THE hub of a new project tackling community issues in the Ogwen Valley was officially opened by Arfon MS Siân Gwenllian on Friday.

The MS was joined in cutting the ribbon at 27 High Street, Bethesda, by her Westminster counterpart Hywel Williams MP on Friday, calling the new Dyffryn Gwyrdd project ‘the multifaceted approach that Wales needs.’

The hub will act as an information centre as the venture focuses on issues such as transport poverty, littering, and rural loneliness. It is the latest project of Partneriaeth Ogwen, and was supported by a National Lottery Community Fund grant.

She added: “The Dyffryn Gwyrdd project addresses a host of issues facing the local community, doing so in a sustainable and green way that reaps rewards for the community.

“It shows the endless possibilities when communities come together for the benefit of local people.

“This great resource, right in the middle of Bethesda is just one example of the commendable work of Partneriaeth Ogwen.

“Communities like those in the Ogwen Valley face major challenges, but as they did during the pandemic, the communities have come together to establish something special.

“It’s particularly good to see the emphasis on acting within the greater context of the climate crisis, whether it be through the efforts to become a plastic-free community, the litter picks, or the planting of 200 oak trees.

“It was a genuine pleasure to officially open the hub in Bethesda, and I look forward to seeing Dyffryn Gwyrdd’s work going from strength to strength.”

Partneriaeth Ogwen was set up in 2013 as a partnership between three community councils with the aim of working collaboratively across the valley.

Among Dyffryn Gwyrdd’s priorities is addressing ‘rural transport poverty,’ an issue affecting those who cannot afford or access travel.

They intend to set up a green community transport scheme, providing electric vehicles and developing a fleet of electric bikes, and hope the numerous volunteering opportunities provided will also tackle loneliness, provide people with skills, and create jobs.

Working alongside Cyd Ynni and the new GwyrddNi project, the hub will provide advice for people to tackle fuel poverty.

So far, Dyffryn Gwyrdd’s work has led to having a community-owned electric car for use by residents, a community workshop that repairs bikes and gives people an opportunity to try electric bicycles, and the planting of community gardens.

The electric car has been used as part of the Community Buddy Scheme, to ensure that 25 meals-on-wheels are delivered weekly.

Huw Davies, Dyffryn Gwyrdd’s manager, thanked the Lottery and all other supporters and partners who have enabled us to provide this new service.

He said: “The hub will be a centre where people can pop by for information and advice about resources and services - everything from using our electric vehicle for attending hospital appointments, learning how to convert a bike to an electric one, to information on green volunteering opportunities and planting and growing food locally.”

Cllr Paul Rowlinson, who represents a part of the Ogwen Valley on Gwynedd Council and helped to establish Dyffryn Gwyrdd, added: “It's great to see the Dyffryn Gwyrdd office officially opening.

“This exciting project has been set up with the aim of establishing a truly green community in Dyffryn Ogwen.

“The project will bring people together, provide opportunities to learn new skills and find jobs, help people heat their homes more efficiently and grow more food.

“This convenient High Street centre will be an opportunity for everyone to pop in to witness the excitement.”