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Hollywood star helps to save Welsh pub

Matthew Rhys visiting the Glan yr Afon pub

With Hollywood backing from superstar Matthew Rhys, a community project has just over £30,000 left to raise from its mammoth target of £250,000 to save their Grade II listed Glan yr Afon pub.

Matthew Rhys and community leaders in Pennal, Machynlleth, are now calling for one final push from supporters from across the globe to join their share scheme as they seek to hit the target.

The project is seeking to place itself at the heart of their rural mid Wales community, with plans including not only continuing as a pub and restaurant, but also incorporating a café, shop and later developing the rooms upstairs for quality accommodation.

The village of Pennal played a key part in Welsh history when in the 15th century the then Prince of Wales, Owain Glyndŵr, reached out for help to the King of France, Charles VI, for military aid during his rebelling against the English. The letter that Owain sent six centuries ago is known as the Pennal Letter, and the original copy is currently held at the Archives Nationales in Paris.

Matthew Rhys with members of the Menter y Glan committee

Hollywood actor Matthew Rhys, who has strong family ties to the area, says this link is inspiring,

“It was great visiting the pub recently and seeing first hand all the great work they have been doing to keep this historic pub and local community hub alive.

“Owain Glyndŵr himself would be proud of the community fighting spirit shown so far, so I would urge people from over the world to get involved and invest in a little part of history.”

With the present custodians selling the business the community wanted to ensure their most important asset was kept alive, and during the past few months the project has raised a phenomenal amount.

With Christmas approaching, chairman of the management committee, Meirion Roberts, is calling on people to consider buying loved ones shares as a very special present

“With people looking for ideas for Christmas presents at this time of year, buying shares in the venture would give loved ones ownership of a little slice of history, while being quite an unusual gift that offers the chance of future dividends.

“Over the summer months the Pennal community came together and while we’re still not quite there, there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel and the future is looking brighter. We want to thank everyone who has signed up to the community share agreement so far and a big thank you to Matthew Rhys for his support. It’s been a great boost for the community after all their hard work.”

To contribute to the community scheme, people can either make a donation or invest in the community share scheme. The scheme offers people the opportunity to buy shares in the venture with the potential to profit from annual dividends in years to come.