When funding goes further

05 May 2016

“What’s been great about the Local Conversation project is that it has excited, inspired and mobilised our community like never before." In this blog from Bryn Jones, we hear how residents in Penparcau, Aberystwyth, have used funding from the Trust to leverage additional investment from the Welsh Government to build a new community hub.

“During the Local Conversation engagement process, one of the issues that came over quite clearly was the need for more modern, fit for purpose, community facilities.

“What’s been great about the Local Conversation project is that it has excited, inspired and mobilised our community like never before. It’s this passion that has helped us to push forward with the development of our community hub.

“During the engagement process, organisers of a centrally located building, which houses our local boxing club and a few dance classes, approached the forum with the view of the committee taking over the running of the building.

“This opened the door for the building to be developed further, so we spoke to the local authority to see how much of the land alongside the building we could include in a new lease.

“Penparcau Community Forum received £300,597 from People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthExpect through The Health Lottery. Of this money, £150,000 has been allocated to the redevelopment of the community hub. This funding really got the ball rolling and helped us to leverage further investment from the Welsh Government.

“In August, members of the Forum welcomed Communities Minister Lesley Griffiths, along with local Assembly Member (AM) Elin Jones and Mid and West Wales regional AM Simon Thomas, to the area to discuss our bid for funding, and to show the Minister our plans for developing the centre.

“Then, after months of campaigning, we were officially told just before Christmas that we would receive £490,000 funding from the Welsh Government’s Communities Facilities Programme to develop the boxing club into a multipurpose community centre, which obviously we were delighted about.

“A great deal of hard work has gone into pulling together grants that will now fund outstanding facilities for residents, particularly young people. We see this development as adding real value to our community and to the residents who live here. It will be something for the people of Penparcau to be very proud of.

“Finally, after a lot of hard work, we were able to unveil plans for the redevelopment of Penparcau Community Centre at the beginning of last month.

“The centre will include a community heritage café, outdoor sitting area, a training kitchen, a community office, heritage exhibition area, changing rooms, public toilets – all incorporated around the existing boxing club and fitness room.

“But the centre is much more than just a building. It will help different groups in Penparcau to create stronger links with each other. It’s a golden opportunity to create social enterprises that involve local people, and create opportunities for local residents to use and develop their skills.

“The Local Conversation has shown us that local people are willing to get involved and volunteer their time. As this project progresses, we’re really looking forward to even more residents getting involved and really making the centre their own.”

 

Bryn Jones, Penparcau Community Forum  

Read more news from the Trust here

See more photos from the group here.
 

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