CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has secured almost £3million of funding to support a range of projects that will help more people into employment, invest in local businesses and communities and boost the skills of local people.
The council was successful in 12 out of its 13 bids to the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund, which has brought a £2.94million boost to the local economy.
The Government said the investment will help improve everyday life for people, places, businesses and communities across the UK.
In Carmarthenshire, the funding will support a range of projects that will support the regeneration of town centres; invest and support local people to launch new businesses; help people gain skills and confidence to apply for jobs, and help the self-employed to market and grow their businesses.
A number of projects will also enhance the county’s cultural identity by digitising its history and encouraging the use of the Welsh language in business.
Many of the projects will be delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council and others will be delivered by a range of public sector partners, charities and local organisations.
Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “This is another big funding announcement for Carmarthenshire and great news for 12 different projects that will focus on supporting people and communities to thrive.
“Last week we announced our success in bringing £36million to Carmarthenshire from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund. Now we have secured a further £2.9million from the Government’s Community Renewal Fund.
“This is significant money that will boost Carmarthenshire’s economy and improve the lives of local people.
“It is excellent news – I want to thank our economic development team for their hard work in securing this funding, and to every business and organisation that came to us with fantastic ideas for supporting Carmarthenshire’s growth.”
The council, advised by the Carmarthenshire Public Services Board, assessed a number of ideas brought forward by businesses and organisations earlier this year.
Those with the greatest potential to deliver against key priorities to help the county recover from the pandemic were given priority.
As part of its economic recovery plan, the council is focusing on safeguarding existing businesses, supporting new start-ups and growing businesses; protecting jobs and helping people gain skills for current and future jobs; and investing in Carmarthenshire’s strategic growth areas, town centres, the rural economy and deprived communities.
Find out more about the council’s plan to support and grow the local economy at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales
The 12 Carmarthenshire projects that will be supported by the UK Community Renewal Fund are:
- Business Skills Bank Sir Gar (delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council)
Offering self-employed and micro enterprises the opportunity to develop an entrepreneurial, innovative culture by supporting them to access specialist skills, increase their performance and become more resilient and competitive in their marketplace.
- Carmarthenshire Towns Recovery and Growth Pilot (delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council)
A suite of pilot activities delivered to develop and support Carmarthenshire’s 10 rural market towns and three primary towns as they recover from the pandemic.
- Carmarthenshire’s Old Towns – Their Past, Present and Potential (delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council)
Improving sense of place and supporting sustainable regeneration in Carmarthen, Llanelli and Newcastle Emlyn. It will contribute to the development of small-medium businesses, with practical skills training and expanding the local knowledge base.
- Digging Beneath the Surface – Archives, Archaeology and Access in Carmarthenshire (delivered by The National Trust)
A project to discover, digitise and disseminate the rich and varied history of Carmarthenshire’s internationally important heritage sites at the Dolaucothi and Dinefwr estates.
- CYCA Dragons – Opportunity to Thrive (delivered by CYCA – Connecting Youth, Children and Adults)
Helping beneficiaries with business ideas. A panel of judges will convene monthly to hear business pitches from entrants with four finalists and two winners selected each month and given a start-up package of investment and tailored support. Individuals not ready for self-employment will have access to training and mentoring.
- Enterprise Carmarthenshire (delivered by Business in Focus)
A pilot to support people into self-employment, building skills and confidence. Investing in digital, employability and entrepreneurial skills, and supporting newly established microbusinesses.
- Llanelli Town Centre Ambassador and Delivery Service Project (delivered by Llanelli BID in partnership with Llanelli Town Council and Carmarthenshire County Council)
Ambassadors will be appointed to welcome and signpost visitors and residents to services and attractions across the town centre. An electric cargo bike product delivery scheme will also be piloted with local businesses. A community fund will be available for emerging initiatives.
- Rapid Skills Shortage Response (delivered by Coleg Sir Gâr)
A collaborative education and industry led project to address immediate and medium-term skills gaps in the hospitality and construction sectors, supporting the employment markets for local businesses and communities, supporting unemployed people into employment, and up-skilling people to realise their potential.
- Regenerating Llanelli (delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council)
Complementing key projects and enhancing the regeneration of the Llanelli area – planning and mapping out a suite of ambitious, innovative, and transformational projects.
- Revitalise Rhydaman (delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council)
Building on Ammanford’s recovery plan to deliver four projects that will enable the town to harness solutions that will build a stronger, locally focussed and more resilient town.
- Supporting the Welsh Language in Business and Communities (delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council)
A pilot project delivering key activities to encourage businesses and community organisations to use the Welsh language.
- The Life You Want (delivered by Threshold DAS)
Supporting individuals to learn new skills, update existing skills, or find a new direction. The project will also offer in-depth support with job searches and living skills.
Image: Dolaucothi Gold Mine