In 1997 a group of local artists and craft makers held a summer exhibition in Llanberis. It was apparent that what the area lacked was a location for working, selling, and exhibiting. So a committee was formed!! After several meetings the group became whittled down to three core members, Mark Lynden, Liz Mead, and Ted Silvester. These three rather naively embarked on a journey that was to take six years. In 1999 Caban Cyf, a co-operative company limited by guarantee was formed.
Over the years the project expanded from a purely arts and crafts base to recognise the whole range of local economic activity – for all small enterprises shared the same problems and potentials. The problems were (and are) isolation from markets, information, advice, and a lack of an affordable high quality work environment. The potential was (and is) simply to provide a place where local enterprises could flourish.
So, while the project remained focused on creativity, it grew into ‘representing the creative edge of all the primary economic sectors of the area.’ The idea was to create a melting pot of creative, knowledge-based businesses and individuals. A place where the different sectors would move from a position of indifference to each others operations, to one of awareness and interaction.
After several feasibility studies and project proposals Caban Cyf launched on the quest for funding. It was decided the most accessible funding source was Objective 1. This source of funding comes from Europe in order to increase the economic activity rates of areas considered to be below designated economic thresholds.
The Welsh European Funding Office and Gwynedd Local Regeneration Fund, supported the application – Gwynedd Council agreed to offer Caban Cyf a lease on this wonderful building. On 1st of March 2004 we signed the lease and moved in.