Neath Port Talbot Council is urging eligible groups to apply for Rural Community Development Funding before the current window of opportunity closes on 31st October 2016.
The scheme, which was launched in July 2015, has got off to a terrific start in the county borough, with nine out of ten Neath Port Talbot projects already submitted making it through to the final stage application process.
Financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government, the scheme is open to groups from eligible rural wards and offers up to £128k in capital funding for suitable projects.
Council Leader, Ali Thomas OBE said:
“I am delighted to hear that such a high percentage of applications from Neath Port Talbot are progressing well through the scheme and wish them every success in the final stage.
“I hope that others in our rural communities are inspired by the success of these nine projects, and would urge eligible groups to take this opportunity and apply for capital funding to enable them to grow and prosper.”
Councillor Anthony Taylor, Chairman of the Local Action Group, Regenerate NPT added:
“This capital investment fund was set up to lessen the impact of poverty in our rural areas and could lead to future jobs and prosperity in Wales.
“Neath Port Talbot has seen one of the highest rates of projects going forward to the next stage, which is extremely encouraging. We have met people who are passionate about improving their local conditions by actively creating opportunities for growth and future prospects and we hope to see many more groups coming forward with their projects.
“We wish all the applicants the very best of luck getting through the final stage of the application process.”
Some of the Neath Port Talbot projects that have so far reached the final stage are Glantawe Outdoor Academy in Pontardawe, Swansea Canal Society, also in Pontardawe, Amman Valley Trotting Club in Tairgwaith and DANSA who supply community transport to rural areas in the county borough.
Glantawe Outdoor Academy has applied for funding to build an extension to their centre, the interior of which will be designed to innovate, inspire and encourage a positive attitude towards learning and development. Swansea Canal Society is hoping to secure funding to create a Heritage Trail to provide safe access, a cycle path and information panels describing the industrial and natural history alongside a section of the canal. Amman Valley Trotting Club has applied for funds to complete a community events barn. This will provide a space to hold shows and displays for residents and visitors to the area and act as a meeting place for community groups. DANSA’s application is for funding to purchase three wheelchair accessible minibuses to enhance its current fleet and secure sustainability of its existing services to rural areas.
Any eligible groups wishing to find out more about this fund should contact the Rural Development Programme (RDP) Team who, along with NPT’s Local Action Group, Regenerate NPT, support local projects through the application process. More information on the fund is available on the Welsh Government’s website.
For further guidance and advice on eligibility please contact the RDP office on 01639 686077 or [email protected]