Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

When energy company Vattenfall were awarded the contract by the Welsh Government to develop the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm they agreed to establish an independently managed Community Fund to benefit those communities most directly affected by the development.  Similar funds exist in other areas where wind farms operate, but with a guaranteed income of £1.8 million a year for the next 20 years, Pen y Cymoedd is by far the largest such fund in England & Wales.

The Fund is set up as a Community Interest Company, ensuring independence from Vattenfall and from Government, and as a not-for-profit organisation it ensures that resources are invested for maximum community benefit in priority local projects.

The Fund is established as a Community Interest Company, ensuring independence from Vattenfalls and from Government, and as a not-for-profit organisation it is able to maximise the distribution of the money directly into local projects.

Which communities can benefit from the Fund?

Largely, communities eligible for support are those in the upper reaches of the Neath, Afan, Rhondda Cynon, Rhondda, Neath and Afan valleys. A full list of towns and villages within our Area of Benefit can be found here.

We are interested in activity proposals that will have a positive impact on communities within this area of benefit. It is possible for applicants to be based outside the area, but the activity or project proposed must directly benefit communities within it.

If you are unsure if your organisation or proposal ideas fall within the area, please contact us.

There are two Micro Fund application strands, each with its own Application Form:

A. Micro Fund: Community – for voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises, community and town councils, and school PTAs.

Although statutory bodies cannot apply for a Micro Fund grant, we welcome projects or activities developed and delivered collaboratively. We welcome partnership working with the statutory sector.

If you are a new organisation you may not have these right now, but to receive a grant you’ll need to have:

  • At least a basic constitution and a bank, Building Society or Credit Union account in the name of your organisation
  • At least three unrelated people on your governing board / management committee
  • An open membership policy. By that we mean that anyone who wants to take part in your organisation, group or activity should be welcome to do so, unless there are clear reasons why this isn’t possible. If there are any restrictions, you should explain why in your application.

B. Micro Fund: Micro Business – for individuals, new and existing businesses looking to develop or start up an enterprise, undertake training and skills development etc.

Micro Business Fund grants will normally be for £300 – £1,000 and can support access to training, and business start-up and development. Exceptionally, awards can be made up to a maximum of £5,000.

If you are a new business you may not have these right now, but to receive a grant you’ll need:

  • a bank, Building Society or Credit Union account in the name of your business
  • to be registered with HM Revenue and Customs – you can find out more here.

What can’t the Micro Fund support?

  • activities that don’t have a direct impact on the area of benefit
  • applications from public sector bodies
  • applications from individuals other than those wishing to set up or develop a business, or undertake related training
  • Activities which are the statutory responsibility of public sector bodies 
  • Activities which are exclusively party political or religious
  • Past expenditure / costs incurred for activities that have already taken place
  • One-off social events which are not part of a wider activity
  • VAT that you can recover

Micro Fund: the Fund can pay for part or all of your activity or project.

If your activity will cost more than £5,000, you’ll need to tell us where the rest of the funding will come from and when it’s likely to be in place.

If your application is successful, we may ask to see copies of receipts, bank statements etc. – so do keep them safely.

Vision Fund: details will be posted here in spring 2017.

Micro Fund: decisions about whether or not to award funding are made by the Community Interest Company Directors – normally within 6 weeks of each application round closing date.

Vision Fund: details will be posted here in spring 2017.

A Micro Fund grant should be spent in full within 12 months of the offer letter date – unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The Fund will be in place for at least 20 years, so no need to panic if you miss a deadline or your activity idea needs a bit more work before you apply.  It’s better to take your time and make sure that everything is in place so that you’re good to go if you’re successful. There will be at least two Micro Fund rounds each year.