Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Regeneration projects to build stronger communities

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Projects to revitalise an old Victorian pier pavilion and develop a green burial site are among those sharing in nearly £4 million through the Community Asset Transfer programme (CAT).

The £13 million CAT programme is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government which aims to provide both capital and revenue funding to support the transfer of assets, such as land and buildings, from public sector organisations to community ownership.

The projects sharing in £3,825,885 today will use the cash to regenerate and reinvigorate the assets to improve their livelihoods and neighbourhoods.

A grant of £700,000 has been awarded to Penarth Arts and Crafts Limited’s Penarth Pier Pavilion Project to provide a tourist attraction and community building at the Penarth Pier Pavilion in the Vale of Glamorgan. The pavilion would offer a range of activities including educational programmes, meetings and conference facilities, film showings, festivals, exhibitions, child-care provision and a restaurant and cafe.

Pavilion Project Director Maggie Knight said: “With this significant contribution from the CAT programme, the Penarth community and broader region will profit from the further development of a unique and important asset. Not only is the Penarth Pavilion positioned to promote the understanding and use of the second largest tidal variation globally, but the structure itself stands as an iconic reminder of south Wales’ rich historical past and tradition.”

In Gwynedd, north Wales, Seren Ffestiniog Cyf receives £789,165 for its Gwesty Seren a Gerddi ‘Stiniog (Seren Hotel and ‘Stiniog Gardens) project.

The project will buy the Bryn Llewelyn care home in Llanffestiniog to provide a respite care hotel for people with learning difficulties, their families and carers.

The hotel would provide ten en suite bedrooms for beneficiaries and their carers and will offer a range of activities from the nearby `Stiniog Gardens’.

Managing Director Linda Jones, said: “The CAT decision will now give us confidence to secure the financial balance required to implement a project that will break new ground as far as provision of services for people with learning disabilities is concerned, as well as establishing a brand new community enterprise that will create up to 15 new jobs and several training opportunities in both the care and tourism industries.

“It will also ensure that a property that has been an integral part of the care sector in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area since the end of the second world war will remain in that sector for the foreseeable future. This is another step in giving people with learning difficulties more dignity whilst providing their carers with a break.”

In south west Wales, Coedwig Cymunedol Longwood Community Woodland, near Lampeter, receives £787,714 to acquire land from the Forestry Commission Wales (FCW) and deliver a number of activities and services for the local community. The plans include a natural green burial site, the running of educational programmes through the forest school, renting out of the outdoor theatre and an eco camp site.

Welcoming the grant, Group Chair Philip Swain, said: “It is fantastic news and the culmination of many years and a lot of hard work by local people to save the woodland, which is heavily used by the public, as an important community asset. We now have a great opportunity to return Longwood, in an environmentally sustainable way, to traditional native woodland and also of providing an exciting program of educational, social and work opportunities to the people of Ceredigion.”

In Rhondda Cynon Taff, Community Regeneration Through Waste Minimisation is too Good to Waste receives £768,781 for its Valleys Furniture Recycling Limited project. The money will enable it to expand its furniture recycling service from its existing industrial unit in Ynyshir.

Some £780,225 has been awarded to the ProMo Cymru Ltd project which will use the cash to refurbish the Grade II listed Ebbw Vale Institute and transform it into a hub for a wide range of activities including education, dance studio, music production, youth club and cafe.

Local Government and Communities Minister Carl Sargeant said: “These projects demonstrate how the Community Asset Transfer programme is helping to breathe new life into community facilities by making them fit for purpose. This programme is bringing a whole range of social and economic benefits to communities across Wales by empowering them to use buildings and land to suit their needs.”

Big Lottery Fund Wales Committee Member and Chairman of the CAT Committee, Mike Theodoulou, said: “The programme is already helping Welsh communities become stronger and more sustainable by assisting them to obtain and develop assets. These grants awarded today will help the projects realise their plans so that local people can benefit economically from the potential opportunities which can be created.”

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Written by C Kenzie

November 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

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