The Coach House at St Dogmaels Abbey
The Coach House Project began with St. Dogmaels Community Council and the village Association (Cymdeithas) identifying the outstanding needs of this large deprived community in North Pembrokeshire. To rectify these needs the village specifically established Hanes Llandoch as a grass roots organisation committed to “maintain, repair, preserve and improve for the public benefit the village of Llandudoch (St. Dogmaels) and its surroundings”. Hanes Llandoch was set up in 2001 as a Registered Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee with the Coach House Project as a major activity for addressing the village needs. In July 2002 the Hanes Llandoch plans for a heritage / visitors’ Centre were displayed in the village and public comment invited.
The village and the surrounding area had already been recognised as in need of urgent capacity building within the community and the development of links with the rest of the region.
Through extensive consultation with the entire St. Dogmaels’ community, including the schools, and more recently the work of Cymdeithas (Association) Llandudoch, Pembrokeshire County Council and development staff at Pembrokeshire Local Action Network for Enterprise & Development (PLANED - www.planed.org.uk) more specific needs were identified in the Village Action Plan (2003).
The village needed a more effective “gateway” to the culture, history, environment and heritage of the area for both visitors and the community in order to -
- create more employment opportunities in the area and development of the social economy
- stimulate more opportunities for entrepreneurial activity that will provide a boost to the economy of the area
- develop more opportunities for employment and regeneration of the area, the education of the young, lifelong learning and the interpretation of the significant local heritage sites including St Dogmaels Abbey
- provide more locally delivered training in traditional and practical skills
- increase the number of quality presentations and exhibitions on the heritage, culture and environment of the area
- recognise its assets and develop pride in their interpretation
- increate better use of the river for visitors and the local community
- increase marketing of local skills, crafts and produce