Brechfa Forest Community Fund
STA02-brechfa

Supporting sustainable development of the community

Brechfa Forest Community Fund

The Brechfa Forest West Community Fund will invest an £11 million funding legacy into local community activities and projects throughout the lifetime of the wind farm.

The annual fund opened in 2018 and is worth £459,200 per year which in index linked in line with inflation.

The initial area of benefit for the fund includes the communities within 6km of the wind farm, although projects based outside this area are considered if they can demonstrate their work significantly benefits these communities. The area of benefit is shown on this map: Initial area of benefit

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During the consenting process, RWE engaged an independent community development consultant to work with the local community to carry out a community profiling exercise. This helped: to raise awareness about the long term funding opportunity; to understand more about community priorities and aspirations, and to encourage the community to build capacity and plan for the arrival of funds. You can read a report summarising this consultation here.

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Facts & figures

00

annual fund opened

will invest an £11 million funding legacy

£ 00

worth per year

which in index linked in line with inflation

within 00 km

of wind farm

includes communities in initial area of benefit for the fund

How the fund works

The fund is entirely community led with every decision made by a panel of local people who live, work or volunteer within the wind farm’s 6km benefit zone. Their local knowledge is invaluable in making informed choices about what’s really important for the area. Applicants are supported and hand held by a locally based fund manager who works for the fund administrator, Antur Cymru, an independent social enterprise that was appointed following an open tender process.

“I see the community benefit fund as the most incredible opportunity our community has ever had, this is a game changer for the next generation…truly a once in a lifetime gift horse. It’s made me passionate and committed to get this right as this money holds the answer to creating jobs and retaining young people in our community.” Brechfa Fund panel member

The fund has very broad criteria and has three different application categories so applications for smaller awards are much simpler to complete:

  • Grants up to £500 (Grant Bach)
  • Grants below £10,000
  • Grants above £10,000
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Fund highlights
In its first five years the fund:

  • Brought new projects to the area including: a credit union, a luncheon club, a community cinema club and an IT hub
  • Funded critical and valued community facilities such as community centres, church halls, public toilets and nurseries. All 6 local primary schools also benefitted from funding for the ‘Cynefin’ project. This enabled them to revolutionise their way of teaching and enthuse their pupils about their local area. You can watch a short film about the project here.
  • Responded to crises such as floods and the pandemic
  • Committed to funding multi-year salaries for local officers at the Carers Trust Carmarthenshire, SaveEasy Credit Union, Pencader Family Centre and Dolen Teifi

Introducing the ‘Cynefin’ project.

  • Funded tourism projects including a feasibility study for local mountain bike trails and a dark skies project
  • Made awards ranging from £450 to Pencader Pavilion for an energy audit to £260,000 over 5 years to Skanda Vale Hospice to buy a bunkhouse. The income from this tourism enterprise covers the costs of two paid members of hospice staff and reduces their dependency on grants.
  • Enabled the drawdown of an additional amount of funding in excess of £2 million. This includes Dolen Teifi, a community car scheme that went on to secure £1.4 million of Welsh Government and National Lottery funds based on the model of delivery they trialled in the Brechfa fund area.
Brechfa Forest Community Fund

Example of a funded bunkhouse for tourists

Find out more

Brechfa Forest Wind Farm

Read a full list of the grants awarded to date, along with lots of case studies and details on how to apply to the fund

Visit the Funds website