Welsh Government
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Support announced for Welsh coastal community projects

The Minister for Housing Regeneration and Heritage has recently congratulated the five Welsh community projects set to benefit from the Coastal Communities Fund.

Under the Coastal Communities Fund, which was established by the UK Treasury, grants are available to fund projects that boost the economic prospects of coastal communities across the UK. The fund for Wales is delivered in partnership between the Welsh Government and Big Lottery Fund and this year’s recipients were announced recently.

The five Welsh schemes will share just under £1m, and the Heritage Minister, Huw Lewis congratulated them all on their successful bids.

He said,

“Developing coastal towns is a key regeneration priority under our Programme for Government and I look forward to seeing how projects like these can support and help boost the economic development of our communities.”

“By working together with businesses, charities and community groups we can meet all of our regeneration commitments. This fund supports those with local and specialist knowledge of our coastal communities to tackle the issues that are most important to them.”

Jan Reed, Wales’ chair of the Coastal Communities Fund, added,

“Coastal Communities share a strong sense of place and this funding will give five areas a welcome boost by supporting the development of their local economies.”

The five projects set to benefit are;

  • Bay Leisure Limited – a Swansea based scheme with the aim of creating a Watersports Centre of Excellence to provide a range of activities using the natural assets of the beach and waterfront (£140,000)
  • Coastal Hawks Project CIC – based in Conwy, this one year project aims to transform the former disused butterfly jungle on the Conwy Estuary into a falconry centre (£103,000)
  • Menter Y Felin Uchaf Cyf – two year project on the Llyn Peninsula to create a permanent resource for the training of local people in specialist skills for developing new green and cultural tourist enterprises and volunteering opportunities (£204,000)
  • Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd. –a two year project will support a Marketing and Activities Office for Penarth Pavilion (£199,000)
  • Rhyl City Strategy Community Interest Company - this project is concerned with increasing micro-businesses, self-employment and entrepreneurship in the area (£300,000)

The Big Fund worked with the devolved administrations to deliver this Fund on the ground and decisions on awards were made by country-specific boards.

Applicants can request grants in excess of £50,000 from a pot of £1.15m for a wide range of projects that benefit coastal communities. It is envisaged that next year’s funding, expected to rise to £1.45m, will be available for large capital works as wells as revenue costs. This could include land and buildings vital to the success of a project.

During the selection process, consideration was taken of how plans for economic growth address the local needs and priorities, the amount of jobs that will be created and their long-term sustainability. The Big Fund is particularly keen to see applications from strong, cross-sector partnerships that will work together for the benefit of the community.

The first year of the programme has been highly popular resulting in oversubscription. 107 applications were received in Wales with 13 being invited to the second stage.

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