Trust made up of local volunteers set up to save the Marquess of Anglesey’s Column heritage site.

Thomas Telford's Menai Suspension Bridge

View from Column, Menai Suspension Bridge Thomas Telford's ​​​​​​​


Why is it important? 

Standing 106 metres above the Menai Strait, the Marquess of Anglesey’s Column was constructed in 1817 is a memorial to the 1st Marquess of Anglesey’s important role in the battle of Waterloo. The column has consistently stood as a popular landmark and has attracted tourists keen to scale its 115 steps and enjoy panoramic views of North-west Wales.

Unfortunately, the column closed in 2012 when the internal staircase was deemed unsafe. In 2017, on the 200th anniversary of its opening, the Trust was created to repair the column and improve the visitor experience, through the provision of additional facilities including a café, toilets and shop. The Trust also had plans to create an accessible boardwalk around the site so that people with physical impairments could experience the area, even if they could not climb the steps to the top of the column.

How we helped 

The group were very uncertain about their role and responsibilities and felt they needed support to map out the steps required to make progress on the project. After receiving recommendations from previous clients, the Trust approached Social Business Wales for support. SBW backed the venture with guidance on the roles and responsibilities of directors, strengthening their governance practices, possible sources of grant funding and VAT advice,, In addition, SBW provided sustainable development policies including an environmental policy, environmental action plan and an eco-code.

Impact of support

This wide-ranging support has had a tremendous impact on the Trust enabling them to secure funding from various sources including the Gaynor Cemlyn Jones Trust, Anglesey Charitable Trust, Architectural Heritage Fund, Magnox, Historic Houses Foundation, Wolfson Trust, Pilgrim Trust, National Lottery Heritage Fund and backing from several high-net-worth individuals.

Dame Enid Bibby, the vice-chair said “We are extremely grateful for the support provided and for the very high standard to which it was delivered. It has enhanced our understanding and capabilities, not least our capability to meet funders’ requirements.” 

This input has provided the group with a platform to emerge as a strong and well-structured entity, successfully securing the finance required to undertake the challenging repair job and craft a community space.

Another Director, Peter Davies OBE, recently added, ‘‘The Trust values the support and advice received from Social Business Wales in the journey from inception of the project in 2018. Through the services provided by the SBW team, the Trust has been able to put in place robust governance structures, policies legally required by a modern business and an approach to environmental matters.  The policies have been embedded into a Staff Handbook, which will regularly be updated. 

“The Trust thanks Social Business Wales for helping us lay solid business foundations and empowering us to move into the future with confidence. We now know SBW is there to help when needed.’’


Social Business Wales is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government and is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre.