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Neath Port Talbot Residents to Benefit from Rural Development Programme Funding


People living in rural wards of Neath Port Talbot are benefitting from five innovative new projects, thanks to successful applications for funding from the Welsh Government Rural Communities Rural Development Programme.

The Local Action Group, which governs the Programme, has released details of the projects that were given the green light to start up in the first quarter of this year. They include projects by local community groups, social enterprises and charities within the 24 eligible rural wards of the county borough.

One of the projects, ‘Go for IT’, is run by Age Connects Neath Port Talbot and was awarded £72,105. The project promotes the importance and value of digital technology to assist with various aspects of modern day life amongst adults aged 50 plus in rural communities. Classes have already begun and are supporting people to access information on subjects such as internet banking, purchasing goods online and accessing price comparison websites for alternative fuel tariffs. The aim is to promote a healthy and active retirement and continuing independence for the over 50s in rural wards.

Another new project is ‘The Engagement Retreat’, which was awarded £49,098. Run by Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting, the project aims to support young people to gain qualifications, develop confidence and motivation and to stretch their horizons, challenge their thinking and develop their life skills. The Retreat recently took seven young people from the Gwaun Cae Gurwen area for an overnight stay at the Urdd Centre, Llangrannog.  The group participated in high and low rope challenges, quad biking, trampolining, swimming and dry slope skiing. These activities helped to develop their team building and communication skills.  All participants also completed a City and Guilds qualification on the importance of having a healthy lifestyle and keeping active.  The young people involved demonstrated positive attitudes and a willingness to participate in all the activities.

Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Ali Thomas OBE said:

“Neath Port Talbot has a strong track record in accessing external funding sources to benefit our local communities and I am delighted that the organisations concerned have seized the opportunity to apply for funding and launch these very worthwhile projects.”

Chairman of the Group and Neath Port Talbot Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Anthony Taylor, added:

“I am thrilled to see these new projects getting off the ground.  They are a result of a positive vision to build confidence, strengthen engagement and promote future participation in our local communities.

“We are firmly committed to getting the maximum benefit possible from this EU funding, which is available to tackle the longstanding social, economic and environmental problems that still exist in many local areas. These projects will go a long way to addressing these issues.”

Three other projects also benefitted from the programme, which is funded by the European Union’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and by the Welsh Government.

BayTrans who promote public transport access to people visiting the countryside in the Neath Port Talbot valleys was awarded £20,000. The initiative includes a complete appraisal of the attractions, activities and walks accessible by bus in all the rural wards.

Cognation, Bike Give Sustain Project was awarded £60,078. The project’s primary purpose is to generate income to maintain mountain bike trails in the county borough to help ensure the contribution that mountain biking visitors make to the local economy is sustained.

The Green Business Project, awarded £13,000, aims to encourage local landowners and communities to diversity land usage in order to develop new areas of biodiversity to offset the losses to natural habitats.

For further information on the projects, to apply for funding under the Rural Development Programme and for a list of the 24 eligible RDP rural wards, visit


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