A new arts, culture and community hub at the Grade II listed former St Mary’s Church in Bangor opened its doors to the public yesterday.

Nyth will be Cwmni Frân Wen’s latest headquarters, a theatre company that aims to form an ‘exciting, challenging and inspiring theatre for the young.’

The building on Garth Road was opened to give the public the opportunity to see the plans for the new centre, including a state-of-the-art performance and rehearsal space, a smaller cellar studio, offices and flexible gathering areas.

The open day was attended by the Arfon MS, Siân Gwenllian, who is also Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for the Welsh language.

She said: “Arts and culture are both integral parts of all our lives. Especially in Wales, we are a nation where culture is at the heart of our way of life.

“Over the past year, it would have been hard to imagine life hadn’t it been for the arts, and we have all missed the contribution of social culture to our life.

“Over the past year, I have talked of the pandemic’s adverse effect on the Welsh arts industry, therefore it’s great to have cause to celebrate.”

Cwmni Frân Wen have secured £1.8m from the National Lottery, administrated through Arts Council of Wales.

They have also received £1.2m through Cyngor Gwynedd by the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme, £200,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation, and £10,000 from The Pennant Foundation.

The MS added: “The plans are exciting and ambitious, and will undoubtedly provide the young people of Bangor with valuable experiences.

“You cannot put a price on the impact the arts have on people’s lives.

“That’s why I’ve called recently for a Welsh Freelancers Fund to support freelance workers to work within the community and in schools.

“I look forward to see the plans for Nyth come to fruition, and I wish Cwmni Frân Wen well.”

Frân Wen have issued a statement from their executive director, Nia Jones, saying: “We understand how important this building is for the local community, so it’s really important to us that people have the opportunity to see the building before the work starts to get a sense of the transformation planned.”