Caernarfon Castle calls on local businesses for new catering opportunity

Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, is seeking a local business to establish, run, and manage a brand-new catering facility within the beautiful grounds of Caernarfon Castle.

The opportunity will begin with a pop-up kiosk at the celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site, before adding a permanent offer within the soon-to-be refurbished King’s Gate — Caffi Castell.

Cadw issued the ‘expression of interest’ notice for the opportunity in February, and is now encouraging prospective applicants to register for the kiosk viewing day by 10 March. The socially-distanced viewing day will take place on 31 March and will allow interested parties to tour the historic site and pop-up space before submitting a bid.

Cadw hopes to appoint a local, independent business by May 2021, with the pop-up kiosk to open its doors at the beginning of June, subject to coronavirus restrictions.

Should the relationship between Cadw and the selected business prove successful, the catering opportunity will expand into future years – with the operator given the chance to run and manage both the pop-up kiosk and the new Caffi Castell from summer 2022.

With planning permission received in November last year, it’s hoped that the development will help to drive more visitors to Caernarfon Castle and the town centre, while supporting a local business to expand its horizons: as experienced at the Harlech Castle café in recent years.

Gwilym Hughes, Head of Cadw, said: “We look forward to hearing from local businesses across Caernarfon and the wider Gwynedd community, and we’re confident that the operator selected will bring exciting ideas and a varied catering offer to enhance the overall visitor experience at the Castle. It’s a great opportunity for a local business as Caernarfon sees up to 200,000 visitors in a typical year.

“We hope to foster a long-term working relationship with the appointed operator, so that we support them in expanding their business within the Castle grounds while also ensuring our visitors get the highest quality experience at Caernarfon Castle.”

Caffi Castell forms part of a wider £4m development project within the Castle’s main entrance tower, known as the King’s Gate.

The refurbished King’s Gate will also feature an enhanced visitor entrance, new interpretation exhibits about the Castle’s history, an education and event space and a glass lift to the upper embattlements, which will open into the new state-of-the-art viewing deck.

Meanwhile, important conservation work at surrounding towers will help to protect the medieval structure for generations to come.

For more information and to find out how to express interest, visit https://cadw.gov.wales/about-us/careers/caernarfon-castle-pop-kiosk-lease-opportunity.