Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm Community Fund has invested its first £1 million into projects that support its neighbouring communities in Carmarthenshire.
Officially launched in August 2018, the fund is directly linked to the operation of the RWE-owned and operated wind farm. It has also allocated a further £400,000 to support projects that significantly benefit communities living within 6km of the project.
Now, in order to support local awareness of the fund, a brand new dedicated website has launched, which highlights how the 86 awards are making a difference to the local area. The website is also a helpful portal on all things related to the fund and is designed to help local people successfully apply for funding: www.brechfawestcommunityfund.org.uk.
Katy Woodington, UK Community Investments manager, RWE Renewables, said:
“It’s fantastic to see our neighbouring communities use the fund as an opportunity to bring forward new projects that are so valuable to local people. Social projects such as a luncheon club in Brechfa; innovative projects such as the electric community car share club; and urgently needed projects such as the extensive improvement works to numerous community halls in the area. With the fund committing more than £11million over the lifetime of the wind farm, this is just the beginning of the story of the positive legacy the development will leave in the area and we can’t wait to see what happens next.”
The Brechfa Forest West Community Fund is administered independently by Antur Teifi, and will provide an overall £11 million funding legacy over the operational lifetime of the 28 turbine wind farm.
Amongst the current beneficiaries are Felingwm Uchaf Hall and Brechfa Hall, which have been able to undertake important upgrade works as a result of funding support. Llanllawddog, Llanfihangel yr Arth and Llanfihangel Rhos y Corn have also received funding, and have all purchased defibrillators. Llyfrau Llafar have received funding to translate and record local history books.
Thanks to support from the Community Fund, Skanda Vale Hospice has been able to purchase a bunkhouse which will help provide a sustainable income stream. This means the charity will be able to expand its residential hospice provision from 7 days a month to 365 days a year over time.
Finally, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm Community Fund has been flexible providing crises funding to support food deliveries to the vulnerable during lockdown. The fund also helped provide PPE for nursing homes and Glangwili Hospital through an innovative 3D printing project with Swansea University.
As the largest investor in renewable energy in Wales, RWE Renewables currently operates four onshore and three offshore wind farms. The company has four offices across Wales and through its employees, supply chain and community funds, has been present in Welsh communities for over two decades.