TV advert helps tourist attraction survive

Monday 16th May 2022 3:30 pm

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An advert for a mobile phone company has helped to reduce losses at tourist attraction in Gwynedd.

The Covid pandemic has hit takings at Yr Ysgwrn, the former home of the poet Heddwyn, in Trawsfynydd, over the past two years.

A report to Snowdonia National Park Authority, which owns the building, has revealed that in 2021-22 there was an overspend of £7,000, due to reduced income from visitors, the setting up of a school curriculum based on the history of the property and the poet, and various technical issues.

But the use of the property for filming an advert for the company EE helped to compensate for the loss.

Through the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Landscapes Sustainable Places Fund improvements have been carried out to the reception area and coffee shop, a car charging point has been installed and paths have also been improved.

Referring to the current financial year, the report says that school and group visits are steadily increasing, but goes on: “Certainly, Covid-19 is still casting a shadow as relatively high levels of infection in some schools mean that teachers are ordering closer to the visit than was usual before the pandemic.”

The Ysgwrn Curriculum is expected to be launched later this month, with schools across Wales, especially those within an hour’s drive of Trawsfynydd, being targeted.

In her report to members of the park authority, head of cultural heritage, Naomi Jones, also pays tribute to the late Gerald Williams MBE, nephew of Heddwyn, whose real name was Ellis Humphrey Evans.

Mr Williams, who died last year, was custodian and owner of Yr Ysgwrn before he sold it to the authority.

“Gerald was an inspiration and a conscience for the plans and development that took place at Yr Ysgwrn from 2022 onwards and, as officers, we were fortunate in his guidance, advice and friendship,” she said.

“He is greatly missed,but it is a wonderful testament to Gerald’s vision and his respect for his grandmother’s promise to ‘keep the door open’ that he set about securing his home’s future by transferring Yr Ysgwrn to a new generation of custodians.”

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