Over the last 25 years, Galeri Caernarfon, the not-for-profit community enterprise that Gwyn founded, has purchased derelict buildings – shops, offices and housing – within the walled town, and has successfully refurbished and re-developed 20 previously vacant and run-down properties.
Underscored by a company-wide belief that anything is possible through creative thought and sustainable action, Galeri Caernarfon contributes almost £2.5 million to the Gwynedd and Anglesey economy, and has established itself as a centre for creative companies in the Caernarfon area.
Gwyn also wants to bring performing arts to the people. Opened in 2005, Galeri Creative Enterprise (GCE) has been the largest and most ambitious of the enterprise’s projects so far. He describes it as an “innovative solution to the problem of sustaining a 400-seat theatre in an area of relatively low population”.
GCE uses art projects to improve the skills and confidence of individuals and groups. Every year, around 400 events and projects are produced at the GCE.
Gwyn believes in the power of social enterprises: “The sector has a socially innovative energy which has provided many low-cost solutions to some major economic and community challenges.” After recently securing the funding, Galeri’s next project is the town’s only fully dedicated two-screen cinema.