Community centres across Wales play a pivotal role in supporting the most vulnerable members of our society, Minister for Social Justice has declared at the opening of a community centre that benefitted from Welsh Government funding.
Funding from the Community Facilities Programme has helped community centres – as well as a range of other facilities - to make improvements, repairs and redevelopments across Wales.
Each year projects can apply for larger grants up to £300,000 to cover the cost of upgrades to their community facilities, as well as small grants up to £25,000.
In the financial year 2021/22, 71 projects across Wales were awarded grants totalling nearly £7.7m.
The CFP funds the purchase and improvement of facilities which provide opportunities for local people to improve their day to day lives.
Projects that have benefitted across Wales include:
- Haverhub in Pembrokeshire being awarded £250,000 for internal and external redevelopment of a former Post Office
- Railway Gardens in Splott, Cardiff, being awarded £214,550 to improve access, fit out a community hub, create a community garden, construct outdoor event/classroom and provide secure bike storage
- Menter Ty’n Llan in Gwynedd being awarded £250,000 to refurbish a local pub to make a community hub including substantial repairs to roof, lighting, ceilings, downpipes and guttering, and asbestos removal
- Cwmbran Centre for Young People in Torfaen being awarded £148,556 to cover the cost of creating a community café, community garden, a wellbeing/counselling room, a gymnasium and a recreational area
- Llanelli Goods Shed in Carmarthenshire being awarded £25,000 to create a community café and heritage interpretation area
- Groundworks Caerphilly being awarded £25,000 for the refurbishment of the building, including replacement doors and sash windows and repair to damage caused by water ingress
Earlier today (April 21) the Minister for Social Justice visited the official opening of Llanrumney Hall Community Trust’s Roundhouse Health and Wellbeing Centre.
The Trust received a grant of £250,000 in 2021/22 to purchase and install the community centre, which they refer to as the Roundhouse, that is now benefitting a wide range of people.
The project has helped people become more physically active, tackled loneliness and increased volunteering opportunities.
The Trust works with a variety of groups benefitting the local community, including a knitting club, gardening clubs, more than 50 classes and return to fitness programmes.
Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said:
“I am so pleased that the Community Facilities Programme has been able to help deliver Llanrumney Hall Community Trust’s vision for the future and know it will make a massive difference supporting the health and wellbeing of the local community.
“We understand that spaces like this are vital to the local community, providing somewhere that clubs can meet, health and fitness programmes can run from and classes people can learn from.
“Community centres play a pivotal role in supporting the most vulnerable members of our society and we are committed to supporting them, through the likes of our Community Facilities Programme, so they can continue providing a vital service to communities across Wales.”
Gitti Coats, project director at Haverhub Community Interest Company in Pembrokeshire, said: “We spent a lot of the money on getting a full fit out of the kitchen so it could be used commercially, so we could get professional chefs and caterers to use it. Thanks to this we are able to run a community café six days a week and a pop-up barista too. It has become a welcoming space for people of all ages to meet.
“We also spent money on AV equipment, so local musicians can come on stage and we have an open mic night once a week. We have around 60-80 people coming on a wet Wednesday night and it provides a safe space and environment for young people to come to.”
David Nicholson, speaking about Cwmbran Centre for Young People, said:
“The grant has helped us to totally revolutionise the Centre in many ways and gives us the potential to generate more income on our road to sustainability. It has enabled us to bring the Centre into the 21st century building wise and turn under utilised areas into our new community hubs.
“We have seen a massive increase in usage, whether it be during our drop-in sessions during the evenings and enabled us to put in place a range of training and health and wellbeing programs and activities that wouldn’t have been possible before. The money helped create our community hubs, giving us five new hubs.
“The changes have proved to be extremely popular with young people, staff and the community alike.”
Rebecca Clark, Director of Railways Gardens in Splott, said:
“The Welsh Government CFP funding has been absolutely vital to our community-led project in Splott, Cardiff, and has helped to bring to life a vision created by local people.
“Railway Gardens is a space for the whole community to learn, grow, share and play, and come together to act on issues that matter to them. This fund has helped us create beautiful rain gardens, making the site more resilient to flooding, accessible pathways and a toilet to increase inclusivity and a central community building created entirely from used shipping containers which will host workshops, events and celebrations.
“We hope that as our site continues grow it can provide a safe and welcoming space for the whole community.”