Rural Futures covers nine rural counties in Wales and is delivered by Severn Wye Energy Agency and the BRO Partnership.
The team undertook a rigorous process to select which communities to work with, researching economic and social information, liaising with staff in community support organisations, local councils and community groups across each county. This process identified which places would benefit from being involved in the Rural Futures programme and wanted support from it.
The 10 places selected are:
The Rural Futures team will work with these ten communities in partnership with public bodies and local organisations, who are already operating in the locations, to add value to their work with the communities.
An Expert Advisory Panel has also been established to help steer the programme and ensure that it complements and augments other programmes and initiatives. The panel is chaired by Peter Davies who is also chair of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Mr Davies commented:
“Rural communities will face enormous challenges over the next few years and this innovative approach by the Big Lottery Fund will provide valuable learning on how best to provide support to them. Rural Futures also offers a huge opportunity to help communities come up with solutions to the things that really matter to them.”
A second round of communities to receive support is likely to be announced at the end of 2019 and will benefit from the learning emerging from the first phase which will inform their selection.
John Rose, Director, Big Lottery Fund Wales said:
“Our research and consultation identified that rural communities have differing needs in planning and delivering the improvements they want to make and in identifying resources to make any changes, this project is about delivering the support that the community needs in the format most helpful for them.”
For more information, visit the Rural Futures website, at ruralfutures.wales.