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A Bridgend social enterprise has welcomed more than one million visitors

A social enterprise in Bridgend that delivers cultural services and venues to the local community, has received more than one million visits to its different centres over the last 12-months, including a record-breaking number of visits to Bryngarw Country Park, which it runs.

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wen Cultural Trust was established in 2015 as a charitable organisation that runs many of the community centres, libraries, and theatres on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council.

The social enterprise partnered with the Wales Co-operative Centre to be part of its Social Summer 2019 campaign, which has encouraged families across Wales to make more use of the wide-range of family-friendly social enterprises in their area. As a result, the social enterprise had a record-breaking number of visitors at Bryngarw Country Park this summer, with 57,000 visitors between July and August.

Speaking about the importance of social enterprises in Wales, Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, said: “Since the establishment of Awen Cultural Trust, we’ve witnessed first-hand how social enterprises can transform the local community and benefit residents. That’s why we were excited to be a part of the Wales Co-operative Centre’s Social Summer 2019 campaign to show people how social enterprises can bring investment and development into the local area.”


Employing nearly 200 people and managing several sites across Bridgend – including the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl, Maesteg Town Hall and Bryngarw House and Country Park – Awen Cultural Trust plays a pivotal role in ensuring the Bridgend residents have access to art, education and vital support services.

The social enterprise has also made major progress on the £6m redevelopment of Maesteg Town Hall, which is scheduled to start later in November 2019 and be completed by the middle of 2021.

Discussing the importance of social enterprises like the Awen Cultural Trust, Catherine Evans, marketing manager at the Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “Social enterprises create huge value for the Welsh economy and they also create so many benefits for local communities, which is why are Social Summer 2019 is so important. We want to raise awareness with the public that there are social enterprises nearby where they can enjoy themselves, while also supporting a wider social cause.”

The ‘Mapping the Social Business Sector in Wales’ report, published earlier this year, found that the social business sector in Wales is worth an estimated £3.18bn to the Welsh economy, a 34% increase on findings in 2016.

Social enterprises play a key role in creating job opportunities for local communities. The 2,022 social enterprises in Wales employ around 55,000 people and provide volunteering opportunities to an estimated 58,000 individuals.

In addition, around a quarter of all social businesses invest their profits in their social objectives and more than 75 per cent pay the Real Living Wage to all their staff, compared to just 48 per cent of Welsh SMEs.