£13.5m National Lottery funding programme for rural Wales welcomed


A £13.5 million National Lottery funding programme for rural Wales has been welcomed by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The Big Lottery Fund is inviting groups to help tackle poverty in Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Powys, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire.
Grants of between £10,000 and £350,000are available and their work must benefit a community with a population of 10,000 or less.
Although types of activities that could be funded are not being prescribed, applications would need to show how groups are doing any of the following to address poverty: improving well-being, raising aspirations, enhancing skills available in the community or helping people deal with tough circumstances.
This could include themes like employment and income, transport and access to services, poor broadband and digital exclusion, housing and fuel poverty and demand for welfare and advice services.
Big Lottery Fund Wales’ director John Rose said: “The beauty of rural areas in Wales often masks the hidden needs so we are investing £13.5 million to help address these.
“We would like communities in the nine areas to take this opportunity to create solutions addressing rural poverty. In doing this, we want to empower people and communities to make great things happen.
“And it’s thanks to National Lottery players that this funding is available to make a real difference to people in Wales.”
This is round one of the community-led funding with around £2 million available and an application deadline of Monday April 3, 2017. Subsequent rounds of funding will be announced next year.
The community-led grant part of the programme comes after £2 million was set aside for community development support. This is because research and consultation identified how rural communities sometimes lack the capacity to identify assets that will make improvements.
Third-sector-led partnerships have applied to this part of the programme with up to four successful applicants being announced in spring 2017. Their work will support communities in developing ideas and funding applications to overcome challenges they face which are linked to poverty.
To find out more about the latest funding and apply visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/ruralprogramme
Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Meryl Gravell has welcomed the launch of this new programme which will provide a welcome boost to rural areas.
She said: “With rural areas faced with a number of challenges such as access to services, transportation and local employment opportunities this fund will provide an opportunity for local communities to bring forward ideas that will improve quality of life in those areas.”

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