Welsh Government funding boost for community land use in Wales

Social Farms & Gardens (SF&G) has received Welsh Government funding of nearly £125,000 to support community groups, local authorities and land owners, enabling local people to access, own and improve green spaces in their area. The two-year grant has been awarded by Welsh Government Minister for the Environment Hannah Blythyn and Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths.

The new funding has been hailed as a major boost for community green space projects in Wales, giving them free access to receive much-needed support and advice around issues such as finding land, leases and planning permissions. This demonstrates the Welsh Government’s commitment to driving up the quality of local green space and supporting communities to identify and take control of the green spaces around them.

This project will be delivered by the Community Land Advisory Service in Wales (CLAS Cymru), a well-established initiative which uses in-house specialist experience and knowledge to advise community gardening and farming projects on all aspects of land and planning queries. CLAS Cymru has been operating in Wales for five years, thanks to groundbreaking funding from the Big Lottery Fund in 2013.

The dedicated CLAS Cymru project team will receive support from Social Farms & Gardens staff members in Wales to meet a target of helping at least 50 community groups per year with their land and planning needs. Out of these, 10 projects per year will be awarded community management certificates. These projects will also be showcased and celebrated at an annual event.

CLAS Cymru Coordinator Lucie Taylor, said she was delighted at the new grant: “Thanks to the Welsh Government funding, we will be able to continue expanding on the achievements of CLAS Cymru over the past five years. It means that vital support will be in place for everyone involved in green spaces, ensuring that more land in Wales will be used for the benefit of local communities, which can have an enormous impact on health and wellbeing.”

As part of the same package of funding Keep Wales Tidy have been awarded funds for two years to help promote, manage and increase the number of Green Flag awarded sites across Wales. This means that Keep Wales Tidy (KWT) will continue to deliver the Green Flag Standard and Award scheme. Continuing their good work, KWT will help sites to maintain
their Green Flag status and will work with community groups to increase the take up of the Green Flag Community Award.   A partnership between SF&G and Keep Wales Tidy is now being devised.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Contact:
Lucie Taylor, CLAS Cymru Coordinator – lucie@communitylandadvice.org.uk telephone 02921960966
Or
Gary Mitchell – SF&G Wales Manager – Gary@farmgarden.org.uk

Social Farms & Gardens
Modern life creates many deep-rooted, complex problems for society, leaving individuals and communities feeling frustrated, isolated and often worthless. These issues affect the well-being of both people and places. At Social Farms & Gardens, we’re proud to support thousands of grass roots projects across the UK that have helped millions of people. They use farming and gardening as a way to transform lives and connect people, putting pride back into communities and improving health and well-being. Our job is to support the dedicated heroes who run these projects, from tiny fruit and veg plots on urban housing estates to large-scale rural care farms. We provide key advice, training and information. We spread the word about the incredible work they do. We give them a united voice to lobby Government, business and funders. Working together, we want to ensure people of all ages, abilities, faiths and backgrounds can come together in our cities, towns and villages to achieve great things.

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© Community Land Advisory Service 2018