Reflections on success of 4-year project funding Arts Factory, Rhondda

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We just paid the last instalment of a 4-year grant to Arts Factory and received final report. We have been thrilled with their commitment to the project and the difference it has made, and we wish them every continued success:
• They sought investment to complete their plans to be a sustainable enterprising centre for the whole community.
• A review of their Graphic Design social enterprise led them to develop a business plan, so they could grow and generate further income to support their community development work.
• PyC funding paid for Graphic Design New Business and Marketing Consultant over 4 years with tapering funding and some capital investment.
Which meant they:
• tripled their graphic design income since contract start.
• Developed and managed a database enabling them to promote their offer.
• Became more active on social media.
• Built relationships with strategic partners and associates.
• Increased their capacity to take on more complex multi-channel projects.
• Achieved a margin of over 10% on supplier costs – sometimes doubling them.
• Offered a work experience placement within the Graphic Design studio.
• At contract end, had generated enough income to fully employ the New Business and Marketing Consultant.

They focused on improving their infrastructure and increasing their community offering, which meant they:
• Created a home for more groups and activities and worked with new partners.
• Strengthened their standing as a place in the community for those with nowhere to go.
• Increased the numbers attending Health and Wellbeing Clubs; Active Inclusion Project;
and Fun Factory
• Refurbished parts of Trerhondda enable them to provide more space and opportunities.
• Repaired and repointed the rear wall and internal walls of their listed building on two levels
They also recognised that IT was essential for their future to develop their enterprises and support learning in the community, which meant they purchased a new IT server; a new Apple Mac for the design studio; and overhauled the computers used by the Factory Books project.

“We are grateful to Pen y Cymoedd for recognising the potential in how the community could benefit from the funding and what we could achieve with it. We feel that the project represented real value for money and has led to long term sustainability in: the programmes we offer; the building we are in; and to the community as a whole.

Without this funding, the alternative is unthinkable, not only would our Graphic Design studio probably have ceased trading, but we probably also would have had to close Arts Factory’s doors, leaving people without critical support through some of the most challenging recent times in Valleys history.
So to PyC we say: Huge thanks! We’re still here because of you!”