Vision Fund Grant Award Boost for Valleys Businesses and Community Groups

Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund is delighted to announce the details of five more Vision Fund grant awards – investing £183,535 across 4 South Wales Valleys.
Vision Fund grants support activities that deliver a range of benefits for local communities – businesses, voluntary sector and community groups can all apply. Proposals need to be bold, ambitious and a bit out of the ordinary – and they need to make a long-term positive difference. The latest projects supported are wide-ranging – from digital skills training and sports facility improvements to sandwich shops, cafes and community parks! We really are open to ideas and proposals of all kinds.
AFC Llwydcoed has been awarded £25,000 to construct a 250-seater covered stand – essential if the ambitious team is to progress to Division 1. The Club raised a whopping £75,000 in match funding, and construction work is now underway, ready for the new season. This will be a huge boost for members, raising the Club’s profile and creating greater opportunities for local young people – girls and boys alike – to play football at a high level and develop their skills. The Club has been at the heart the community since it started 87 years ago. It was formed out of and by the mining community and has always played its full part in village life not only by encouraging and providing sporting opportunities but by organising and supporting events and activities.
Blaengwrach Community Council has been awarded £99,000 to transform and upgrade Cwmgwrach Welfare Park. The local community had been keen to see improvements to the Park for some time – and community consultation confirmed that this was a priority for local people of all ages. The Park and Hall have always been at the heart of a wide range of different community activities, as somewhere to meet, socialise and take in the scenery – as well as for play, ball games and recreation amongst toddlers, juniors and teenagers. The work now underway includes the installation of new play equipment and a Multi-Use Games Area, the creation of a garden area with seating and a space for outdoor community events. The Community Council will create a fund for future maintenance of the Park to ensure that it’s in tip top condition for years to come.
A grant of £7,184 enabled The Sandwich Bank to open in a former Bank building in the lively, growing village of Hirwaun, funding bright new signage and an internal makeover. “We are aiming for a ‘Grab & Go’ business model rather than the traditional coffee shop” says owner Kay Chaplin-Enoch “we will have two small tables/chairs for people to use while they wait for their freshly made orders to be prepared” The business has got off to a very busy start, providing local employment and an excellent new local service.
People and Work were awarded £21,819 to support existing and develop new Code Clubs for young people in the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys. Coding is the process of using a programming language to get a computer to do what you want it to do and is a skill in great demand. “At the moment, new technology industries offering high quality jobs in south east Wales are struggling to recruit staff – around 1000 jobs have been created in the Cardiff area alone in four years” says Project Manager James Hall. “Alongside this, hundreds of young people are passionate about coding and computer science, but don’t know enough about coding as a career option and this job market – that’s what this project will tackle.” As well as skills building, there will be work experience opportunities, support for digital entrepreneurship (e.g. people can be supported to code apps, develop websites from community venues or at home) and links developed with universities and businesses. A particular focus will be on the engagement of girls and young women, who are under-represented in the technology sector.
Canal View Café has received a Vision Fund award of £15,000 to enhance the catering offer at the Neath Canal picnic area and car park in Resolven (just off the busy A465), serving a varied menu of freshly cooked hot and cold meals 7 days a week. The grant will support the purchase and fitting out of a large shipping container – transforming it into a full commercial kitchen with seating available inside and out. “The location next to the canal and the river is idyllic” say owners Darren and Emma Hughes. “It’s very popular with tourists and visitors from all over the country – there is direct access from the site to the Resolven Canal Walk and the Neath River.  We’ll be working with NPT CBC to promote local heritage, involving local schools and groups, and offering a meeting place for canal walks, mountain bikers and all outdoor enthusiasts.” The new facility will support the local recruitment and training of 6 new full-time employees along with apprentices.
 
The Community Fund will be in place for at least the next 20 years, and our plans are ambitious. Over that period, it’s hoped that the Fund will make a real contribution to making the area a dynamic, exciting, vibrant place to live and work.
If you or your organisation or business has a project in mind, small or large, the Community Fund welcomes enquiries. Find out about our Micro and Vision Fund grant programmes on our website – www.penycymoeddcic.cymru – or give Barbara or Kate a call on 01685 878785. We look forward to hearing from you!