CIST Centre at Penygroes to benefit Gwynedd construction sector

Busnes@LlandrilloMenai’s Centre for Infrastructure Skills and Technology (CIST) is to expand its provision of cutting-edge decarbonisation, renewable energy and retrofitting skills training at a new, world-leading centre, Tŷ Gwyrddfai in Penygroes.

Building on an established partnership with Adra, Busnes@LlandrilloMenai secured £500,000 of UK Shared Prosperity Fund funding through Cyngor Gwynedd to deliver decarbonisation and renewable skills.

The skills will include exterior wall insulation, solar panels installation and maintenance, air and ground source heat pumps and battery storage with plans to expand provision as new technologies emerge.

Busnes@LlandrilloMenai has a proven track record of delivering quality training in this area, having developed a whole range of specialist and accredited decarbonisation and renewable technologies currently available at CIST Centre, Llangefni.

Gareth Hughes, CIST Centre and Innovation manager, explains: “This project represents an exciting opportunity for local businesses and companies to lead the way in the transition to a more sustainable future, creating jobs and economic growth while reducing carbon emissions and energy cost for residents.

“These resources will ensure that local businesses in the construction sector are equipped to take advantage of new opportunities resulting from decarbonisation and housing retrofit.”

CIST Centre client is Gwyn Jones, proprietor of G&D Jones Ltd, a company specialising in electrical and plumbing work. More recently, Gwyn has diversified to include biomass and heat pumps amongst the services he offers:

“There has been a significant increase in the renewable energy technology installations in homes,” he said. “By now, almost 90% of our work in new builds includes heat pumps or PV panels.

“There is certainly more awareness among customers and using renewable energy is even more popular in the countryside where houses and businesses are not connected to the mains.

“The opportunity to develop skills within our company and the ability to be trained locally appealed to me, especially as we work in such a rural and often remote area.

“Quality is very important to me in the business, so these courses help us keep up to date with the latest standards. Taking part also helps us evolve the business as we continue to learn.”

G&D Jones Ltd has accessed ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and battery storage training through the CIST Centre.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK, investing in communities and place, supporting local business and people and skills.

Picture caption:

CIST Centre lecturer Mark Christopher Jones with CIST clients