The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales announced this week that three groups – in Powys, Gwynedd and Pembrokeshire – have successfully applied for a grant to support their rural community.
The grants, made possible by National Lottery players, have been awarded through the Rural Futures programme, which aims to support communities wishing to make a positive impact on the lives of people living in poverty in their small rural communities in Wales.
One village that will benefit from a grant of £160,000 is Cwmllinau, near Machynlleth in north Powys. The committee of Neuadd Bentref Cwmllinau will refurbish the village hall, originally built by volunteers in 1955, so that the facility is fit for purpose for the community, and for the extended community across the Dyfi Valley. The hall will be used for social events, clubs, education, training, an internet cafe, and access to health services and services from other agencies.
They have previously been successful in a bid for a £8,270 Rural Futures grant to get the work refurbishing the village hall started, and a £10,000 National Lottery Awards for All grant to renovate the village playground, addressing the priorities highlighted by the local people for the village and community centre.
Aled Griffiths, from the Neuadd Bentref Cwmllinau committee, told us:
“The residents of Cwmlline and the area are over the moon to receive funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and we are excited about the plans to refurbish the hall. We are very proud of our heritage as the hall was built voluntarily by the villagers over 60 years ago and the renovation will be a new chapter in the village’s history. The work will ensure that the community spirit here continues, and that the language and culture in the area are maintained into the future.”
In Gwynedd, Cyngor Cymuned Trawsfynydd will fund a building survey to modernise the village hall in Trawsfynydd with its £6,600. The plans will transform the space to a multi-purpose space, hosting a range of new activities and events, providing more opportunities for people of all ages to socialise and learn new skills.
Meanwhile in Pembrokeshire, Kilgetty Begelly Community Council, near Saundersfoot, successfully applied for £114,472 to develop facilities at the local recreation ground. The grant will enable the council to run a range of activities to help reduce rural isolation and to offer opportunities for social interaction.
Elaine Wyatt from the project’s steering group said: “Our project seeks to broaden the range of opportunities for local people to get involved, share skills, make, mend, and forge friendships. This National Lottery funding is crucial to the development of the project.”
These projects are the product of significant community engagement over the past four years, with support from Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA) or BRO Partnership.
David Gittins, Director for Wales at Severn Wye, said: “We are delighted that the support offered to communities as part of the Rural Futures programme has enabled them to come together and develop projects that address priorities they have identified, and to improve the quality of life for people in rural areas.”
John Rose, Wales Director of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“We’re privileged to be able to work with these groups in rural Wales, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life. National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes across the UK, and these three grants showcase the enthusiasm and dedication volunteers show to support people in their community. We are committed to supporting rural areas across Wales to tackle some of the challenges they face and to make the most of local opportunities.”