” venue for special projects and ideal for research and development and testing and evaluation. 

“Thanks to an EE trial this year too, a UK first, we are maximising our Ultrafast Broadband connectivity to provide 4G mobile coverage on site ensuring that our customers have world class service on demand. 

In October Llanbedr hosted an international military operation. Exercise “Vambrace Warrior” saw the British Army join together with multinational units from Malaysia, Japan, Ireland, the US Army and the US Marines in a special mock-training exercise. A spokesperson for the British Army explained: “The exercise allowed us to develop our operational role including long range patrols and advanced observation skills. We were joined by British air defence units making this the largest UK air deployment since 2003. The unique environment and facilities at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre enabled this exercise to become a huge success.”
 
Jeremy Howitt, UAS Campaigns Manager for multinational defence technology company QinetiQ said: “Wales provides the perfect environment for the development, testing and training of the latest innovations in aerospace and the first-class facilities at the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre are ideally suited for all types of manned, unmanned and spaceplane activities. We’re excited about the potential for the commercial uses of unmanned aviation and the economic and environmental benefits this new technology can bring to Wales and the UK.”

Looking ahead to 2017, Lee Paul outlined the importance of ongoing investment and working with the local community. He added: “We know that traffic through the village of Llanbedr can be gridlock at times which is why we’re working with Gwynedd Council. Better access combined with our future development plans for the site is important in generating investor confidence in Llanbedr.
 
“We are creating a world class facility. Our recent Hangar refurbishment and new fuelling capability have been important for that goal. Users of the site have been impressed by the facilities. We want to support future users so we’re also developing accommodation for those running test campaigns. We’re keen to ensure that the locality can benefit as much as possible. As part of our commitment Snowdonia Aerospace Centre has provided the Llanbedr Community Council with a building on site to enable local user groups to continue to operate while their new purpose built facility is being developed in the village.”

For the private-sector led Snowdonia Enterprise Zone board, the priority is now on creating sustainable long term employment opportunities in Meirionnydd and on the Llanbedr site, and for spreading the word world-wide about the unique possibilities at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre. Chair of Snowdonia Enterprise Zone Advisory Board John Idris Jones added: “We know that these are challenging times for Meirionnydd, with limited private sector investment combined with the loss of decommissioning jobs at Trawsfynydd. Snowdonia Aerospace Centre offers real potential for sustainable, well paid jobs going forward and the public and private sector partners are pulling together to grasp the opportunity. From the inception of the zones in 2012/13 there has been major investments in roads, development sites, offices and manufacturing units across Wales.

“Investment into the Snowdonia Enterprise Zone is helping support the development of skills, the capacity for research and development with the long term aim of creating and safeguarding new jobs for the area.”

For Chief Executive Lee Paul, Llanbedr is positioned to support major changes UK Defence forces are experiencing. He concluded: “With the recent announcements to reduce the current MOD landholdings across the country and the closure of several bases, including a number of airfields and training camps, we are offering a cost-effective solution to support the Defence industry and their ongoing training requirements.”

 


 

FRIENDS OF LLANBEDR WOODLANDS

 

Friends of Llanbedr Woodlands is a community voluntary group who work together to improve and maintain the woodlands in and around Llanbedr. They meet during the winter months to clear overgrown areas to encourage greater diversity of wildlife including birds, animals, flowers and insects. They look after footpaths so that the woods become a beneficial resource for the local people to enjoy and value now and in the future.

 

The woodlands include Coed Hafod y Bryn, Coed Aber Artro, Coed Lletywalter and Crafnant nature reserve. The group works with land owners, Snowdonia National Park, Woodland Trust and Wildlife Trust, to improve the ecological status of these woodlands.

 

They hold regular courses to acquire woodland skills, are fully insured, carry out surveys and wish to encourage people of all ages to participate in their activities.

They are members of Llais y Goedwig and are supported by Gwynedd Council Volunteer Fund, Snowdonia National Park CAE fund and The Big Lottery Fund. Their champions are Councillor Annwen Hughes and Rob Booth from the North Wales Wildlife Trust.

 

There was an open afternoon on Sunday April 17th in Coed Hafod y Bryn. Should you be interested in joining the group or learning more about woodland care contact 01341241460.

 

Sunday April

17th 2 -4.30 pm

****************

 Coed Hafod y Bryn, Llanbedr

 Woodland Fun Open Day

A family fun afternoon with woodland crafts, games, bird and bat boxes to make and purchase, face painting, cakes to eat plants for the garden, gifts, competitions and guided walk

 

Entry was free and all monies raised used to benefit nature

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM visit to Woodlands in Llanbedr

Friday 23rd September 2016

 

On 23rd Friday Dwyfor Meirionnydd Assembly Member Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas spent a relaxing and informative afternoon visiting Coed Hafod y Bryn in Llanbedr. He has recently agreed to become one of the Group's Champions supporting the environmental projects of Friends of Llanbedr Woodlands in and around Llanbedr. He was joined by local Councillor Annwen Hughes and Rob Booth, Living Landscapes Officer for North Wales Wildlife Trust.

 

He was welcomed by Friends of Llanbedr Woodlands, Key Strategist, Jacqueline Gilleland, and Councillor Annwen Hughes. During his visit he helped pupils at Ysgol Llanbedr erect bird boxes, which they had made the previous term, under the guidance of Lee Oliver from Keep Wales Tidy. He then walked around the woods meeting group members who were surveying flora to establish its present biodiversity status.

 

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas’ tour continued with a dry stone wall building demonstration, a discussion of the work of Llais y Goedwig with Sara Wynn-Pari and ended with a fruits of the forest punch and scrumptious cakes made by Carol Endacott. Along with Chairman of the Community Council Goronwy Davies, he was also shown a display of woodland crafts by Gari Lewis.

 

In addition, he was shown maps of a proposed network of public rights of way within Llanbedr which includes a circular footpath suitable for disabled people and a new route linking the four woodlands, Coed Aber Artro, Coed Lletywalter, Crafnant and Coed Hafod y Bryn, which will start in the centre of the village. Advice for this project has been received from Access Officer Peter Rutherford of Snowdonia National Park Authority.

 

Jacqueline Gilleland, Friends of Llanbedr group key strategist said:

 

“It was a very useful visit as we feel Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas understands our aims and objectives. His experience and knowledge will benefit the group in our partnership with both Woodland Trust and Snowdonia National Park Authority.

 

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM is also an Independent chair of the Future Landscapes Working Group- formed on behalf of the Welsh Government. Its aim being to examine and consider the future of Wales' National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on which it will report its recommendations to the Welsh Government in the coming months. In particular, the conservation of the landscape, promotion of physical well-being and the encouragement of sustainable forms of economic and community development. Friends of Llanbedr Woodlands hope that their project will give Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM an insight into the enthusiasm and interest of local voluntary groups and their contribution towards conserving the Welsh environment for future generations.

 

After the visit, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM said:

 

“It was a great pleasure to see the work of the Friends of Llanbedr today and to have the opportunity to see the range of environmental projects undertaken by them and others locally- I very much enjoyed the display of traditional crafts and skills along with the rich biodiversity on display at Coed Hafod y Bryn woodland.”

 

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM also said:

 

“Looking at the maps of proposed future networks, I congratulate the partnership work done by local residents, groups and the National Park. It’s obvious to me the Llanbedr is well and truly becoming a destination village in its own right.”

 

If you would like to join any of the group activities please contact Jacqueline Gilleland 01341241460 jacqueline.gilleland@btinternet.com.

 

 

 


 

 New Village Hall

 The Llanbedr Village Hall has been an important centre for the community, but by now, the building does not comply with modern standards. It is therefore time for community members to get in touch with Councillors to decide the future of the centre for the benefit of all the residents. Over the last two years, a group has come together to prepare comprehensive plans for a new village hall. The National Lottery was asked for funding towards the scheme, but unfortunately, the application was unsuccessful.

 

The proposed plan was considered to be too ambitious for community needs, but if we don’t move ahead, the present village hall will not meet the needs of existing users, not to mention the provision of facilities for further enquiries.

 

Get in touch with  post@llanbedr.com immediately to make sure that your needs are being considered.

The details below show the efforts made  over the two years:

 

2012

A group was formed to draw up plans for a new Village Hall.

New Village Hall Project
Since the Committee's establishment at the start of 2012, it has reviewed site options, user requirements (both existing and future),space needs and costs of a new multi purpose village hall. It considered an extended village hall site , prepared a development brief and sought professional advice for the outline design of a building, and submitted grant applications for financial support.
 
Community information took the form of a newsletter distributed to local households, and a community meeting when an outline design was prepared.
January 2013 news:

The initial applications for financial assistance were completed. While designs for a new village hall were developing, the support of  people in the community became essential, so that the right facilities are chosen for different users. This was an opportunity to take part in the project by offering ideas and maybe a few skills that were needed in the complicated work of preparing the details.

April 2013 update  -The architect was appointed to produce outline plans for a new building on an extended site at the location of the present village hall. The aim was to provide facilities for the whole community. 

June 2013 - here is an impression of the architect's initial plan

 

Since September 2012, we had:

- SECURED A COMMITMENT FROM GWYNEDD COUNCIL TO SELL PART OF THE SCHOOL PLAYING FIELD TO US.

- OBTAINED GENEROUS DONATIONS OF MONEY FROM THE LLANBEDR BEER FESTIVAL, LLANBEDR COMMUNITY COUNCIL AND MANTELL GWYNEDD.

- PREPARED A DETAILED DEVELOPMENT BRIEF.

- APPOINTED AN ARCHITECT- SELWYN JONES FROM PENSEL  CYMUNEDOL TO PREPARE PLANS AND ROUGH COSTINGS OF THE NEW VILLAGE HALL.

 - BEEN MAKING PREPARATIONS TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR A LOTTERY GRANT

- PUT  CANOLFAN ARTRO ON THE OPEN MARKET .

- Held a public meeting and with the support of the Village, we intend to submit a lottery application before the Summer.

 

July 2013 our Outline Proposal for lottery funding was successful, and we were given permission to proceed to a full application.

December 2013  The planning application was  approved by Snowdonia National Park.

August 2014  Lottery application declined.

 

January 2015  New plans for extending and improving the existing building submitted to Snowdonia National Park. New Outline Proposal submitted to National Lottery.

February 2015 New Outline Proposal accepted by National Lottery and permission to proceed to a full application.

 

 


 

An Exhibition and Consultation regarding the new plans was held at the Village Hall between 12.00 and 19.00 on Thursday 21st May 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2015 National Lottery bid successful

 2016  Volunteers from the Community Council and Canolfan Gymdeithasol Llanbedr have worked hard to prepare the old canteen at the airfield as a temporary venue for activities while the village hall will be refurbished during the summer and autumn months (as from  1 August 2016).

The aim of the refurbished village hall project is to provide a centre for the whole community. A new committee will be established to organize activities and oversee the running of the village hall. This is a great opportunity for many people who have views about the needs of residents. Please contact  post@llanbedr.com  to let us know about your interests and ideas.

 

 

 

September 2016  Contractors start work on Village Hall refurbishment.

 


 Côr Meibion Ardudwy has been an integral part of the Llanbedr community for 60 years, and the Village Hall has been used continuously as a practice centre throughout that time.

www.cormeibionardudwy.co.uk/

 

 

The Huchenfeld Accordion Band visited the area during the week 20-26 May 2013. We enjoyed great performances by the Accordion Band together with  Côr Meibion Ardudwy.    _______________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The choir visited Estonia from 28 October to 4 November 2013, and performed in concerts in Tallinn and Pärnu.
 
 
 

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We acknowledge Wikimedia Commons as a picture source

Rhinogau Panorama: Veleva/cc-by-sa-2.5

Elffin yn darganfod Taliesin/Anatiomaros

Salem: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ladylever/collections/salem.asp

Llyn Du: Gwilym Morrison/ Rubisco