We began as a small group of volunteers who wanted to make a difference in their community of Narberth. Today, PLANED shares good practice with people from all over Europe and further afield.
In 1979, Bloomfield, a 19th century house in Narberth, previously a private residence, was used by the local council as a rating office. It was in poor repair and up for sale.
A group of volunteers successfully campaigned to save the site for community use. By 1986, the old building was a thriving community, sports, leisure and day centre, with a steadily growing range of classes and activities. It put Narberth back on the map after suffering a decline when the cattle market and other businesses closed. It generated a sense of pride and a ‘can do’ culture.
The success of this community campaign gave a core group of volunteers the impetus to form TCRI – the Taf and Cleddau Rural Initiative – in 1987.
Working within the then Welsh Development Agency’s Rural Programme, the organisation was able to pioneer community–based regeneration. In 1991 TCRI was one of the 137 groups the European Union selected to pilot the LEADER programme. The fundamental principles of LEADER is a bottom up and integrated approach to community-led local development, utilising innovative techniques, pioneering market testing and piloting, and partnership with others.
This success led the way for South Pembrokeshire Action for Rural Communities (SPARC) to be formed. SPARC successfully ran LEADER I and LEADER II projects amongst others.
‘Significant features of SPARC’s approach that are crucial to the long-term success and sustainability are identified. These include encouraging maximum community involvement at all stages of development; the use of expert ‘partners’ to provide needed technical and financial resources to rural communities; complimentary strategies addressing tourism, agriculture and the environment; and a clear strategic planning and implementation framework’
Tourism Focus, United Nations Environment Programme.
PLANED was established in 2002, following a strategic review of SPARC and implemented and number of projects under various funding programmes 2002-2015 such as Interreg IIIA, LEADER + (phase 1 and 2) and social enterprise business support, Rural Development Plan.
If you have recognised the need for change and want help to achieve this, PLANED can facilitate the next step.