Things are really moving on now with the £1.8 million a year Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund, set up for the benefit of host communities in the upper Afan, Cynon, Neath and Rhondda valleys. The new, independent Community Interest Company (CIC) set up to manage it is gearing up for business in earnest!
As regular readers of this newsletter will know, this is no ordinary Fund. Over several years through local conversations, on and off-line, residents and communities have defined the priorities they want the funding to support. This Fund belongs to the people who will benefi t from it. You can read more in the Fund Prospectus.
The CIC will shortly be inviting applications for the first round of the Micro Fund. This has been established to offer one-off grants of up to £5,000, to support important aspects of community life. These could include, buying small items of equipment, activities, events, projects, start-ups and training courses. Application packs and guidance will be available from 5th December 2016 on our website (and by contacting our office in Aberdare) with a closing date of 13th February 2017, so it really is all systems go. More information can be found on our website. The Fund will be in place for 20 years, so no need to panic if you’re not ready to submit an application immediately. There will be at least two Micro Fund rounds each year. The Vision Fund offers larger grants and loans for activities that help to deliver one or more of the priorities set out in the Prospectus. Proposals will need to show how long-term benefits will be delivered. Invitations for the first round of the Vision Fund begin early next year.
We’ll make sure that as many people as possible are aware of the Fund. We’ll be holding advice and support sessions in communities to answer questions, offer help and to get to know you! Everyone who has attended a consultation event will be notified when application rounds are launched.
All of us involved in the Community Interest Company are very grateful for the ongoing support of Vattenfall, and for all their hard work to bring the Fund to this point.
The Board of Directors have taken on two staff to oversee the Community Fund. They are: