The fund has a Board of 8 Directors, appointed for their skills and knowledge. The Board members are passionate about the potential of the fund and their role in ensuring the fund has a genuine legacy for the areas it serves.
Glenn Bowen has been with the fund since it started in 2016 and is the Director of Enterprise at WCVA.
“I originally applied to join the Board as I wanted to have a say in how the investment from the fund is made in our communities. I was keen to make sure that it was used in a positive way to help create jobs and improve our area of benefit. I also wanted to ensure that the fund looked at its own sustainability, so that we leave something behind after the money from the wind farm has gone. This is part of the reason that we issue grants and loans, it means that our businesses can have a loan from us and pay this back so that we can loan it out again, making the fund work even harder for our communities.
I think the introductions of business loans for those who can afford to pay the money back has been great as it makes the money go further. I was also proud of how quickly the fund reacted after Storm Dennis and to support our local businesses at the start of the Covid crisis.
We need to invest in projects that will bring new money into our communities and create economic value for the long term. It would be great to work with other funding bodies to bring in additional money into the fund pot and consider setting up a locally owned development company to develop large scale economic projects to benefit the area of benefit” – Glenn.
Martin Veale joined the Board in 2019 and is aqualified accountant and auditor. Martin joined Forestry Commission Wales as Director of Finance in 2010 and became Head of Audit and Risk on the formation of Natural Resources Wales in 2013. A serving magistrate, Martin sits on the Glamorgan Valleys bench.
“I bring a financial and governance background which enables me to help ensure that the fund maintains a high standard of corporate governance and continues to be well run.
I have lived in the south Wales valleys all my life. I am acutely aware of the economic hardships many in the area have faced and recognise the outstanding opportunity the funding available from Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund represents. The challenge is clearly for funding to make a long-term impression on the area – meeting the needs of the wellbeing of future generations.
My extensive experience gained working for public bodies in south Wales has helped to give me a broad understanding of both strategic and practical issues in this time of Covid and for the recovery that needs to follow. It has also helped to better understand the linkages between many of these sectors, particularly between health, education, sport, and recreation.
I am proud of the way the fund has been able to reprioritise quickly to provide Covid support to organisations in the area which have struggled to access funding elsewhere. This has not meant that we have lost sight of longer term and bigger schemes which are funded through our Vision scheme. Striking the right balance between short term and longer-term needs, and smaller scale micro funding versus large scale vision fund projects is key to how the fund supports its communities and makes a difference now and, in the future,” – Martin.