Slate from an historic Blaenau Ffestiniog quarry has been used by an award-winning builder to roof the town’s new health centre.
Anwyl Construction used the distinctive dark blue and grey slate from the Cwt y Bugail Quarry and Welsh slate walling from a local supplier to ensure a strong local connection with the area.
The £3.9 million new Canolfan Goffa Ffestiniog, health and social care centre, was opened by Welsh Government Health Secretary Vaughan Gething.
Ewloe-based Anwyl Construction said they were keen to fulfil the aim of the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board to ensure that the project had a positive impact on the local area and its economy.
They used over 1100 square metres of roofing slate from Cwt y Bugail and a further 280 square metres of slate walling and 54 linear metres of slate coping.
Anwyl Commercial Manager Simon Rose said: “All the roof slates on the new centre came from the recently re-opened quarry that’s close to the site and all the slate walling was also sourced locally.
“The Cwt y Bugail Quarry was only re-opened last year after 40 years and it’s always important to us that we ensure that the areas where we work benefit from major investments like this.
“There is also the historic significance of using local material here. Slate quarrying and mining is part of the area’s history and for that reason both the Health Board and Anwyl Construction were keen to use authentic local materials.
“As it is within the Snowdonia National Park the Health Board wanted us to use the local slate and we were happy to comply.”
The centre has been built on the site of the Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital with capital funding from the Welsh Government.
It now houses the Blaenau Ffestiniog GP practice, managed by the Health Board, and includes an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, a pharmacist and physiotherapy service as well as a dementia day service, palliative care, audiology clinic and learning disabilities service.
It will also play host to a range of other specialist services including child and adolescent services, a permanent midwifery base and antenatal clinics and community dental accommodation.
Dylan Davies, from Abergele, who joined Anwyl 26 years ago as an apprentice joiner, was Site Manager on the project and he said: “It was a complicated site because there’s a sheer drop on one side and other challenges including two massive granite boulders which we discovered when excavating for the lift shaft within the existing building.
“It’s a really big lift, able to hold 21 people so it was a large excavation and we had to call in a local company to drill the boulders out and that took about three weeks.
“But it’s great to see it now. It’s special when you’re there at the start of a job and see it through to the end.”