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Rural areas urged to cash in on £120K from latest Brenig windfarm windfall

Pictured (from Left ) is Helen Williams of Cadwyn Clwyd, Anna Gresty, treasurer of the trampoline club, Max and his Dad Peter Thompson and Coach Laurel Morgan. Picture Mandy Jones

A windfarm windfall of £120,000 is on offer to good causes across rural Denbighshire and Conwy in the latest round of funding available from a £4 million community fund.

To date the Brenig Wind Limited Community Benefit Fund has handed out over £350,000 to community groups, clubs and societies since it launched two years ago.

Among those to cash in is a popular trampolining club for the disabled which attracts members from across Denbighshire, Flintshire and Conwy and is now bouncing back from lockdown closedown.

Flying High, which attracts members aged from six to 60 from across North East Wales to its weekly sessions at Denbigh Leisure Centre, has used a £714 grant to kit itself out with new club shirts and training aids and provide extra coaching and insurance.

The Brenig Wind Farm Fund is set to distribute almost £4 million over 25 years for communities in the qualifying area and Brenig Wind Ltd’s David Heelan said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for rural communities to benefit.

“Cadwyn Clwyd has already distributed well over £350,000 to more than 50 different local projects for a range of different projects and helped them leverage even more.

“The applications will go before a locally-based grants panel who will make the final decisions on where and how the money is spent.”

The eligible area stretches from St Asaph in the north to Maerdy, near Corwen, in the south and from the River Clwyd in the east across the Denbigh Moors to Cerrigydrudion and the upper reaches of the Conwy Valley – a map of the area that benefits is on the Cadwyn Clwyd website.

The money comes from Brenig Wind Ltd whose 16 wind turbines on Mynydd Hiraethog generate over 37.6 megawatts of power – enough to power over thirty thousand homes a year.

It has made a big difference to Flying High whose members are back in action every Monday evening from 5pm, observing social distancing since returning to action after lockdown but still enjoying the thrill of trampolining.

Club Treasurer Anna Gresty, from Prion, whose son is a regular at the club, said: “Flying High has been going for ten years and we get people coming from a wide area of North East Wales – we even had someone in their 80s who used to take part before lockdown.

“It’s been a very vibrant club but of course we had to shut during lockdown and since returning to action we’ve had to regulate how many we can have in each 15-minute session.

“But we’re lucky because we have excellent coaching from Laurel Morgan and her team and we’ve fund-raised so we have good equipment including for members who are non-ambulatory.”

Peter Morgan, from Ruthin, whose 10-year-old son, Max, attends Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn at Denbigh, said: “He has autism and it was difficult to find extra-curricular activities which he could take part in but this has been perfect.

“Max has been trampolining for four years and he loves it. It keeps him fit and he meets new people so it’s been really good for him.

“He has struggled socially and there’s not much available for children with additional needs so finding this club was terrific from a health perspective. He can burn off a few calories every week.”

The Brenig Wind Farm Fund has helped over 50 local projects including bowling greens at Denbigh and Llansannan, a kitchen in Bylchau Memorial Hall, laptops and iPads for an after-school club in Cerrigydrudion, cameras to track red squirrels in Clocaenog Forest and a defibrillator in an old phonebox in Nantglyn.

Cadwyn Clwyd Project Manager Helen Williams said: “There has been a great deal of interest in the Wind Farm Fund and so many local organisations have already benefited from it.

“We are looking for many more to get their bids in by the deadline and even if you have applied before unsuccessfully you can get in touch with us to discuss a new bid.

“This is a great opportunity for local community groups and societies who need to think big and small because the money is available for a range of projects across the area.”