Decarbonisation hub visit on Welsh Government Minister’s agenda
Today, (Friday 20 October), the Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths made a special visit to Tŷ Gwyrddfai, the innovative and ground-breaking decarbonisation hub being created in Gwynedd – the first facility of its kind in the UK.
The Minister was accompanied by Minister Simon Harris from the Irish Government who is visiting Wales as part of the Wales Ireland forum.
Adra Housing Association is leading on the refurbishment of the former Northwood tissue factory in Penygroes which closed four years ago with the loss of nearly 100 manufacturing jobs.
The development has benefited from Welsh Government funding totalling £736,000, an innovative combination of support through both Transforming Towns and Circular Economy Programmes. The funding enabled works to provide office space, a new reception area and the installation of Training Pods.
The development is a collaborative project between Adra, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai and Bangor University and will transform the site into a decarbonisation hub that will ensure that North West Wales will be at the forefront of the decarbonisation agenda, working with communities and businesses to retrofit homes over the next 10 years.
During a visit to Tŷ Gwyrddfai on Friday (August 20), the Minister met a delegation from the three key partners, as well as community leaders and saw at first hand the progress being made with the development.
Grŵp Llandrillo Menai will deliver tailored decarbonisation and construction skills to young people and existing members of the construction workforce, especially in areas such as exterior wall insulation, installation and servicing of solar panels, air source heat pumps and battery storage.
Through the involvement of Bangor University, Tŷ Gwyrddfai will also promote innovation in new products, materials and technology to support decarbonisation and climate change adaptation and a “Living Lab” will be established to test and trial new technology and materials aligned to the decarbonisation agenda.
Tŷ Gwyrddfai already accommodates the head office for Trwsio, Adra’s in-house contractor which employs more than 150 staff.
Travis Perkins have also set up a depot on site to provide Adra and its contractors with materials and supplies.
Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales Lesley Griffiths said: “Tŷ Gwyrddfai is an exciting development showing how North Wales can lead the decarbonisation agenda. It’s been a pleasure to visit and also showcase this innovative project to colleagues from Ireland.”
Iwan Trefor Jones, Chief Executive of Adra, said: “We’re delighted that the Minister visited Ty Gwyrddfai to see for herself the ground-breaking work that is going on there.
“It’s such an exciting development and there’s a tremendous amount of interest in the facility, with a number of Welsh Government delegations having visited the site, as well as local authorities and businesses wanting to learn more or to get on board.
“The development will lead to a more qualified and skilled workforce, which will support the local construction sector and ensure that any value generated through decarbonisation and related capital investment will be retained locally.
“It will also contribute towards reducing carbon emissions in our homes, which in turn will reduce the impact of increasing fuel and energy costs by making our homes more energy efficient and improve the quality of life for our tenants.
Rhianwen Edwards, Director of Commercial and Work-Based Learning, said: “Tŷ Gwyrddfai stands as a remarkable demonstration of our close collaboration with Adra, highlighting the ability of Busnes@LlandrilloMenai’s Centre for Infrastructure, Skills, and Technology (CIST) to deliver essential skills and training to the entire supply chain.
“Our vision for this facility is to integrate the specialised training in carbon reduction technologies, already offered at CIST, into both the heart of industry and the community. This will bolster the growth of skills and knowledge within the workforce, facilitating the widespread adoption of carbon reduction and retrofitting technologies and practice.
“Tŷ Gwyrddfai offers an exciting opportunity for local businesses and companies to lead the charge in the shift towards a more sustainable future.”
Andrew Edwards, pro-vice chancellor of Welsh language, civic engagement and strategic partnerships at Bangor University, added: “The Tŷ Gwyrddfai collaboration provides the university with a valuable way of translating its sustainability research into real world applications and puts Bangor University’s world-class R&D at the heart of the local and regional decarbonising agenda.
“The Living Lab will help test and develop products to retrofit and decarbonise housing stock not only within Adra’s remit, but across the sector.”
Ben Todd, Managing Director of Travis Perkins Managed Services said “We are so proud to collaborate with our partners in the creation of the decarbonisation hub in Penygroes.
“The hub will build a centre of excellence for the future development of retrofit product solutions, skills training and innovation in housing technology. We believe that construction has a key role to play in decarbonising the built environment which is why we are accelerating the transition to net zero across our business, and this is an important part of this.”
“The long-term benefits will be far reaching and will help decarbonise homes in North Wales and beyond.”