Cyflwynwyd gan:Cllr. Nia Jeffreys
To authorise the development of 10 employment units under the management of the Council at Eryri Business Park, Minffordd, to address the needs of local businesses.
The report was presented by Cllr Nia Jeffreys
To authorise the development of 10 employment units to be managed by the Council at Eryri Business Park, Minffordd, in order to address the needs of local businesses.
It was reported that the Council was keen to work with commercial partners to erect business units where they were needed. There was pride in the fact that the Council had collaborated successfully with the Welsh Government on this development.
It was reported that the Council had received 37 applications for business units over the past year, and it was confirmed that 28 (76%) were for units in the area in question.
It was noted that this scheme was possible through the allocation of £2M from the Council's Asset Management Plan as well as a commitment by the Welsh Government to provide £925,000 as a boost to the local economy.
It was explained that officers were aware of the shortage of business units available across the County, and it was hoped that this scheme would be a step towards removing this problem. It was emphasised that this scheme merely started resolving the problem rather than being the complete solution.
It was confirmed that officers were working with the Cyngor Gwynedd Planning Authority and the Eryri National Park Authority teams in order to gain a full understanding of the needs and availability of land and units. The aim was to build a long-term plan based on this collaborative work.
Observations arising from the discussion
¾ Members supported the scheme, confirming that the need for more business units existed and that it would encourage people to stay in their communities.
¾ It was discussed whether there were policies in place to ensure that the units developed remained under the Council's management in future, rather than keeping them only when they generated income. It was considered whether there were policies in place to ensure this.
¾ In response to the above enquiry, it was confirmed that consideration was being given to several different ways in which the Council could invest in business units in the future and how it can ensure permanent ownership of the units. Nevertheless, officers emphasised that there would be a need to work jointly with the planning authorities of Cyngor Gwynedd and Eryri National Park Authority in order to gain an understanding of which areas would benefit from having business units and what would be the best approach with investment.
¾ Members were reminded that the Council's buildings stock had been sold around 10 years ago because they were ageing and not having enough use. It was elaborated that the Council's plan at the time was to reinvest that money in new, fit-for-purpose units, in locations where there was demand for them. It was confirmed that this scheme carried on with that initial work that had been determined by the Council when it disposed of those former units.
¾ Consideration had been given to prioritising areas where the Council owned land or empty buildings in order to develop business units there. In response to the observation, it was acknowledged that some assets had been withheld in order to assess their suitability as housing sites within the Council's Housing Action Plan. It was emphasised that these sites were being considered as business premises if they were not suitable as housing sites for the people of Gwynedd.
¾ Officers shared their pride in the fact that the business units within this scheme would be net zero Carbon according to their use, and consideration had been given to the developments' carbon footprint.
¾ In response to the enquiry, it was confirmed that there were plans to install solar panels on the units as well as air-source heat pumps, and they hoped to use this scheme as a template for other units and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint in the future.
Awdur:Sioned E. Williams, Head of Economy and Community