When Vattenfall asked the community what they wanted from the Pen y Cymoedd Community Fund some of the key priorities were:
- A range of quality, sustainable jobs
- Increasing the proportion of economically active women
- Help for businesses with the cost of new employees
- Well kept, attractive high streets
- Making start-up funding more accessible
- The fund has supported 14 new start-up businesses leading to at least 17 sustainable jobs, from dog groomers to cafes, window cleaners to photographers, hairdressers to cleaning companies.
- We have supported over 20 existing businesses to expand, diversify and improve business infrastructure. From high street florists to online chocolate companies, local convenience shops and private gyms, garages, local artists and many more. This funding has helped businesses to improve digital presence, purchased equipment to improve their services, helped with marketing and made their shops more attractive.
- Funding from Pen y Cymoedd has created jobs and funded posts for netball coaches, local florists, gym instructors for community halls and new delicatessens. It has led to job creation for cafes and tea rooms, play centres and online clothing businesses.
Cwmparc Community association asked for help to fund a worker for community café and a gym instructor. Since that £10,000 investment, the café jobs are sustainable and secure creating employment for 2 local people and improving services they can offer. We are sure the gym instructor position will also become sustainable after grant ends.
When we invested £357,000 into Valleys Kids social enterprise The Play Yard, we thought it may create around 6 jobs. They now employ 17 local people and whilst they still have a way to go to be sustainable, they have come through COVID and are planning for the future.
£3,301 awarded to Coffeehouse Sandwich Bar in Hirwaun helped two local women purchase all equipment they needed to start up new business and we are excited to see how this develops, offering them employment and creating more job opportunities in the future.
The Tired Mama Collection applied for funding to help expand business that started online from their bedroom. £23,065 investment helped the business and they now have a premises of their own and have created 4 full time jobs for local women.
Funding for new and existing business may be in the form of a grant, loan or grant / loan mix and we are thrilled to see the impact the funding has already had, improving local businesses and creating sustainable jobs. We are so thankful to the local communities and businesses for their continued interest in the fund and for coming to us with their amazing ideas.
If you have an idea for a small project that will have a real impact on your business, if you want to diversify and grow, if you need help with cost of new employees or if you have a big, exciting visionary project in mind – talk to us!
There is also lots of business support out there from organisations such as Business Wales, Welsh ICE and Business in Focus.