The Study Centre Construction

Phase 1

In the Beginning

In 2016 a very generous donation was made to the Gwent Beekeepers Association. To enable the Association to be able to own its own assets, the Association had to register with the Charities Commission and become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. (CIO) and hence GBKA became GBKCIO.

In 2017 the donation was used to purchase a five acre site just outside of Llanvair Kilgeddin near Abergavenny. Designs and plans were drawn up for a rather aspirational building to be put on the site for a building that could be used as a Study Centre. Initial fencing of the site and the planting of an orchard was completed by the members of GBKCIO.

When a major grant application to pay for the building failed in 2018, a re-design of the building was undertaken to a more achievable money raising budget. A number of organisations were approached and have made either generous cash donations or materials which we needed in the building of the Study Centre.

The Passmores plan

Passmores worked with GBKcio through John and Janet Bromley to produce this plan. John and Janet also handled the liason and did a lot of the work to obtain the neccesary planning permissions for this project with John taking on the role of the first Project Manager.

Ground Works

2018 saw a major re-think of the plans and a trimming down of facilities. With the new ideas planning permission with Monmouthshire County Council was applied for and obtained with the blessing of the Local Parish Council. Hugh Watkins from Crickhowell was awarded the contract for the ground works.
By February 2020, despite the wettest winter on record, the ground work finished on time.

The Kit of parts

Planning permission was finalised on a 15m x 8.4m timber building and an order was placed with Passmores Portable Buildings Ltd.

17th March 2020 we took delivery of a lorry load of building panels that made up our new Study Centre building.

As soon as the lorry was unloaded and the kit of parts were on the field the assembly team, led by Roy Watkins, started assembling the walls.


With the walls up it was time to call in the scaffolding so that we had safe walkways to build the roof. But at the end of March 20 saw the crack down with COVID-19 restrictions. The walls had been errected but the roof was not on.

With COVID-19 threatening our plans we could no longer use a number of different volunteers to assist with the roof construction.
We did however use a few key personnel who were able to take time off work to help and a carefully planned one way system to maintain social distancing.

Roof Trusses

Roof trusses had to be installed one at a time. A significant amount of aireal acrobatics had to be performed by each truss, to firstly place the ends on top of the walls and then the apex was rotated up into the air.

With all the trusses on top of the walls and the right way up, they were then placed in their pre-determined slots and braced into place.

Felt and Battons

Roof Slates

With COVID-19 restrictions now fully in place the only people that were allowed to work on site was our Carpenter Roy Watkins and fortunatly his son, who lived in the same "bubble".
Roy worked on getting the slates on the roof so that at least the building was dry and weather tight.


Roy continued to work on site putting down the insulation with the floor boards.

Interior Walls

With the floor boards down came the installation of the interior walls to divide the space up into the main areas of hall, food preperation and processing area, foyer and toilets.
Phase #1 - Completed
With the agreed completion of Phase #1 we had the structure of the building in place ready for the plaster boards and diary board fitment in the food preperation area.
Gwent Beekeepers CIO
The Holden Apiary & Study Centre
Llanover Road
Llanfair Kilgeddin
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Gwent Beekeepers CIO
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