Brechfa Wind Farm Project
The Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm Community Fund has now been operational for 18 months. In this relatively short time, the fund is already delivering real positive impact. In total 71 applications worth nearly £3million have been received, of which over £900,000 worth of funding has been approved.
The fund is administered by Antur Teifi and a panel of local people who make the decisions.
This contract was established as a unique pilot to work with the local and wider community; to identify the opportunities and ambitions for the future of the area with the aim of creating a vision and long-term plan. It was also intended for the Strategic Community Development Services provided to help the community to lever additional funds as well as providing strategic support to maximise the long term impact of the fund.
In practice however, the demand to Severn Wye over the last 18 months has been for individual grass roots group support. This was not the intention of the contract and crosses over the services of existing grass roots community support organisations. Members of the panel and the wider community have also highlighted that individual support on grant applications and project development is more of a priority at this point in time rather than the strategic support work. It has therefore been decided by mutual agreement that the Strategic Community Development Service associated with Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm Community Fund should cease as of November 2019.
The Strategic Community Development Support was a unique pilot for Brechfa and there have been numerous lessons learned which could be employed in the future. The work that has already been carried out has been shared with the fund administrator Antur Cymru and will feed into the decision making process.
Any groups or organisations thinking about more strategic type projects will still be able to apply for funding and be supported in their application by the Fund Administrator.
The positive impact of the fund is already being felt in the locality and delivery of the fund towards meaningful projects is the priority for all organisations.
Brechfa Wind Forest Fund Says Thank You to Local Heroes.
As a thank you to core workers, the staff and panel delivering the Brechfa Forest Windfarm fund have acted rapidly to issue funds to address key challenges presented by the Coronavirus threat:
- Responding to equipment shortages, the fund made £30,000 available to Glangwili hospital to purchase PPE for staff, matched by an equivalent sum to kit out local care providers working in the community.
- To support local food supply, grants of £500 per shop were made to help meet increased fuel and phone costs associated with delivery to isolated customers. Further funding was awarded to the local credit union to minimize the risk of payday lender loan applications.
- Various other funds have been released including a discretionary fund for those in food poverty and a replacement defibrillator for Pencader.
- Further funds were released to support the 3D Print Farm Project providing over 6,000 NHS design approved face shields.
It has been amazing that we have been able to support so many much-needed projects in such a short period of time. The panel have been both very supportive and responsive to local need.
– Moishe Merry, Community Fund Project Manager
It is a privilege to be able to make these funds available to support such key activity. Nowhere has the true value of the fund been better demonstrated than in responding to the Covid -19 threat. I am proud of the role we have played in enabling this and of the hard work and commitment of our staff.
– Bronwen Raine, Antur Teifi MD
Antur Cymru Enterprise’s team impressed Innogy by demonstrating a clear appreciation for the unique opportunity the Brechfa Forest Wind Farm Fund presents. Their clear commitment to making the fund as accessible as possible to communities assured us the fund was in safe hands.
– Kathryn Harries, Innogy Community Investment Officer