Mynydd y Betws Community Benefit Fund grants handed out
A total of 33 community organisations in the Amman Valley have a spring in their step thanks to the Mynydd y Betws Community Benefit Fund.
Grants worth more than £600,000 have been awarded for various community projects across the eligible 10 wards.
The benefits to the local community will be through improved parks and play areas, gateway enhancement projects, facility improvements, youth performance equipment and a variety of cultural projects.
One local organisation to benefit is Amman Valley and District Branch of the Pony Club, which has had a grant of about £27,000 to put down a new riding surface.
Gaynor Rooke, District Commissioner of the club, which caters for children and young people from the age of 4-24, said: “The grant is to put down a new surface for riding on, so that we can do more competitions at the clubhouse. It’s a major project.”
The fund has also been able to support ISmooth, a local social enterprise that offer skills and training to people with learning difficulties, enabling them to lead a more independent life. The organisation operates a successful community cafe in Ammanford town and was awarded funding to expand the service by providing a mobile service.
Erika Beynon- Walker of ISmooth said: “The funding received from the Mynydd y Betws Fund has given our small social enterprise an opportunity of creating a professional external catering service to go along side our community café.
“The external catering provides young disadvantaged people from the Amman Valley area opportunities to volunteer and learn skills and get qualifications which leads to employment opportunities.
“The match funding from the grant has enabled the organisation to employ a two part time café managers, both from the Amman Valley community, they both have excellent skills which will assist in the development of the company and the external catering service.
“Without this fund the expansion would not have been possible within such a short time span, as a social enterprise we are very great full for the support.”
Ian Whitehead, ESB Windfarm Manager said: “ESB has a long history of supporting local communities dating back to our establishment in 1927. We value the support that we received during the construction of Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm and are delighted that so many local organisations will benefit from the Community Fund.
“The enhancements planned in the local community will benefit everyone living and working in the vicinity of the wind farm for generations to come.”
Council leader Cllr Kevin Madge said: “The Mynydd y Betws Community Benefit Fund will make a real difference to organisations in the Amman Valley.
“I’m delighted that so many organisations have applied for grants and wish them well with the developments that these grants will enable them to take forward. I would urge local groups to apply for the next round of grants.”
The grant fund will be available for submission of applications from April 1, 2014, for community projects that address the themes of recreation, education, energy efficiency, culture, health and the environment.
All applications must be submitted to Carmarthenshire County Council Community Bureau no later than Friday May 30, 2014.