Coordinating the Community Project strand of the Community Innovation Denbighshire Project.
In February 2022, Cadwyn Clwyd, a long-established Rural Development Agency based in Denbighshire North Wales, commissioned us to coordinate the Community Project strand of the county wide Community Innovation Denbighshire Project. The project was funded through the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund (CRF) and focused on funding Feasibility Studies and Pilot Projects for community led organisations in Denbighshire.
As anyone working on the CRF project knows, the initial timeframe was extremely tight and what ensued was a pretty frantic six months as we were all committed to ensure that as much as possible of the £200,000 of available funding would benefit local grassroots groups and projects.
Director Deio Jones led the work and working collaboratively with the team at Cadwyn Clwyd we streamlined the two-stage application process and personally supported each group to develop their initial project ideas into firm proposals, prepare their EOI’s, and then complete subsequent application forms. Our objective was to ensure that the projects were selected on merit and not down to who had most experience of filling out forms!
Once the grants panel scored the applications and made their decision, Deio prepared the briefs for all the individual Feasibility Studies and Pilot Project contracts on behalf of the groups, and helped the team at Cadwyn Clwyd to manage the procurement process.
The initial target of ten community projects supported was easily surpassed and to date 12 feasibility studies and 4 pilot projects have been delivered. And as you’ll see below, they were a diverse and varied bunch!!
The feasibility studies include expansion plans for Rhyl and District Rugby Football Club’s facilities, options for the food a drink sector to maximise on the new National Park status planned for the Clwydian Hills AONB, redeveloping Riverside Park in Llangollen, a multi-user path between Trevor and Llangollen, development at the Woodland Skills Centre in Bodfari, and a new creative hub in Rhyl.
The pilot projects include an advisory service for community buildings that will provide them with energy efficiency audits, professional services support to help community capital projects go from feasibility stage to build stage, and a tourism initiative looking to develop new interpretation that includes dendrochronological dating of historic buildings.
The outcomes of these projects will inform and feed into future delivery of the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund at the community level in Denbighshire. But more importantly they will provide the information and evidence base for these groups to develop and sustain key community facilities and services going forward.