Bethlehem: The Gateway To Garn Goch?
There's a lot to be said for making Bethlehem the Gateway to Garn Goch, not least its location almost in the shadow of the ancient monument, its recently refurbished, yet inevitably underused, village hall and grounds, and its entrepreneurial track record for Christmas fairs, Christmas stamping, community events, and exceptional cafe and catering initiatives.
What's essential if there were to be any such role for Bethlehem is that the views of residents, as well as local and regional bodies, are listened to, and their views taken fully into account.
If there were to be any such role, then it may be worth considering supporting initiatives to make Garn Goch better known and more attractive to more visitors, and making Bethlehem the place to begin and/or end visits by offering information, hospitality and occasional events.
As these initiatives would enhance the Wales brand, increase the breadth and depth of tourism appeal, improve rural community development, and create both income for the village as well as jobs for locals, it is likely to find funding through UK-wide, Wales and regional grant funding sources for tourism and rural development initiatives.
A couple of relevant examples? Kinmel Hall, the largest surviving country house in Wales, is crumbling away, but 'the “Kinmel Resurrection” campaign is targeting Conwy Council and the Welsh government, who members believe both have a duty to help to preserve the mansion.' So what about the largest ancient stone monument in Wales? And in 2019, the West Country got a £1 million Lottery grant for Iron Age hillfort archaeology and rejuvenation. One million!
Garn Goch CIC has been set up to promote the uniqueness of Garn Goch, and as a non-profit company with community objectives is intended to be a dedicated channel for such initiatives.