Galeri Caernarfon

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Galeri Caernarfon's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Galeri Caernarfon is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Chief Executive Gwyn Roberts
Galeri is home to 13
resident companies and is a
popular centre for people to
socialise and meet
Galeri Caernarfon was founded in 1992 as one element
of a collaborative rescue mission involving the public,
private and third sectors. Its aim was to rescue the town
of Caernarfon physically, economically and psychologically
from a cycle of decay and depression into which it had sunk.
The cycle was at a low ebb in 1992 when over 50 per cent of
the properties in the historic walled town of Caernarfon were
either vacant, derelict or for sale. Chief Executive Gwyn Roberts
A large part of the initial motivation to establish Galeri was about proving that the
local people of the area could carry out a full rescue mission if they were given the
adequate resources and time. While it is true that the public sector organisations
active in the area have provided substantial resources to elements of the
regeneration effort over the past 28 years, that provision has been rather sporadic
in nature and sometimes extremely difficult to align with what we, the primary
third sector organisation as part of the regeneration effort, deemed necessary.
We determined at the outset to establish ourselves as an effective and independent
organisation that was to be owned and run locally for the benefit of the area
and its people – in perpetuity. The community, through Galeri, was to own the
community assets and was to use those assets to create changes that responded to
their needs and not to constantly changing public policy objectives or to the whims
of big, remote corporations.
»Chief Executive: Gwyn Roberts
»Founded in 1992
»Based in Caernarfon, Wales
»Services: The arts, creative
industries, community
development and
»No. of employees: 50
Galeri Caernarfon
Highlighting best practice
What we did
Our mission statement states that our
aim is: “to pursue economic, cultural,
environmental and well-being projects
for the benefit of Caernarfon and its
environs”. From 1992 to 1999 we met
our mission statement’s aims by buying
and renovating 20 properties in the
town centre and encouraging their re-
use. This intensive physical improvement
programme had a number of profound
effects. Longstanding eyesores
were brought back into use and
this acted as a catalyst for others to
improve properties. As properties
became reoccupied, the town felt less
threatening, and returning businesses
and residents improved the economic
performance of Caernarfon.
By the early 2000s, we were actively
engaging with the public and private
sectors and sharing our vision to build
the Galeri Creative Enterprise Centre.
After a lengthy and difficult project
development period and design phase,
the centre was finally opened in March
2005. The centre houses a 400-seat
theatre, two large multi-use studios,
a visual arts exhibition area, 27 work
units for creative or artistic work and a
bar and restaurant.
In 2016, we spent over £100,000 of our
own money in improving the catering
facilities and ambience of the informal
public spaces, and in 2018 we extended
the original Galeri building by 50 per
cent to provide two new cinema screens
together with new retail and additional
project facilities. Since opening in 2005
we have produced a varied professional
artistic programme which runs in
parallel with an extensive community
programme primarily centred on the
arts and creativity but also including
health and well-being projects.
We are heavily involved in the wider
economic and physical regeneration
of Caernarfon and its environs.
We are currently involved as
project managers of the Cei Llechi
development in collaboration with
the Caernarfon Harbour Trust. This
development is a £5-million scheme
The opening of the new
cinema in September
2018 has opened the
venue to new audiences
The new foyer offers
seating space for
audiences to relax
Galeri Creative
Centre houses
a 400-seat
theatre, two
large multi-use
studios, a visual
arts exhibition
area, 27 work
units and a bar
and restaurant
The centre is a firm
favourite for families
attending a range of
funded by the Welsh government
and the Heritage Lottery Fund and
will see the restoration of a historic
industrial site located almost adjacent
to Caernarfon Castle. Its subsequent
operation and management by our
staff will lead to the re-establishment
of 19 manufacturing units on the site
together with integral retail outlets
selling the goods that are produced
on the site. By now, 27 years on
from establishment, because of our
accomplishments, the emphasis of
our mission is evolving from rescue
Our operating principles
We are now set up as a social
enterprise operating as a development
trust with its legal form being a
company limited by guarantee. We
have always intended to be a long-
term venture so securing a varied and
regular revenue stream was essential.
We determined that the most effective
way of achieving this, as well as
addressing a range of other problems
at the same time, was to acquire our
own asset base. Today our asset base
is valued at around £14 million.
To that end, the ability of an asset
to produce long-term commercial
revenue was always one of the prime
considerations when assessing the
viability of any project. We believe
that working with a wide variety of
individuals and organisations gets the
best results for everyone. We believe in
“doing with” rather than “doing for”
and this applies to people of all ages
and all backgrounds.
As an organisation, we have a set
of core values that ensure honesty
in every endeavour, quality and
professionalism at all times and
respect for the people we deal with,
the environment, the language
and culture of the area. We have a
quadruple bottom line – commercial,
social, economic and linguistic – and
all projects are assessed against their
effectiveness in these criteria.
We believe that positive changes
can be made by thinking creatively
and acting sustainably. Currently,
we employ over 50 people and have
an annual turnover approaching
£2 million with 80 per cent of
that being self-generated and the
remainder being an Arts Council of
Wales revenue grant to support our
professional and community arts
programmes. This puts us in a good
position when looking towards the
next phase in our development.
27 years on from
because of our
the emphasis of
our mission is
evolving from
rescue tothrive
The new decking area
installed as part of a
£130,000 investment in
Screen 2 in the new
cinema. Galeri sold in
excess of 30,000 tickets
for film screenings
during the opening 6
months (the target for
the first 12 months was

This article was sponsored by Galeri Caernarfon. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster