COMMUNITY facilities across Wales are set to benefit from ‘crucial’ additional Welsh Government funding enabling them to complete refurbishment works.
The projects had struggled to stay within their original budgets due to the rising costs of building supplies.
More than £303,000 will go towards additional funding for five larger projects.
In total, fifteen projects are receiving funding totalling £467,000 in this round of the Community Facilities Programme. This included £164,000 towards ten smaller projects, all receiving under £25,000 grants.
Small amounts of grant funding can provide a big change for community facilities.
The programme funds the purchase and improvement of facilities which provide opportunities for local people to improve their day-to-day lives.
The smaller projects include £13,000 towards making a woodland space at Bluegreen Cymru in Glanteifi Woods, Pembrokeshire, more accessible all year round through new paths, a log burner and a covered area; £20,000 towards urgent repairs to the roof to prevent water ingress at St Thomas Church Hall in Clydach Vale, RCT; £11,000 towards upgrading the kitchen and the play space to create a warm hub during the winter months at Victory Church in Cwmbran; and £17,870 towards an extension to the workshop and energy saving improvements at Brighter Futures in Rhyl, Denbighshire.
The larger projects include £50,000 towards new windows to make the building more sustainable for energy costs at New Life Church in Cardigan, Ceredigion; £50,000 towards improving sound insulation and renovating an outbuilding into a flexible space for music, dance and arts workshops at Tabernacl Bethesda in Gwynedd; and £87,100 towards refurbishing a community hub and installing new windows to make it more energy efficient at Hirwaun YMCA in RCT.
Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “This additional funding is crucial to allow these larger projects to be completed so they can benefit communities across Wales.
“Due to rising costs for materials they have seen their budgets squeezed as they neared completion. They wouldn’t have been able to carry out essential works like roof repairs, new windows and energy saving improvements if it wasn’t for our Community Facilities Programme.
“I hope everyone gets to enjoy these community facilities once they are finished and look forward to hearing about their progress.”
Stephen Johnson, sustainability co-ordinator at Brighter Futures in Rhyl, said the funding had made a massive difference to them.
“Thanks to this funding we have been able to extend the workshop and can get more people into it,” he said.
“We have been planning this for a long time, but now we are able to do it. It’s perfect timing as the numbers of people wanting to come are getting higher and higher.”
He added: “The energy saving improvements have also saved us so much money with our bills. People don’t want to stay in their houses, so they are able to come here and keep warm. We have started staying open six days a week now.”
Sue Lewis is the leading project officer on Aberporth Village Hall in Ceredigion, where work includes rebuilding one property and modernising and refurbishing an adjoining building, said they were hoping to be finished in time for Christmas next year.
“This funding has basically made the difference between the project happening or not,” she said.
“It’s going to completely transform our community. When it’s finished we will have this focal point in the village. It will be a warm and welcoming community hub that everyone can use.”
Clyde Thomas, Lead Pastor at Victory Church in Cwmbran, said: “The funding provided will allow us to upgrade our front of house space, creating a great place to work, play and keep warm and fed.
“With times becoming increasingly more challenging for many local families, the church seeks to be a valuable communal connection point offering hope and help to all.”