MOSTYN Gallery, Conwy

With support from Conwy County Borough Council, MOSTYN Gallery completed a refurbishment in 2010 and now acts as an important community, visitor and creative/cultural sector hub. This case study forms part of the Value of culture - regeneration section of our online Culture Hub.

MOSTYN Gallery, Conwy

Background and history

Based in Llandudno, MOSTYN Gallery was established in 1901 by Lady Augusta Mostyn, built to showcase the work of women artists. With the onset of the First World War, the gallery closed and remained so for 65 years, but following a local campaign was re-established and opened again to the public in 1979 as a contemporary art gallery.

After acquiring adjoining premises in 2004, MOSTYN sought funding to undertake a refurbishment of the building, which was completed in 2010, and the new enhanced gallery reopened to the public.


  • 1901 – MOSTYN is established
  • 1978 – MOSTYN reopens following public campaign
  • 2004 – MOSTYN is granted £3milliom in funding from Arts Council Wales
  • 2010 - MOSTYN re-opens following refurbishment
  • 2013 - MOSTYN establishes annual arts festival

Funding for refurbishment of MOSTYN

£3 million from the Arts Council of Wales

£0.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund

£1.8 million from other sources, including the Welsh Assembly and charitable trusts

Delivery of activities

The new building provides five exhibition spaces, a hands-on education room, a meeting room, café, enlarged retail area and improved public facilities.

The overall offer is divided into three main areas:

  • exhibitions: between six and 12 exhibitions are held each year, which are free to enter and include exhibitions where local crafts and jewellery are sold
  • engagement: the Llawn multi-arts festival is led by MOSTYN each year in September, working with a number of partners, and includes visual arts, street theatre, music and performing arts
  • learning: the gallery delivers a learning and participation programme, working with schools, colleges and universities, as well as delivering outreach work including talks, seminars and events with local communities and remote schools in north Wales.



generates over £600,000 of economic value in the local area each year


over 100,000 annual visits with two-thirds of visitors from outside the local area


5,000 learners engaged in the education programme each year

  • directly employs 17 full-time staff
  • combined supply-chain and induced spending – generates over £600,000 of economic value (gross value added) in the local area each year (2015)
  • over 100,000 visits per annum – (including outreach), with two-thirds of visitors coming from outside the local area; this supports £700,000 of economic value in the area (2015 data)
  • 5,000 learners engaged annually – through the education programme delivered to pupils, students and lifelong learners
  • sales outlet for creative sector – through showcasing in MOSTYN exhibitions and sales in the shop, the gallery provides an important shop window for local artists, designers and craft makers
  • supporting health and wellbeing outcomes – partnering with health, social services and community groups with life-enhancing and remedial art-based activities.

Learning points

Multi-functional cultural hub: operating in a smaller community, MOSTYN provides an important hub for a wide range of cultural and creative sector activity in the area, and is a good example of a gallery achieving a balance between high-quality arts and supporting the visitor economy, creative sector, education and wellbeing outcomes. Operating outside the institution: through a broad outreach programme and leadership of the annual Llawn multi-arts festival, MOSTYN has a substantial impact outside of the gallery’s walls, recognising the importance of doing so in order to engage a wider and more diverse demographic across the local area.

“The success and indeed survival of a town like Llandudno is having many strings to its bow for visitors and residents. We have the scenery, the seaside tourism, a buoyant high street and now a strong arts and culture offer with MOSTYN Gallery at the forefront.

“The appeal of the gallery is the ease of access for people to view and become engaged with modern art. Wandering off the promenade they soon find themselves immersed in modern art, but in such an accessible way it becomes part of the Llandudno experience.”
Councillor Louise Emery, Cabinet Member for Economy, Marketing and Events, Conwy County Borough Council