A £3MILLION project has started to develop former Hillgrove School, Bangor into a new home for North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC).

Thanks to the support of Watkin Property Ventures, NWRC purchased the former school last year.

Having secured planning permission, work has now started on site to adapt the building into a much-needed new home for NWRC residents.  

Mark Watkin Jones, chief executive and owner of Watkin Property Ventures, cut the first sod to signal the beginning of construction.


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He said: “The occasion is a significant milestone for NWRC, and I am pleased that we have been able to support this project which promises to bring positive changes to the lives of many in the area.

“NWRC have been doing fantastic work for many years, the new centre will help them support more people and provide them with the modern facilities they deserve.”

James Deakin, founder of NWRC, added: “We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from Mark and Susan at Watkin Property Ventures – it means we can develop a sustainable hub which will meet the long-term needs of our therapeutic community.

“The event this week was also a fantastic opportunity for us to meet our neighbours, local businesses, residents, and other agencies to showcase the support we provide people on their recovery journey.

“Being a part of and offering service to our wider local community is integral to what we do and an event like this enables us to raise awareness about our work here in Bangor and further afield.”

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NWRC was set up in 2014 by James Deakin, frustrated with the lack of recovery support available for people exiting drug and alcohol treatment services.

Since then, the organisation has been delivering a programme of rehabilitation and providing abstinent accommodation from Penrhyn House in Bangor.  

North Wales business Techbuild has been appointed as the main contractor on the project.

Work has started on site and is expected to be complete by the end of 2023 with residents moving into Hillgrove shortly after.

City centre initiative Bwyd Da Bangor provided the catering at the launch.

As well as working with NWRC residents, Bwyd Da means NWRC can support other marginalised groups within the wider community.