This blog post is the latest part of our Winter ‘Go Full Circle’ campaign, which is promoting the role of – and encouraging consumers to support - Welsh social enterprises, co-operatives and other community organisations in the run-up to Christmas.
Christmas is a time of reflection for Wales’s Social Enterprise of the Year, Galeri in Caernarfon. Marketing Manager, Steffan has told us it’s an opportunity to look back on the achievements of 2013, while looking forward to the year ahead:
Galeri Caernarfon Cyf., formerly known as Cwmni Tref Caernarfon Cyf., is a not for profit community enterprise operating as a Development Trust.
Galeri Caernarfon Cyf’s vision is that:
"anything is possible…through creative thought and sustainable action"
To realise the vision the company will: “implement sustainable projects in a creative way to realise the cultural, economic and environmental potential of the local community and its environs”
The company was established in 1992 and worked hard to improve the image of Caernarfon town centre by purchasing derelict buildings (shops, offices and housing) within the walled town. To date, the Trust has refurbished and re-developed 20 previously vacant and run down properties in Caernarfon.
The development of the £7.5m Galeri Creative Enterprise Centre is the largest and most ambitious of the trust's project so far. The opening of Galeri in April 2005 marked a significant development for the arts and creative industries in North Wales. Galeri includes:
- Theatre and cinema [394 seats]
- 24 business / work units [let to 15 companies working within the creative / arts sector]
- Art Space
- 2 large rehearsal studios
- 2 smaller rehearsal rooms
- Meeting rooms
- DOC Café Bar (serving locally sourced, fresh produce)
Looking back at 2013 - despite the economic climate and trends generally in business start-ups and ventures, occupancy levels for business units has consistently been over 95% with the residential lettings at full capacity. We were able to add an additional 2 residential flats in the town centre, which meant developing what was once a doctors surgery in a project which took four months from starting the process to letting the flats. To top it off, we won the Social Enterprise of the Year award at the ceremony in Cardiff, in October.
In terms of the success of Galeri - since opening in 2005, there has been a consistent increase in number of tickets sold, households reached and repeat attendance. What we are trying to do is offer a varied programme of events which ensures that there is always something on that will be of interest to all, from cinema to comedy, popular music to youth theatre. Galeri on average organise over 400 events annually.
With the vast majority of customers [89%] living within a 45 minute drive time to Galeri - so we truly are a local company for the local community.
December at Galeri means Christmas staff parties in our cafe-bar DOC, panto season, a busy Box Office with customers purchasing tickets or gift-vouchers as Christmas gifts -and the last Tonic concert of the year. Tonic concerts are held monthly as afternoon concerts where we specifically target the older generation to attend. The Christmas concert is followed by our annual carol singing in the bar where resident companies, the audience and young musicians from local schools come together to celebrate.
On behalf of all of the staff and board members at Galeri Caernarfon Cyf - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thank you for your support and for buying local.
The organisation featured in this blog post is just one of many that you can support. Many more can be found on our Go Full Circle directory. Happy Christmas and ‘buy social’.