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New Project in Bridgend Aims to Help Communities Turn Ideas into Reality

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People who live in rural parts of Bridgend County Borough are being given an opportunity to turn their ideas for improving their local community into a reality.

Whether it’s the renovation of Llangynwyd Village Hall or the creation of a community gym inside a refurbished former church hall at Blaengarw, the Bridgend Reach programme has been helping to fund projects designed to improve rural communities since 2007.

Now their new Thriving Rural Communities scheme is asking local people to put forward their ideas and suggestions for projects that will benefit the area in which they live.

The scheme forms part of the recently launched Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government, to offer support and grants of up to £100,000 to develop, pilot and test ideas that could help improve and regenerate rural communities in Bridgend County Borough.

Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development and chair of the reach Bridgend Local Action Group, said:

“We are looking for people to come forward with inspirational ideas that will use the unique strengths of each rural area to improve the quality of community life, boost the local economy and help transform how local services are delivered.

“There are 39 wards in Bridgend County Borough and 21 of them are classed as rural, so this initiative has the potential to make a highly significant impact on the area.

“The new Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government, is a source of support for like-minded community groups and people operating within key sectors in rural Bridgend. It offers plenty of opportunities for collaborative working for the benefit of the community, and I’d urge you to visit www.bridgendreach.org.uk to find out more about how you can take part.”