THE latest phase of work on a new £2 million railway station development – the first part of a £16m scheme to revamp Caernarfon – has been given the thumbs-up by AM Sian Gwenllian and MP Hywel Williams.

Plaid Cymru’s AM Sian Gwenllian and MP Hywel Williams, who both represent Arfon, visited the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways in Caernarfon to review the progress on the new station building, set to open in spring of 2018. The work is part of the multi-million Caernarfon town and waterfront regeneration scheme, aimed at increasing visitors to the town and the railway.

First-stage funding has come from the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places Tackling Poverty fund and recent work has seen the relocation of a major sewage pipe.

The regeneration scheme is led by Gwynedd Council through a multi-agency partnership including Cadw, Arts Council for Wales, Antur Waunfawr, Gisda, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, Caernarfon Harbour Trust and Galeri Caernarfon.

The initiative aims to rejuvenate dilapidated buildings on the historic Slate Quay waterfront, as well as develop businesses and shops, a housing scheme, local arts projects, training and facilities for disabled and vulnerable young people and projects to boost visitor numbers at Caernarfon Castle, the Galeri and railway.

“I very much welcome this substantial investment into Caernarfon. It forms an exciting part of the £16 million Waterfront Development Scheme to breathe new life into the Slate Quay area,” Mr Williams said.”It’s an exciting time to be in Caernarfon.” 

AM Siân Gwenllian added: “This ambitious project forms part of wider plans to revitalise the Slate Quay, shaping the development of the Caernarfon and regenerating this historic part of town.” 

Key site work has been carried out by Welsh Water. When the original Caernarfon railway line closed in 1970 a sewer serving the town was located beneath the railway station. The sewer posed major logistical problems for the new building and has had to be relocated.

Director of the FfWHR Paul Lewin said: “We had a very small window of time in which to carry out these works, which had to happen during the winter whilst trains were not running and in order not to delay the building work which starts in the spring.

“Welsh Water team have been exemplary in their response to our request for help with the project. It would also be fair to mention the assistance we have received from Gwynedd Council who have given us every support.”