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Emma Lewis, LAG Member at the Newport Kiln Project

Arwain Sir Benfro, the Local Action Group for Pembrokeshire has met to discuss new ideas from community groups who have applied for LEADER Funding.

The Local Action Group (LAG) promotes co-operative and partnership working by bringing together organisations and individuals who have an interest in the development of our communities.

Nic Wheeler, Chair of the LAG said: “The Local Action Group and the LEADER fund is a locally-led approach to rural development. We have been supporting the ideas of groups to deliver better local services, to test out new ideas or to run feasibility studies.

“Some wonderfully eclectic projects have been supported. One of our first projects approved was a seven month project, piloting a lift-share matching service in Pembrokeshire, linking up people making journeys to the same destination. The £5,047 investment by LEADER enabled PACTO to obtain a £200,000 Big Lottery fund for a five year project to build a bespoke lift sharing platform, employ staff, raise awareness and build the software needed. This was focussed on Pembrokeshire, but with potential to be applied in other areas in Wales.

“Another one of our early approved project was the Newport Memorial Hall Medieval Kiln which is due to complete soon.  LEADER contributed £52,500 to a £75,000 project. The project has created a new tourist attraction that will enhance the cultural heritage tourist experience, delivering social and economic benefits, learning and vibrancy to Newport and the surrounding local area. Ensuring the community of Newport and surrounding areas can exploit the opportunities offered by a hitherto untouched late medieval monument.”

Looking to the future, the Arwain Sir Benfro team at PLANED are supporting approved projects, measuring impact and looking at the next steps for the project ideas developed under LEADER.

The Arwain Sir Befnro Team will be at the next Community Forum Meeting 5.30 to 8.30pm on 13 February in Pater Hall, Pembroke Dock to discuss building community wealth. This will include speakers from the VC Gallery and the new Community Cooperative Share Offer Scheme for Pembrokeshire.

Contact Benjamin to book a place at the Community Forum Network: benjamint@planed.org.uk

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