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Welsh Arts News
Peninsula, based in Gaerwen, on Anglesey, has reached the final in this year's Arts & Business Cymru Awards. The winners will be revealed at a glittering ceremony at the Wales Millennium Centre, in Cardiff, on Thursday, June 14th. The Oscars-style event will be hosted by television and radio presenter Nicola Heywood Thomas.
Peninsula was nominated for its support of last year's inaugural Summer Night Jazz festival at Plas Newydd on Anglesey. Their £2,800 sponsorship package included an £800 contribution - match funded by Arts and Business Cymru - towards a bursary scheme to foster young musical talent.
The idea of the bursary, run in conjunction with the William Mathias Music Centre in Caernarfon, is to provide talented young musicians access to expert tuition they might otherwise not been able to afford.
Peninsula and sister company Heritage Harwood are long-running supporters of the arts. Lorraine Hopkins, partner of Peninsula's Managing Director Ken Grayson, is a former North Wales manager of Arts & Business Cymru.
The mother of two is now a full-time co-director at Peninsula - but her commitment to the arts is undiminished. Lorraine said:
"The company, which employs 22 people, traditionally sold uPVC windows and doors but over the past five years we have diversified the product range to include solar panels, balustrading, garage doors and the like - it's very much about aluminium and composite products. We've really embraced the arts within Peninsula now because it really helps us with our positioning because it's such a competitive industry and one that doesn't have the best reputation really. We have an excellent reputation that is far removed from the stereotype perpetuated by some cowboy operators - so we use that as our strength because we position ourselves in a different league altogether.
"Buying into the arts gives us that kind of edge so it's about being associated with creativity and being forward thinking. The first Summer Night Jazz last year was a big success and we are delighted to be supporting the event again this year.
"What's really important as part of this project is that some of the money is going into a bursary scheme that gives access to music tuition to kids who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it. In the past we have sponsored Ensemble Cymru to perform at care homes in North Wales as part of a community tour. One of the best projects we've done was when we commissioned photographer Katy Morgan Williams to work with the fitting lads. She took them out to sites that they had chosen that were meaningful to them around North Wales where they were able to then install their choice of product their way in unusual settings. One of the team installed one of his favourite doors under an archway of a bridge which is in his mum's back garden.
"In terms of advertising our product, it was actually genuinely creative and about the fitters using their skills in ways they weren't used to and they really got into the project. We've been nominated a few times before and we're thrilled to be finalists in the Arts & Business Cymru Awards this year. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed."