Posted: Mon 22nd Feb 2016

Last chance for rural Valleys groups to win regeneration support /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 22nd, 2016

People with plans to help enhance rural life in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf have just over a week left to apply for support from a £1m regeneration programme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Rural Action Cwm Taf LEADER Programme is inviting community groups and public and third sector organisations with suitable project ideas to express an interest in applying for up to £80,000each by next Monday, 29 February. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Funded through the European Union and Welsh Government’s Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, the aim of the LEADER programme is to promote social inclusion, reduce poverty and improve health & wellbeing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Applicants’ projects will need to be community-led, using innovative methods to help communities address need by developing basic services, creating sustainable, resilient villages and improving the local environment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

They should also fit into the following themes: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • exploration of digital technology
  • provision of renewable energy in the community
  • adding value to local identity and natural and cultural resources
  • exploring new ways of providing non-statutory services
  • facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains

The LEADER programme covers nine electoral divisions in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf and is administered by the Rural Action Cwm Taf Local Action Group, with just under £1m available for distribution between 2015 and 2021. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Merthyr Tydfil areas which qualify for support following their classification as rural are Vaynor, Bedlinog, Merthyr Vale, Cyfarthfa, Plymouth and Treharris, while also included are Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Rhigos, Maerdy and Ynysybwl. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans said: “I urge everyone in these areas to engage with LEADER – it’s a great opportunity to take forward important local ideas and look at new projects to support the needs of the community.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Further information, guidance and application forms can be found on the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council website,, or from, tel 01685 727089. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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