Last week in the Senedd in Cardiff, Arfon AM Sian Gwenllian once more asked First Minister Carwyn Jones for an explanation.
Plans for the development of the site were announced by the Welsh Government in 2000 and new roads, a new roundabout and a new site entrance were built in anticipation that further investment would be brought to the site and to the surrounding area. There was a promise of 1,500 jobs, which was a very welcome prospect in an area where young people have to leave their communities in search of work.
Said Sian Gwenllian:
“Once again, Arfon is languishing somewhere near the bottom of First Minister Carwyn Jones’ priorities, and the fact that the people of Bangor have now been waiting 18 years for anything to happen at Parc Bryn Cegin is beyond a joke. Young local people have been born, have grown up and have left the area to look for work in the time that Welsh Government have spent dilly-dallying on this matter, and if we’re not careful a second generation of Bangor youngsters will have been let down. This week I called upon Carwyn Jones to honour the commitment he made to the people of this area, and prioritise the development of this site.
“There have been several false dawns and hopes raised and dashed.
“The First Minister in his reply to me in the Senedd mentioned the idea of a leisure complex that would have meant a section of the site being used, leaving room for other businesses that would have been drawn to the area by the existence of the leisure complex.
“What the First Minister fails to understand is that this option seems very unlikely to happen as there is little interest from the fast food sector in investing in this site. We also now have four cinema screens in Bangor and Caernarfon and plans to develop a restaurant/food zone on Bangor High Street.
“However, there is some good news of which the First Minister was unware. Parc Bryn Cegin has been recognised as a ‘strategic hub’ by the North Wales Ambition Board who is working on the North Wales Growth Deal – an UK Government initiative. Should money be forthcoming for the Growth Deal, some of it could be spent on the further development of Parc Bryn Cegin. I will be pursuing this aspect over the coming months. However, nothing is certain and I will be working with local people to make sure the case for developing Parc Bryn Cegin is heard, loud and clear.”
The patience of local people and their Assembly Member is wearing thin, and Sian Gwenllian has vowed to continue to put pressure on Carwyn Jones and the Welsh Government to bring investment to Parc Bryn Cegin as they promised eighteen long years ago.