A unique wind farm project has made it to the finals in the Community Ownership Awards 2016.

Awel Co-op is building a two turbine wind farm on Mynydd y Gwrhyd north of Pontardawe. The wind farm will generate enough power to supply the equivalent of 2500 homes.

To date it has raised £1.54m from a Share Offer to help fund the turbines.

The Community Ownership Awards are run by Plunkett Foundation, the national charity supporting people to set up and run community co-operatives – businesses that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people from within their local area – to help overcome issues ranging from isolation and loneliness to poverty.

Dan McCallum, one of Awel’s Directors said: “We are really honoured to get this recognition from the Plunkett Foundation. We want our wind farm to be owned by as many people as possible – it’s fantastic that you can co-own a wind farm from £50.

"Our Share Offer has already raised £1.54m which is the largest ever in Wales. As a co-op, it’s one member, one vote irrespective of how many shares someone owns. We are offering a return of 5 per cent to members which is much better than current bank rates. And you’ll be able to see where your money is going."

Awel Co-op will now compete with other finalists to be crowned the best community owned co-operative in Wales by an expert judging panel. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in London on Monday, November 28.

Peter Couchman, Chief Executive of Plunkett Foundation, said: “All over the UK and Ireland, people living in rural areas are taking matters into their own hands to address some of the challenges associated with rural life. Whilst living in the countryside can be wonderful, it can also be a struggle for many; for example, young families struggling to find work nearby or to afford to live locally; older people without families close by, or those who’ve recently retired and are looking for a new direction.

"Many rural people are experiencing loneliness, isolation or poverty because it’s difficult to access a lot of the things that are needed to participate fully in society and modern life – things like a regular bus service, being able to buy affordable food at a local shop, having reliable access to the internet, or somewhere to socialise and meet people.

"The Community Ownership Awards are designed to help communities celebrate their own success and learn from each other, and to raise awareness about the co-operative model and community ownership to a wider audience."

For more information on Awel Co-op visit awel.coop.