Preparation work has begun at Storiel, Bangor following confirmation it will be one of the venues in the network of dispersed galleries forming the National Contemporary Art Gallery of Wales.

The Welsh Government’s plan aims to ensure greater access to the national collection and bring contemporary art closer to communities.

Gwynedd Council has welcomed this news, and the fact that two of the sites – Storiel and Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Widow, Llanbedrog – will be within the county.

Storiel is a county museum, art gallery, community space and a venue for the creative arts which is located in the heart of Bangor city and is managed by Cyngor Gwynedd with the support of Bangor University. Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Gallery, Llanbedrog, is an arts centre with a changing programme of exhibitions and activities.

Officers from the council’s Economy and Community Department are currently working with the Arts Council of Wales, National Museum Wales and the National Library of Wales.

Storiel’s building and exhibition spaces are currently being assessed to see what investment is needed in order to move on to the next step in the process, before the planning of the loan programme can begin.

Cllr Nia Jeffreys (pictured), deputy leader of the council and Cabinet member for economic development, said: “Being selected to be part of the Public Art Gallery network is an honour and I I’m very proud of the work and effort that has gone into reaching this important milestone.

“Art is a way of experiencing a range of cultures, historical perspectives and beliefs so I very much welcome that people of all ages and backgrounds here in Gwynedd will have better access to modern art of international standard, here on our own doorstep.

“I hope that having these two sites within the county will inspire our young people and broaden their horizons so they could see what opportunities are available to them in the art world.

“As a council, we are working hard to build on the county’s reputation as a place that promotes opportunities through the arts. For example, the public art ‘bucket hat’ placed by the Football Association of Wales in Caernarfon and then in Bangor over the course of the 2022 World Cup proved extremely popular and attracted many visitors to the area.

“We are also looking forward to welcoming the National Eisteddfod to the region, which will provide all sorts of arts opportunities and inspire local people for years to come.

“As well as the benefits to local residents and communities, building on our arts attractions in this way is a significant boost to Gwynedd’s tourism economy and with the potential to add to the visitor experience to the area. These kinds of developments will attract further investment and benefit local businesses and suppliers over time.

“We look forward to working with our partners on all types of arts projects across the county.”