01 July 2008
Communities in rural areas across the Caerphilly county borough are set to benefit from a range of innovative projects worth £3.2 million.
For the first time, organisations in the Caerphilly area have been eligible to bid for funding from the Wales Rural Development Plan, which is jointly funded by the European Union and the Welsh Assembly Government.
One of its main aims is to improve the quality of life in rural areas and to support the rural economy. The Caerfilli – Cwm a Mynydd Partnership has successfully attracted this impressive amount by working with local organisations and community groups to develop projects. Caerphilly county borough council will manage the programme for the partnership, as well as running some of the projects.
The rural wards in this area qualifying for support, as designated by the Welsh Assembly, are Twyn Carno and Moriah (Rhymney), Darran Valley, New Tredegar, Argoed, Crumlin, St Cattwg, Nelson, Aber Valley, Llanbradach, Maesycwmmer, Ynysddu, St James and Bedwas, Trethomas & Machen.
Cllr Ron Davies, cabinet member for regeneration and countryside, said today, "This significant funding stream will provide real benefits to our rural communities and we are delighted that eleven exciting projects have now been approved. The Caerphilly county borough has many rural wards and we want to ensure that these communities are supported and encouraged to thrive and diversify in the future."
The eleven projects approved are:
- Community Development Key Fund – GAVO
This key fund will enable community and voluntary sector organisations in the county borough to bid for funding to take forward initiatives they have developed as part of the community planning process.
- Demand Responsive Transport – CCBC
This pilot project will provide a demand responsive transport service for those living in rural areas. The service will connect rural communities to existing public transport interchanges, which will enable access to a wide range of services and facilities.
- CAB Rural Outreach – Caerphilly Citizens' Advice Bureau
Caerphilly CAB runs a regular programme of outreach surgeries in some of the more deprived wards within the county. This project will allow the CAB to move closer to meeting that demand by expanding the current outreach service into venues across the most rural communities in the county.
- Roots 2 Life – Groundwork Caerphilly
The aim of the 'Roots 2 Life' project is to develop an area of land within Caerphilly county borough to provide horticultural and countryside based skills development opportunities for socially excluded individuals and groups.
- Rural Industry and Produce Innovation Fund – CCBC
This project aims to assist local micro-enterprises to add value to local rural products, produce and crafts and skills to enable sustainable development of Caerphilly's rural produce and industry.
- Adding Value to Local Timber – CCBC
This project is a consortium proposal involving Coed Cymru, SIREN (Social Inclusion Reaching Employment Needs), CCBC and Wood Source Wales. It aims to greatly increase the productive uses of local timber, minimise local wood waste and establish a training facility for the local wood using industry.
- A Common Asset – CCBC
This project will adopt a new approach to safeguarding and improving large areas of important local countryside by providing active management for the majority of common land in the Caerphilly county borough.
- The Great Outdoors – CCBC
This project aims to increase the number of local people that use the outdoors for walking, as well as cycling and horse riding. The project will work with local community partnerships to identify and devise a variety of community-based routes.
- Recreation and Tourism Advancement Fund – CCBC
This project aims to assist in the encouragement of tourism and recreational activities within the rural wards of Caerphilly county borough through direct support to micro-enterprises in the sector. The fund will assist local tourism and recreation providers to enable the sustainable development of Caerphilly's tourism and recreational offer.
- Gelligaer Roman Heritage Interpretation Project
– Gelligaer & Penybryn Community Partnership
This project has been developed by the local community partnership to interpret their Roman heritage. It will develop improved access to the site, offer guided tours, deliver events and market and promote the site.
- Llancaiach Fawr Rural Heritage – CCBC
The Manor House currently attracts 55,000 visitors per annum. In order to increase the number of visitors and to improve the quality of the visitor experience, it is intended to develop the site in a number of areas
The projects will run until the end of 2010, when there will be an opportunity for Caerphilly to bid for additional funding for a further 3 years.
For further information, please contact the Caerfilli–Cwm a Mynydd Secretariat on 01443 864331.
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