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Funding boost for more rural Swansea projects

Lliw Resevoir

A well-being nature walk linking historic churches, a flower market and schemes to help cut rural Swansea’s carbon footprint are among those soon to benefit from a major funding boost.

Swansea Council has now awarded funding worth a combined £178,000 to 14 schemes under the second round of the overall rural anchor project being funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

This follows funding that’s been previously awarded to other projects as part of the first funding round.

Schemes to have successfully bid for round two project funding include:

  • The Reflective Rambling on Gower project, which provides wellbeing nature walks and creative activities based around the historic churches that are part of the Gower Pilgrimage Way set up for walkers and cyclists in 2022 using a previously awarded rural grant. Funding will be used to employ an events co-ordinator to explore the project as a pilot scheme and build a volunteer base.
  • The creation of a monthly flower market at Petallica Flower Farm in Dunvant. The market would sell locally-grown, ethical and environmentally-friendly products to both local florists and the public, helping to establish a locally-based supply chain system.
  • The installation of air source heat pumps at Bont Elim Community Church in Pontarddulais to reduce the building’s carbon footprint and improve its energy efficiency.
  • Basic equipment like ground protecting mats for a biodiverse grassland location, recycling bins and a storage unit to benefit a local food and crafts market at Felindre Welfare Hall.
  • The installation of energy-efficient, low-polluting floodlights at a planned open access, all-weather community multi-use games area in Craig Cefn Parc.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “Swansea’s rural communities, residents and businesses make such an important contribution to the economy and culture of our city and county, so we made sure a rural anchor project was among those to benefit from this UK Government funding.

“From nature walks and food markets to carbon-cutting schemes, flower markets and rural community facilities, many thousands of local people will benefit from the schemes now approved as part of the overall project’s second funding round.”

All projects that submit funding applications are assessed by a rural advisory group.

Cllr Andrew Stevens, a member of the group and Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, said: “These projects are further to the 18 schemes approved as part of the first funding round late last year, which means over £380,000 has now been committed to projects in our rural communities in recent months.

“Many more will also benefit from similar funding in the coming months too, with a third round of applications currently being assessed.

“These funding awards build on everything else the council does to support and promote Swansea’s rural communities.”

Other projects to have now been awarded funding include a feasibility study employing a bilingual consultant to research and map agricultural activity across northern Swansea, who will engage with farmers and agricultural businesses to help boost supply lines as well as food and horticultural production.

Carbon reduction measures will also be introduced at the Upper Killay Community Hall, with improvements to the insulation, solar panels on the roof and the installation of a battery storage system to run the lights there.