My bête noire has raised its ugly head again. You will inevitably have heard me moan on about how several years ago I took an idea to the local probation service about establishing a bakery that would act as a project for getting ex-offenders into work. They said we should involve an established voluntary organisation who were already set up to receive public funding and had administrative systems in place. What we got was a vol org called Nacro who, after I had done two years of leg-work put me in a situation where my only option was to resign. End of whinge.
Well, Nacro finally ran out of funding – the queue of politicians wanting to be photographed with baking ex-offenders dried up a number of years ago along with the tears of the then Chief Constable who was SO moved by the experience – so Bethesda now has an empty bakery.
The building is owned by a company called Cymni Adwy. They are funded by Gwynedd Council to buy up and renovate properties in the local slate valleys and to lease them to small businesses. Nacro’s lease said that they had to return the building in the same condition as when they first moved in. Apart from the obvious restoration and redecoration that means they have to remove all of the bakery equipment (including a two-deck, six tray deck oven, plus its canopy and extract system) and restore what is now a single shop/bakery area back to being two shops.
For some unknown reason Adwy are in the process of doing a deal with Nacro to retain the bakery equipment and allow Nacro to walk away without doing the renovation (they won’t confirm this to me until the deal is done).
I have been told that they would let a single shop for £220 a month or the two for £400 (plus a service charge and insurance).
I would love to have the use of the place to run courses. I’m not interested in running a production bakery. But if there was someone out there who wanted to bake for sale or to be trained to run a small bakery, I might be interested.
Or if people were interested in being part of a cooperative that would rent out the premises as a sort of mini Bethesdabakin’ facility (small groups hiring the bakery for a weekend’s bake) I could be up for it.