Welsh community comes together in effort to buy marina

The crowdfunder for the project – in Y Felinheli on the Menai Strait – closes on Friday 15 December

A Welsh community co-op is selling shares for the potential purchase of a sea port and marina on the Menai Strait.

The proposed purchase of Y Felinheli’s Port Dinorwic is Menter Felinheli’s first initiative, which, if successful, would see the village’s harbour and marina placed into community ownership.

The marina, which dates back to the 1700s, is up for sale after going into administration in June. Meter Felinheli put an offer in to purchase the marina in September.

“The previous owner owned five marinas, Y Felinheli’s being one of them, and they all went bankrupt together,” said Menter Felinheli. 

“Having looked at the figures, we are confident that running the harbour and marina in a different way would be successful. Menter Felinheli would not take the profits away, we would invest them for the long-term benefit of the marina and the village.”

Menter Felinheli, which means Enterprise Felinheli in Welsh, is a new community benefit society (CBS) set up to bring economic and social benefits to the village of Y Felinheli and its surrounding area, by developing the village’s existing assets.

As part of this work, including the proposed purchase of the marina, Menter Felinheli is seeking support from individuals in the form of community shares. 

The community shares offer is an “essential” part of Y Felinheli’s bid to buy the marina, project member Alun Meirion told North Wales Live.

Whatever the outcome of the bid to buy the marina, investors’ shares in Menter Felinheli will be used to support the development of the village’s local assets. 

Shares cost £100, and individuals can invest a maximum of £100,000. The share offer has so far raised over £110,000 from more than 300 investors, including locals and supporters from further afield.

Clare Brass, who contributed to the crowdfunder in November, wrote on the campaign page: “I’ve walked around the marina thousands of times over the years and continue to do so, so this is payback for all the beautiful views, new friends I’ve met and memories made along the way.”

Another investor, Elisabeth West, said: “I love the idea of this marina being owned by people who live there and love it. I don’t live there, or sail, but feel strongly that this is an initiative I can support. Good luck.”

Shares can be purchased via crowdfunder until Friday 15 December.