The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, has announced Welsh Government funding of £900k for improvements to community-based facilities through the Community Facilities Programme which includes Awel Aman Tawe’s Hwb y Gors project in the village of Cwmgors in Neath Port Talbot.

This Programme, which funds projects up to a maximum of £250,000, or up to £25,000 for smaller grants, helps well-used community facilities to improve their financial and/ or environmental sustainability, providing opportunities for local people to improve their day to day lives.

Projects receiving funding in Wales include:

  • Awel Aman Tawe, Swansea – £250,000 towards the total cost of £750,000 to develop a Zero Carbon Hub (Hwb y Gors) which will facilitate climate action through education, skills development, social enterprise, practical support and community workshops. Egni Co-op already has a 30kW solar system on the roof. The Hwb is the former primary school in the village.
  • Ray Ceredigion, Ceredigion – £25,000 towards the total cost of £28,860 to create internal access space between ground floor rooms.
  • Llanmorlais Community Hall, Swansea – £15,500 towards the £30,000 cost of replacing the roof and installing a new PA system.
  • Maindee Unlimited, Newport – £204,177 towards the total cost of £230,000 to create public toilets, a community space with kitchen facilities and to landscape the outside green space area.
  • Cwmbran Youth Centre, Torfaen – £148,556 towards the £193,556 cost of creating a training base with kitchen, toilets and community garden as well as a new entrance with lift and resurface courtyard area for disability access.
  • Beaufort Theatre, Blaenau Gwent – £10,000 towards the £12,000 cost of upgrading their boiler system.
  • Smart Money Cymru, Caerphilly – £7,000 towards the total cost of £10,700 to upgrade their existing portakabin.
  • Llanyrafon Junior AFC, Torfaen – £25,000 towards the cost of £41,056 to upgrade their changing rooms and senior pitch.
  • Llanfairpwll Memorial Institute, Anglesey – £200,000 towards the £302,400 cost to upgrade, extend and renovate the memorial hall for wider community use.
  • Newvol (Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council), Denbighshire has requested £25,000 towards the £60,000 cost to upgrade their building internally and externally.
  • Bethesda Chapel Narberth was originally awarded £200,000 towards the £400,000 cost of extending the Church building to improve disabled access, provide better kitchen and toilet facilities and improve the entrance to increase community use. There has been an increase in the total cost of £40,000 due to additional work required, and a corresponding increase of £32,000 in grant funding.

Jane Hutt said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted some specific challenges within communities, like mental health and social well-being. Shared commitment reinforces vibrant, caring communities, where citizens are bound together by close ties of co-operation and team work, inequalities are reduced, and the most vulnerable among us feel supported.

“The Welsh Government’s Community Facilities Programme supports some fantastic local projects to evolve and grow to meet the specific needs of their area.

“Offering grants likes these to community-led projects helps to improve much needed facilities, which play such an important part in the lives of people throughout Wales. I want to reflect on and celebrate the huge contribution made by the third sector organisations and volunteers who work so hard within their communities to deliver vital help and support where it is most needed.”

The Minister for Finance and Trefnydd, Rebecca Evans, said:

“I am pleased to be able to provide funding for the community sector across Wales.

“Despite the unprecedented challenges we have faced during the pandemic, community spirit and the resilience of Welsh people has shone through. The funding we are announcing today will continue to help bring communities together through support for local projects.”

Chair of Trustees for Awel Aman Tawe, Mary Ann Brocklesby, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this support from the Welsh Government, and to be amongst such exciting developments across Wales. We want to meet social as well as environmental needs in the community, and the Hwb y Gors project will be a great community asset.

Egni Coop