COMMUNITY groups and charities in the Amman Valley are being invited to apply for a share of a new fund launched last week.

The Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm community benefit fund has been set up to support community projects that address local need and create vibrant and sustainable communities in the wards of Ammanford, Betws, Garnant, Glanaman, Llandybie, Pontaman, Penygroes, Saron, Tycroes and Cwarter Bach.

The community benefit fund is funded by the developer of the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm, ESB, and Carmarthenshire County Council has entered into an agreement with ESB to administer it.

The formal launch took place in Gellimanwydd Hall, Heol Wallasey, Ammanford, last week with a large turnout of representatives from all the eligible wards. It was followed by a drop-in funding surgery.

Carmarthenshire County Council chair Cllr Siân Thomas said money from the fund would benefit communities in 10 wards around the windfarm.

The levels of available grant are: £500-£5,000 – up to 90 per cent grant, £5,001-£25,000 up to 80 per cent grant, and £25,001-£50,000 – up to 70 per cent grant. Cash matchfunding from the applicants is required for the additional 10- 30 per cent.

Council community regeneration manager (Valleys) Amy Hawkins said: “The fund will be providing grant aid of £665,000 in its first year and £86,500 a year for the next 25 years.

“There will be at least two funding rounds a year and we anticipate significantly more than two funding panels this year.”

Council leader Cllr Kevin Madge said: “The fund could make a significant difference to the wellbeing of this valley.

Further funding surgeries will be held tomorrow (Thursday) from 3.30-6.30pm at the Black Mountain Centre, and on Monday, from 3-6pm at Penygroes Welfare Hall, Waterloo Road, Penygroes.

For all funding enquiries contact Community Bureau tel. 01269 590216 or email .uk ● Opinion – P8