A ‘HOMELESS’ search and rescue team is a step closer to moving into new premises thanks to engineers building the long-awaited Porthmadog bypass.
Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team had to leave its former base, a converted agricultural shed it was renting on a temporary basis, more than a year ago because the landlord needed it for a new project.
Although the charity left on good terms with the landlord, its departure from the rented premises meant it had nowhere to meet or store equipment.
In November 2010 the bypass partnership helped out by handing over a vacant Portacabin at its main compound HQ, opposite Porthmadog Fire Station, to the rescue team for equipment storage purposes.
The rescue team is also holding its meetings at the on-site bypass visitor centre, and parking its fleet of emergency vehicles on the compound car park.
Now the bypass joint venture partnership of Balfour Beatty and Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has completed work on an access road leading up the rescue team’s under-construction new premises on Penamser Road in Porthmadog.
The resurfacing work was carried out free of charge.
Dion Jones, a callout co-ordinator with the group, said: “We still can’t afford to move into the new premises but having the access road in place is a massive step forward.
“I can’t thank members of the bypass team enough for their help and generosity.”
Work on the new £35m bypass, which is being built for the Welsh Assembly Government, is progressing well.
The new section of the A487 carriageway will improve journey times, ease congestion and significantly improve environmental conditions by enabling current through traffic to bypass Porthmadog, Tremadog and Minffordd.
Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team relies almost entirely on fundraising and voluntary donations.
The team of volunteers is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and covers an area of roughly 750 sq km including Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula. It deals with more than 50 callouts a year.
The team plans to move to its new base on Penamser Road before the end of 2011 but still needs to raise more than £10,000 before work can be completed.
Alun Jones, Porthmadog bypass public liaison officer, said: “Helping the mountain rescue team on a temporary basis is one thing but we’re thrilled to be able to help out with work on a permanent home.
“Hopefully this will enable the team move in that bit quicker.”
To make a donation to Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team or simply get involved, go to www.aberglaslyn-mrt.org.