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Volunteers wanted determined to help improve rural Swansea economy

EAGER individuals are sought to help improve Swansea’s rural communities.

As new members of the Local Action Group, they’ll help support social enterprises, the countryside and communities in rural areas. Individuals interested in joining the local action group should complete an expression of interest form and email it to rdpleader@swansea.gov.uk before noon on August 26.

Right now, the group is helping issue around £160,000 in grant funding from the Rural Development Programme (RDP) managed by Swansea Council.

Andrew Stevens, the council’s cabinet member for business improvement and performance, said:

“We’re eager to recruit new members of the group – especially those with backgrounds in the third and private sectors.

“The group brings passion, creativity and ambition to Swansea’s Rural Development Programme and helps maximise the difference the programme makes.

“Our new recruits will join others to determine the priorities for the programme within the scope of a well-crafted strategy

“They’ll help keep the strategy up to date and relevant. They’ll help allocate funding based on the needs of the rural wards, making important decisions helped by advice from council officers.

“A limited number of places are open and we’ll be excited to hear from individuals who have a passion for Swansea’s main rural areas.”

Swansea RDP’s outcomes include an increase in community self-reliance, a development that is less damaging to health and the environment, and more support for natural resources and biodiversity.

Its key aims are to increase wellbeing and ecosystem resilience, the development of sustainable transport and energy initiatives and to make the local economy more self-sufficient.

Successes of earlier funding rounds have included schemes that led to a plastic-free community group and to Wales’ first community solar farm. Part of the work delivered under the RDP aims to boost opportunities for the local food sector; a workshop next month will aim to identify priorities for this work – and local producers will attend.

The membership selection process for the local action group will balance the needs of the group and the communities of Mawr, Llangyfelach, Pontarddulais, Penclawdd, Three Crosses, Bishopston, Pennard and Gower.

The RDP is a seven-year European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development programme funded by the European Union and the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, ending in 2023.

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