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New opportunities for Swansea’s rural communities

Innovative projects are being sought to benefit the Swansea area’s rural residents.

Community groups and not-for-profit organisations are being invited to apply for funding to support new and inventive projects with a community benefit.

Members of the Swansea Rural Development Partnership’s Local Action Group welcome ideas from community groups and social enterprises.

The schemes should increase productivity, diversity and efficiency in the agricultural sector, improve the Welsh environment and promote strong, resilient local communities.

Two funds are available.

Smaller projects can apply for grants of up to £10,000 using a fast-track process. Applications should be submitted by 5pm, February 24. All projects must supply at least 30% match funding of the total project costs.

The Rural Development Programme (RDP), managed by Swansea Council, has opened discussions about larger project ideas. With up to £25,000 on offer for more substantial proposals, potential applicants can request an initial conversation by emailing [email protected]. The RDP will accept completed project idea forms for this from March 11 to 5pm on April 10.

All activities should take place within the city’s eight rural wards and have a community benefit.

Andrew Stevens, the council’s cabinet member for business improvement and performance, said: “We’re determined to help projects that bring new opportunity, hope and inspiration to our rural areas.”

Successes of earlier RDP funding rounds have included schemes that led to the creation of the Iron Age Round House Educational Facility in Parkmill, Gower.

To find out how to submit strong applications, potential applicants can join one of four free online RDP webinars over the next month. To reserve a place email [email protected]. For more on the RDP, including webinar dates and application forms, go to  www.swansea.gov.uk/RDPfunding.

The RDP is a seven-year European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development programme funded by the European Union and the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (extended to 2023).