Projects that have been running across Pembrokeshire came together to promote and celebrate their achievements after receiving funding from LEADER; a method of delivering support to communities for rural development.
Members of the Local Action Group for Pembrokeshire, Arwain Sir Benfro and PLANED staff who administer the LEADER funding welcomed a range of projects at a celebration event in Scolton Manor.
Guests at the event heard from Holly Cross from Cwm Arian Renewable Energy. Holly spoke about how an initial grant of LEADER funding enabled them to secure further funding and to do more than they had originally hoped for, with all their original targets exceeded. The group are just about to have a community wind turbine built which will generate thousands of pounds for the local area.
Stella Hooper from Milford Haven Port Authority gave us a glimpse of the exciting plans for the Quay Stores building on Milford Waterfront. A LEADER funded feasibility study has helped the Port Authority generate options for multi-purpose auditorium space, with places to eat and drink. Helping to attract top entertainment acts to the County, as well as providing a space for both commercial and community use.
Finally, Lizzie Stonhold spoke about Coast Lines Drawn Together, and how the quiet act of drawing together has reached so many and culminated in an exhibition of work in the National Museum in Cardiff. Lizzie emphasised the importance of a locally managed fund and how grateful she was to the LEADER team for their support.
Emyr John, LEADER Project Coordinator said: “As PLANED we have a history of delivering LEADER in Pembrokeshire and are really proud of the number and the range of projects which have been supported. We currently have 66 projects approved in the county and a number of cooperation projects working with partners outside of Pembrokeshire.
“The event provided an excellent opportunity for networking, hearing about other LEADER projects, and exploring project ideas for the future, supported by the great team we now have in place in PLANED. Our thanks also to the wonderful team at Scolton Manor for all their work and for hosting us so well.”
Arwain Sir Benfro, the Local Action Group for Pembrokeshire secured over £3,300,000 of funding and has been supporting projects which test new ideas that benefit Pembrokeshire. 66 projects have been funded including 4 cooperation projects working with partners outside of Pembrokeshire.
The LEADER programme is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014 – 2020, which is financed by the Welsh Government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The name LEADER comes from the French abbreviation for ‘liaison entre actions de développement de l’économie rurale’ which roughly translates to ‘links between actions for developing the rural economy’.
LEADER’s approach involves a rural development methodology which includes partnership, ‘bottom-up’ grass roots area development, innovation and co-operation.