More than half a million pounds worth of Third Sector Grants for groups which help their local communities have been approved by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Board.

The total funding of £513,650 for organisations such as Ystalyfera Development Trust (£30,000) and Canolfan Maerdy (£26,000) for 2019/20 includes an extra £100,000 from Neath Port Talbot Council, an increase of almost 25 per cent – the extra funding being approved by the board which met on December 17.

Others successful in the 2019/20 round of Third Sector Grants allocation include the Gwynfi Miners Community Hall (£4,980), the Y Lolfa Community Library in GCG (£950) and Neuadd Cwmllynfell Hall (£12,500).

Third Sector organisations are not-for-profit bodies other than local authorities (or other public bodies) whose activities directly or indirectly benefit local people.

The Cabinet Board approved the £513,650 worth of funding for a total of 23 community groups and organisations.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Voluntary Sector Champion, Councillor Anthony Taylor, said: “We strongly value the important role volunteers and third sector organisations play in supporting local people in our communities.

“This round of grant funding is evenly spread across both our urban and valley areas and represents true value for money because of the importance of the work being done in areas such as community transport, counselling and education and re-training.”

Martin Locock, chair of the trustees at Y Lolfa, said: "Y Lolfa community library relies on fundraising and grants to support its volunteer-run services including the provision of public access computers. 

"We are very grateful for the NPTCBC Third Sector grant for its contribution to our core running costs for the year ahead."

Gill Webber, CEO of Canolfan Maerdy, added: “As an identified anchor organisation within the county borough, we are delighted to be continuing to receive the third sector grant. 

"The  funding will help us to joint-work with our partners to provide services that improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of all age groups living in the Upper Amman and Twrch Valley area; this includes carers, those with special needs and the economically disadvantaged.”