With Year of the Sea ahead of us for 2018 there’s even more reason for the beautiful Welsh coast to celebrate as a new round of the Coastal Communities Fund will be opening in the New Year. The Welsh Government has already awarded a gigantic £12m across the lifetime of the programme and now over £3m will be available for projects looking to support and rejuvenate our stunning coastline’s future.
The Coastal Communities Fund has always focused on economic regeneration and job creation and with the new round we will be looking to build even further on the incredible success of previous projects. All organisations, including the private companies, not-for profits, and the public sector, with exciting ideas to create or protect existing jobs are eligible to apply and applications from all sectors of the economy, from tourism to agriculture and boats to buildings, are warmly encouraged. All essential capital and revenue costs for the running of the project can be included in the grant and in the past this has ranged from everything including milk delivery vans to surfing and sailing lessons.
Which projects get funding will be based on the greatest economic impact relative to the settlement size to ensure the biggest benefit possible for the area. Previous projects have pushed both sides of the funding scales with grants from as little as £50,000 to Surf More South Wales to establish and support a new surf school at Aberavon beach, to the maximum £300,000 for Bridgend County Council to connect various attractions in Porthcawl through a new cycle scheme.
Other previously funded projects that have gone on to flourish thanks to Coastal Communities funding include Menter Aberteifi Cyfyngiedig who used their £109,974 grant to re-establish and develop the magnificent Cardigan Market Hall as a sustainable business hub for traders and micro-enterprises. Directly creating 3 part-time and 1 full-time roles while supporting 26 local businesses, the project is a testament to the fantastic potential of coastal enterprise.
With every £1 of investment creating an additional 98p for the local economy and coastal areas the benefit of a kick-start from the Coastal Communities Fund can ensure long-term gain for the coastline. Over 1000 jobs are forecasted to be created due to the existing investment and with even more to come with the latest round of funding it’s sure to be a sunny future on our coasts.
More information, including guidance notes and application forms, will shortly be available on our website and you can keep up to date on any announcements by following the link below