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Local News Plans: Bangor

The Bangor Local News Plan meeting took place on 12th January 2023 at Pontio and was conducted in Welsh with a focus on Welsh-language local journalism.

We’ve distilled the discussions into the report and description below, which was first shared with the participants themselves for feedback and input, and which is the starting point for the actual Local News Plan. 


We would like to thank our dedicated steward, Aled Job and the engaged members of Bangor's civil society, business and independent media communities who deeply enriched the conversations. Sameer Padania and Jonathan Heawood facilitated the discussion.  

Below is the Welsh-language version of the report, followed by the English.  

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English version:



The people of Bangor are developing an exciting vision of local news that reflects the diversity of Bangor’s communities and is co-operatively owned and managed, in line with a tradition of co-operatives and community newspapers that stretches back for generations. They want local news to be truly local, with reporters based in the area and a physical presence on the high street – a hub that is both a community newsroom and ‘also a space where people come together to strengthen links.’ Given the wider economic climate, they would appreciate support and investment from the public, private or voluntary sectors, but ultimately believe that substantial support for local news needs to come from within the local community: ‘we need to put our hands in our own pockets’.


The workshop was held at Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre on the morning of Thursday 12 January 2023. 10 people attended the workshop, which was conducted in Welsh and English, with live interpreting provided by Aled Jones of Cymen Translation Company.

Aled Job, the project Steward, welcomed participants in Welsh; Jonathan Heawood, Executive Director of the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF), welcomed participants in English and introduced Sameer Padania, who facilitated the workshop and began by inviting participants to introduce themselves to each other and tell each other about their earliest memories of local news.

Memories of local news

We heard participants’ memories of going to the newsagents to buy the paper and getting into conversations about the day’s news:

  • ‘People were very interested, and they wanted to get the newspaper! They’d queue up to buy it!’

  • ‘Because there was less news, there was more value to the news we had.’

  • ‘When you had to make an effort to go out and get the paper, you valued it more.’

  • ‘You went to the newsagents to get news, but you’d also talk to people: there was pleasure in getting news. Without newsagents in small towns and villages, you lose that.’


Local newspapers were part of a wider fabric of community-level information – part of the local social infrastructure - that people mentioned, including clubs, after-school sports, the pinboard in the local supermarket, free leaflets put through letterboxes - but along with the demise of many local corner shops, post offices and newsagents, these are more fragmented now.

Participants also talked about their involvement in hyperlocal Welsh-language community newspapers (papurau bro), when people used to come together to fold the paper on A3 sheets. ‘It was a community event, that’s not happening anymore because of technology.’

Another participant talked about his early experiences of working in the local press in the area, which at the time was thriving, but is now much diminished.

The present state of local news

In this section, participants were asked to work in small groups on three questions:

  1. What do you like about local news in your area?

  2. What’s not working for you?

  3. What’s missing?


Participants felt very strongly that local news should be truly local – it is part of the community’s memory and how it links the community together, include between generations. They appreciated the continuing presence of the Welsh-language community newspaper Goriad, some of whose volunteers also participate in the Bro360 project (supported by Golwg360) to create a Welsh-language hyperlocal website BangorFelin360. They also mentioned the new English-language independent local news site, The Bangor Aye.

However, they noted that community newspapers are under pressure, whilst commercial newspaper companies such as Reach have closed local offices and taken local journalists out of the area (‘over the border [to Liverpool]’): ‘we used to know the local reporter, but they’ve gone now.’ Newsquest’s The National Wales and Corgi Cymru closed down in 2022.

They also felt that local news should do more to connect Bangor and neighbouring areas to the wider world, and to educate and empower local people to navigate local and national politics. They felt that local news providers urgently need to understand better how younger people connect with and use the news, and to find new ways to engage with young people. They also noted that they wanted to see more coverage of the diversity of Wales and Welsh-speaking communities, and of Welsh affairs in both local and national English-language media and in Welsh-language media.

The future of local news

In the next section, we asked participants to imagine a future in which local news provision has significantly improved. For this exercise, the participants were asked to work in two groups on the following questions about local news in 2026:

  1. What stories are being told by local news in 2026?

  2. Whose voices are being heard in local news in 2026?

  3. How is local news in 2026 improving your life?

  4. How is local news in 2026 improving Bangor?


Some themes emerged strongly across the groups.

  • Both groups wanted local news to bring different parts of the community together – to ‘connect the dots between different parts of society’, bridging the divide between Welsh-language and English-language speakers, and reflecting the increasing diversity of Bangor, e.g., the local Afro-Caribbean community, and recent arrivals from Syria and Ukraine, and the diversity within Welsh-speaking communities too.

  • Participants also stressed the importance of a physical hub for local news – a ‘community newsroom that people could visit to share their life experiences’ - one participant specifically mentioned the community newsroom recently set up by Greater Govanhill and The Ferret in Glasgow.

  • Both groups envisaged a mixed economy for local news, with potential revenue and funding from the public, private, charitable and voluntary sectors, as well as from readers/viewers.

  • Participants agreed that local news would benefit from a stronger local economy – and vice-versa: ‘Perhaps we need to come together.’ One group noted that as the number of empty shops on the High St continues to grow, and the nature of the local economy changes, more independent and service businesses are established, and the relationship with local media will need to change further.


In the penultimate session, we led an open discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of different formats and funding models for local news. The following themes emerged.

  • Whilst participants believed that the Welsh Government and Senedd should do more to support local media, they were wary of funding that might come with strings attached. One participant specifically mentioned the Banc Cambria (Wales Community Bank) initiative as a potential ally (and lender) for public interest journalism organisations and for others like the Law Centre and Citizens Advice Bureaux.

  • Participants called for more community investment in local news, including through schemes operating in other areas of local economies, like community shares or community assets (‘like the community-owned pub in Aberaeron’): ‘We need to put our hands in our own pockets.’

  • There was enthusiasm for the idea that local news should be co-operatively owned and managed: ‘That is the future – to establish some kind of co-operative news platform so the community comes together, and we empower each other. People feel belonging, ownership, and we go back to Robert Owen – the father of the co-operative movement. It was the quarry miners who established Bangor University on a co-operative basis.’

  • Two initiatives in which Cwmpas (formerly known as the Wales Co-operative Centre) is involved are of relevance to this:

    • Digital Communities Wales is a programme (Welsh Government-funded,  administered by Cwmpas) to lead on the digital inclusion agenda and tackle digital exclusion.

    • Social Business Wales supports and advises start-ups and existing social businesses across Wales on legal and financial issues to set up or develop their social enterprise, co-operative, community shared business, or non-profit.

  • Participants recalled the old days of talking about news in the newsagents, and suggested that, in future, local news providers should have a physical presence on the high street, like a community bank or the ‘talking shop’ initiative: ‘a hub achieves a number of things – yes, it’s a news provider, but it’s also a space where people come together to strengthen links.’ There was also a recognition that having a physical asset, a building, served both as a multi-purpose community space, and as a financial asset for local media – and participants asked whether the venue for the meeting, Pontio, could itself play a role in that.

Next Steps


The Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) would like to build on the exciting vision that emerged at the workshop. With further funding, we could bring local news innovators together with donors and investors to develop a sustainable ecosystem for local news. We could also continue the conversations that began at the workshop, to make sure local news is meeting the needs of the local community.

NewsNow generously provided the funding for this project.



Mae pobol Bangor  wrthi’n datblygu gweledigaeth gynhyrfus o newyddion lleol i adlewyrchu amrywiaeth ei chymunedau a gaiff ei berchnogi a’i reoli’n lleol. Gan dynnu ar draddodiad cyfoethog o fudiadau cyd-weithredol a phapurau cymunedol sy’n ymestyn yn ôl dros genhedlaethau.


Y nod ydi newyddion gwirioneddol leol, gyda gohebwyr wedi eu lleoli yn yr ardal a hynny mewn gofod ffisegol ar y stryd fawr. Ar ffurf hwb a fydd yn ystafell  newyddion gymunedol ac yn “ofod ble daw pobol ynghyd i gryfhau eu cysylltiadau gyda’i gilydd”. O ystyried yr hinsawdd economaidd ar hyn o bryd, byddent yn gwerthfawrogi derbyn cefnogaeth a buddsoddiad gan y sectorau cyhoeddus, preifat neu wirfoddol. Ond wedi dweud hynny, y gred yn y pendraw yw mai’r gymuned leol ddylai ddarparu cefnogaeth helaeth ar gyfer anghenion newyddion lleol; “ mae angen inni fynd i’n pocedi ein hunain”.




Cafodd y gweithdy ei gynnal yng Nghanolfan Pontio ar fore Iau, Ionawr 12, 2023. Daeth 10 o bobol ynghyd ar gyfer y gweithdy a gynhaliwyd yn y Gymraeg a’r Saesneg, gyda chyfieithu ar y pryd yn cael ei ddarparu gan Aled Jones o Gwmni Cyfieithu Cymen.

Croesawyd y cyfranogwyr yn Gymraeg gan Aled Gwyn Job, Stiward y Prosiect;ac fe’u croesawyd wedyn yn Saesneg gan Jonathan Heawood, Cyfarwyddwr Gweithredol y Sefydliad Newyddion o Ddiddordeb Cyhoeddus (PINF). Cyflwynodd Jonathan y gynulleidfa i Sameer Padania, sef hwylusydd y gweithdy. Cychwynnodd Sameer wrth ofyn i’r cyfranogwyr gyflwyno eu hunain i’w gilydd a son wrth y naill a’r llall am eu profiadau cynharaf o newyddion lleol.


Atgofion am newyddion lleol

Clywsom am atgofion y cyfranogwyr am fynd i’r siop bapur newydd lleol a chychwyn sgyrsiau am newyddion y dydd:


  • ‘Roedd gan bobol lawr iawn o ddiddordeb, ac roeddan nhw eisiau cael y papur newydd!. Byddan nhw’n ciwio fyny i’w brynu”.

  • ‘Oherwydd bod llai o newyddion, roedd mwy o werth ar y newyddion a gawson ni”

  • ‘Pan roedd rhaid i rywun wneud ymdrech i fynd allan i gael y papur newydd, roedd rhywun yn ei werthfawrogi’n fwy.”

  • ‘Roeddach chi’n mynd i’r siop bapur newydd i gael y newyddion, ond byddech chi hefyd yn siarad hefo pobol: roedd yna bleser derbyn y newyddion. Heb siopau papur newydd mewn trefi a phentrefi bach, rydach chi’n colli hynny.”


Roedd papurau newydd yn rhan o wead gwybodaeth o fewn y gymuned- rhan o’r is-adeiledd cymdeithasol lleol- megis clybiau, chwaraeon wedi ysgol, bwrdd negeseuon yn yr archfarchnad leol, taflenni trwy’r post. Ond gyda thranc sawl siop y gornel, swyddfeydd post a siopau papur newydd, mae popepth yn fwy gwasgarog bellach.


Roedd y cyfranogwyr hefyd yn son am eu gwaith gyda’r papurau bro lleol, pan fo pobol yn arfer dod ynghyd i blygu’r papur ar daflenni A3. “Roedd o’n ddigwyddiad cymunedol, sydd ddim yn digwydd bellach oherwydd technoleg”.


Soniodd cyfranogwr arall am ei brofiad yn gweithio gyda’r wasg leol yn y cylch oedd yn ffynnu ar y pryd, ond sydd wedi dirywio’n enbyd erbyn hyn.

Cyflwr presennol newyddion lleol

Yn yr adran hon, gofynnwyd i’r cyfrangwyr weithio mewn grwpiau bychain ar dri chwestiwn:

1. Beth ydach chi’n ei fwynhau am newyddion lleol yn eich ardal?

2.Beth sydd ddim yn gweithio ichi?

3.Beth sydd ar goll?


Roedd y cyfranogwyr yn bendant iawn y dylai newyddion lleol fod yn wirioneddol leol- gan ei fod yn rhan o gof y gymuned a sut y caiff y cenhedlaethau eu tynnu ynghyd, gan gynnwys ymwneud rhwng cenhedlaethau. Roeddent yn gwerthfawogi presenoldeb y papur bro Cymraeg Y Goriad, gyda rhai o wirfoddolywr y Goriad hefyd yn rhan o brosiect Bro 360( sy;n cael ei noddi gan Golwg360)  i greu gwefan leol iawn trwy’r Gymraeg, sef BangorFelin360. Soniwyd hefyd am y safle newyddion leol annibynol The Bangor Aye.


Fodd bynnag, nodwyd bod papurau cymunedol dan bwysau, a chwmniau papur newydd masnachol megis Reach wedi cau swyddfeydd lleol ac wedi ad-leoli newyddiadurwyr lleol ( dros y ffin i Lerwl): “ roeddan ni’n arfer adnabod y gohebydd lleol, ond maen nhw wedi mynd erbyn hyn”. Daeth National Wales a Corgi( Newsquest) i ben yn 20222.


Roedden nhw hefyd yn teimlo y dylai newyddion lleol wneud mwy i gysylltu Bangor a’r ardaloedd cyfagos gyda’r byd ehangach, ac addysgu a grymuso pobol leol i negydu gwleidyddiaeth leol a chenedlaethol. Gan ddweud hefyd bod darparwyr newyddion lleol angen deall sut yr oedd pobol ifanc yn ymwneud gyda newyddion a’i ddefnyddio, a chael hyd i ddulliau newydd o ymwneud gyda’r bobol ifanc hyn. Nodwyd hefyd bod angen mwy o sylw i amrywiaeth Cymru a chymunedau Cymraeg, a mwy ar faterion Cymreig yn y cyfryngau Saeseg yn lleol ac yn genedlaethol.


Dyfodol newyddion lleol 


Yn yr adran hon, gofynnwyd i’r cyfranogwyr ddychmygu dyfodol ble roedd y ddarpariaeth newyddion lleol wedi gwella’n sylweddol. Ar gyfer yr ymarferion hyn, gofynnwyd i’r cyfranogwyr weithio  mewn dau grwp ar y cwestiynau dilynol am newyddion lleol yn 2026.

  1. Pa straeon sy’n cael eu hadrodd gan newyddion lleol yn 2026?

  2. Pa leisiau sy’n cael eu clywed yn newyddion lleol 2026?

  3. Sut mae newyddion lleol 2026 yn gwella eich bywyd?

  4. Sut mae newyddion lleol 2026 yn gwella Bangor?

Cododd rhai themau amlwg iawn ymhlith y ddau grwp.

  • Roedd y ddau grŵp am i newyddion lleol geisio dod â gwahanol rannau o’r gymuned ynghyd: “ cysylltu’r dots rhwng gwahanol rannau o’r gymdeithas” , gan gyfannu’r rhaniad rhwng siaradwyr Cymraeg a siaradwyr Saesneg,ac adlewyrchu amrywiaeth cynyddol Bangor, e.e y gymuned Affro-Caribaid lleol ac unigolion sydd wedi cyraedd o Syria ac Ukraune yn ddiwedar, a’r amrywiaeth o fewn y gymuned Gymraeg ei hun.

  • Roedd y cyfranogwyr hefyd yn gosod pwyslais neilltuol ar gael gofod ffisegol ar gyfer newyddion lleol- ‘ystafell newyddion gymunedol y gallai pobol ymweld ag o er mwyn rhannu eu profiadau bywyd’ a soniodd un ohonynt am yr ystafell newyddion cymunedol a a sefydlwyd yn ddiweddar  yn Greater Govanhill a’r Ferret yn Glasgow.

  • Economi gymysg ar gyfer newyddion lleol oedd gobaith y ddau grwp- gyda chyllid potensial gan y sector gyhoeddus, preifat, elusennol a gwirfoddol, a gan ddarllenwyr/gwylwyr hefyd.

  • Roedd y cyfranogwyr hefyd yn cytuno y byddai newyddion lleol yn elwa o gael economi leol gryfach ac fel arall hefyd: ‘Efallai y dylem ni ddod ynghyd”. Nododd un grwp fel y bydd nifer y siopa gwag ar y Stryd Fawr yn parhau i gynyddu, a’r economi leol yn newid, a mwy o wasanaethau annibynol yn cael ei sefydlu- bydd angen i’r berthynas gyda’r cyfryngau lleol newid eto.


Yn y sesiwn olaf ond un, cafwyd trafodaeth agored am gryfderau a gwendidau y dulliau gwahanol a’r modelau ariannol gwahanol ar gyfer newyddion lleol. Daeth y themau dilynol i’r golwg.


  • Er fod y cyfranogwyr o’r farn y dylai Llywodraeth Cymru a’r Senedd wneud mwy i gefnogi cyfryngau lleol, roeddent yn wyliadwrus ynghylch unrhyw arian fyddai ynghlwm wrth ryw delerau neilltuol. Soniodd un cyfranogwr yn benodol am   Banc Cambria (Banc Cymunedol Cymru)fel un cyfaill ( a benthycwr) ar gyfer newyddiaduraeth diddordeb cyhoeddus a sefydliadau eraill fel Canolfan y Gyfraith a Biwro Cyngor y Dinesydd.

  • Galwodd y cyfranogwyr am fwy o fuddasoddiad cymunedol mewn newyddion lleol, gan ei gynnwys fel rhan o gynlluniau gweithredu mewn meysydd eraill yn yr economi leol, megis cyfranddaliadau cymunedol, neu asedau cymunedol megis y dafarn ym mherchen y gymuned yn Aberaeron’): ‘Mae’n rhaid inni roi ein dwylo yn ein pocedi ein hunain”

    • Cafwyd un cyfraniad wedi’r gweithdy yn nodi y byddai newyddion cymunedol yn ychwanegiad naturiol i’r syniad o ‘Foundational Economy’ yn Blaenau Ffestiniog.

  • Mynegwyd brwdfrydedd hefyd ynghylch y syniad y dylai newddiuon lleol gael ei berchnogi a’i reoli ar lefel gyd-weithredol: ‘Dyna’r dyfodol- sefydlu ryw fath o blatfform newyddion cydweithredol fel bo’r gymuned yn dod ynghyd ac yn grymuso’r naill a’r llall. “Mae pobol angen synnwyr o berthyn ac o berchnogi- a gyda hyn mi rydan ni’n mynd yn ol at Robert Owen- tad y mudiad cyd-weithredol. A chwarelwyr lleol sefydlodd Prifuysgol Bangor hefyd ar sail cyd-weithredol”

  • Mae dwy fenter berthnasol i’r pwynt hwn yn cael eu rhedeg gan Cwmpas (Y Ganolfan Gyd-weithredol Gymreig).

    • Digital Communities Wales : rhaglen wedi ei ariannu gan Lywodrath Cymru a;i weinyddu gan Cwmpas- yn arwain ar yr agenda cynhwyso digidol a thaclo dieithriad digidol.

    • Social Business Wales : yn cefnogi ac yn cynghori start-ups a busnesau cymdeithasol ar draws Cymru ar faterion cyfreithiol ac ariannol i sefydlu neu ddatblygu eu menter gymdeithasol, mudiad cyd-weithredol, busnes rhannu cyfranddaliadau’n gymunedol neu fudiad dim am elw.


  • Roedd y cyfranogwyr yn cofio’r dyddiau da o drafod y newyddion yn y siop bapur leol gan awgrymu, yn y dyfodol y dylai darparwr newyddion lleol gael presenodeb ffisegol ar y stryd fawr, negis banc cymunedol neu’rr fenter “ta;king shop”  ‘byddai hwb yn cyflawni sawl peth- darparu newyddion ie, ond gofod hefyd lle gall pobol ddod ynghyd i gryfhau eu cysylltiadau. Roeddent hefyd yn nodi bod cael gofod ffisegol, adeilad yn gweithredu fel gofod cymunedol aml bwrpas ac fel ased ariannol ar gyfer y cyfryngau lleol. Gofynod y cyfranogwyr hefyd allai Pontio ei hun chwarae rol yn hyn o beth.

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