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New Rural Community Development Fund Window

Opening date of the next Rural Community Development Fund Expression of Interest Window is now the 10th of August.

Window to Open Window to Close EOI Decision Date Indicative budget allocation
10-Aug-17 12-Oct-17 14-Dec-17 £2,000,000.00

For more information, visit the Welsh Government RDP HERE

Arwain Sir Benfro supports £36,846 of funding for Cwm Arian Renewable Energy

Arwain Sir Benfro – the Local Action Group (LAG) for Pembrokeshire, administered by PLANED – have recently provided funding to Cwm Arian Renewable Energy (CARE) through the LEADER programme.
CARE will develop a network of community energy talks and initiatives and highlight opportunities for community energy generation and carbon footprint reduction within communities.
LEADER has funded part time project co-ordinators, Daniel Blackburn and Holly Cross (pictured) and will fund the community events. The project also aims to identify community energy champions to establish discussion and working groups at a grass roots level.
This is just one example of the great projects being delivered in the county. PLANED, now celebrating its 30th year, has helped communities in Pembrokeshire to access over £25m worth of funding during that time.
Arwain Sir Benfro is currently inviting submissions of project ideas from local community groups, organisations or businesses. Cris Tomos, Animation & Impact Officer, says: “. To date Arwain Sir Benfro have funded projects amounting to £1.6m and there is further funding and support available now.”
“If you have an innovative idea that could benefit your community, you may be able to get funding from the LEADER programme and we would love to hear from you.”
LEADER can support all kinds of activity: mentoring, training, feasibility studies or pilot projects that test an innovative new idea. It could also be used for projects that improve local skills, make better use of a local resource or realise the economic potential of part of the locality leading to a ‘new’ outcome or product.
Further information about LEADER, which is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, financed by the Welsh Government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) or Arwain Sir Benfro can be found at
If you have an idea, or would like further details on how to apply, please contact Jess at PLANED on 01834 860965

Pembrokeshire’s Community Councils are “Ahead of the game”

“Pembrokeshire is ahead of the game when it comes to ways in which town and community councils are working with their local communities to get things done”, according to a Welsh Government civil servant who spoke to an audience of 70 people in Haverfordwest on June 16th 2017.

Representatives of community associations, town and community councils and Pembrokeshire County Councillors and officers came together, in a conference organised by PLANED, to look at ways of working more effectively together. The event was chaired by Peter Davies, the former Sustainable Futures  Commissioner for Wales.

The keynote address by Claire Germain, Head of Local Government Partnerships at Welsh Government, considered the future role of town and community councils and how they are being asked to engage more effectively with local residents, to improve community life.

Delegates also heard from representatives of Llantwit Major Town Council, and the community councils of East Williamston, Marloes & St Brides and Dinas, who spoke about their innovative approaches to involving community members in delivering local projects.

For example, in the small village of East Williamston, the community council partnered with the community hall association and local residents to take on and develop the 15-acre Jubilee Park. This is a natural environment for leisure and recreation, including an adventure playground, allotments, a wildflower meadow and memorial garden that has won a number of national awards.

Three workshops run by PLANED, One Voice Wales and Llantwit Major Town Council, also provided some top tips for community engagement.

“It’s clear that there is a strong appetite for town and community councils to continue getting together with community forums and others to share learning and ideas” said Jessica Morgan of PLANED “And we’ll be running further networking events for local councils and partners, with the next one in the autumn”

For further information about these networking opportunities, please contact Karen Scott at PLANED, email: or phone: 01834 860965

The link below will take you to a video of the conference, featuring the entire keynote speech

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Welsh digital businesses to get new online hub

Today it was announced that a new online hub for digital experts – Digital Wales – will be created to support the specialists working within Wales’s growing digital economy – from website designers and SEO agencies to software developers and cybersecurity consultants.
“It isn’t easy to get a good overview of who’s available in Wales, within different digital specialisms – you’ll find online networks for digital experts in other parts of the UK, yet sadly nothing covering the whole of Wales, so we decided to take action,” said a spokesperson from Word Waiter Digital, which is creating Digital Wales.
“Digital Wales will support collaboration, helping members find Welsh partners to work with – the site will also help members find new markets for their services,” they added.
“And if you’re a company or organisation seeking digital support for a project or campaign, Digital Wales will be the first place to visit. Wales is home to a fantastic mix of digital expertise, and we look forward to promoting that talent within Wales, and internationally.”
Wales-based providers of digital services can join Digital Wales free of charge, for at least the first 24 months – they can apply to join at:


Arwain Sir Benfro Website

Arwain-Logo-Colour-on-Blue---mediumAs the administrative body for the LEADER project in Pembrokeshire we would like to announce the launch of our new Arwain Sir Benfro website –

Arwain Sir Benfro – the Local Action Group (LAG) for Pembrokeshire (administered by PLANED) is looking to support new activity that test ideas which benefit communities. “We hope that there will be a lot of interest in the LEADER programme which can support all kinds of activity such as mentoring, training, feasibility studies or pilot projects that test an innovative new idea” said Jess Morgan, Local Action Group Animator. LEADER funded projects should aim to nurture local development. This could include the improvement of local skills, the better use of a local resource or realising the economic potential of part of the local culture leading to a ‘new’ outcome or product.

Priority for this application window will be given to projects which ‘Explore ways of providing local services’. Examples include childcare, dependant care or the feasibility of taking on a service as a trust or partnership.

Projects which are considered to be eligible will be invited to submit a short Expression of Interest form to the Local Action Group. The current application window closes on 30th September 2016.

Further information about LEADER, which is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is financed by the Welsh Government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and Arwain Sir Benfro can be found on You can also follow our progress on our Facebook (Arwain Sir Benfro 2020) or Twitter (@arwainsirbenfro).

If you have an idea you would like to discuss please contact Cris or Jess at PLANED on 01834 860965

Confluence Project

P1020497Since launching in the Spring of 2015, it’s been non-stop for the  working on regenerating Haverfordwest through creative engagement with the community, as one of seven projects in Arts Council Wales’ Ideas: People: Places programme (IPP).

The three-year arts and regeneration programme is based in The Lab (formerly Ocky White’s Travel Bureau), and is supported by Arts Council of Wales and Pembrokeshire County Council.

A partnership between PLANED, community arts company spacetocreate, architectural practice iDeA, Transition Haverfordwest, and Pembrokeshire County Council, Confluence is working towards developing Haverfordwest as a model for arts led regeneration of small towns in Wales.

Having consulted local people for their reflections on the town currently and ideas for its regeneration, through a series of thought-provoking and engaging public events, now half way through the programme Confluence will be continuing this dialogue and helping to develop these ideas.

And where better to start than the Ideas Lab? Starting in February 2016, The Lab has been hosting a monthly drop-in event between 3pm and 7pm on the first Wednesday of the month. At these sessions local residents, businesses and decision makers can build on the ideas that came out of the Making Connections event in October, or pool their skills, ideas and knowledge to develop new initiatives to make positive changes in the town. Confluence has also set aside a budget of £5,000 to seed-fund potential projects and pilots (up to £500 each) that come out of these sessions.

The ‘Peoples Plan’ is another ongoing Confluence project. Since Summer 2015 Chris Evans and Kevin Thompson of iDeA Architects have been actively consulting the local community on the design and planning of Haverfordwest, with the Big Map. The findings from these public workshops have since informed planning consultants Nathaniel Litchfields’ recommendations for the County Council’s master planning process for the town.

With the arrival of a 3D model of Haverfordwest at the Lab, the Big Map is developing into the Big Model this Summer, continuing the programme of public sessions to visualise people’s ideas for the town in collaboration with Confluence partners, spacetocreate.

The partnership has also been busy working on a new commission (following Serena Korda’s Black Diamond last Summer) with Laugharne-based artist Karen Ingham, whose conceptual multimedia project Pembrokeshire Drover explores the historic droving tradition associated with the former market town, and the shifts in the use and mapping of Haverfordwest with the arrival of droves of tourists.

Karen’s film will be shown during the Haverfordwest Town Festival from July 23-30 at No.2 Old Bridge, and again in August at Oriel y Parc, St. Davids (you can follow her progress in her blog URL).

Although only a three year programme, Confluence’s vision is that in ten years’ time the ancient port of Haverfordwest will have been re-imagined as a vibrant and distinctive market town, reconnected with its river in full flow and charged by the creativity of its people. With new events and updates regularly added to the programme you can keep up to date with Confluence’s progress on the website, and via Facebook and Twitter.

Click HERE for more info on Confluence Project

Click HERE for more info on Arts Council Wales’ Ideas: People: Places programme (IPP)

Rural rights on the Euro parliament agenda

As part of ongoing strong relationships with European representatives, PLANED  attended the first two European Rural Parliaments held in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, PLANED was instrumental in drawing together the Welsh contribution to the European Rural Parliament Manifesto: All Europe Shall Live.
A gathering of 240 people representing rural communities from 40 European countries, meeting at the second European Rural Parliament, approved an ambitious European Rural Manifesto. It called for full recognition of the right of rural communities to a quality of life and standard of living equal to that of urban populations, and to full participation in political processes.
The manifesto, which advocates action on 30 key issues, resulted from national campaigns in the 40 countries, involving many thousands of rural people.
They called for a refreshed and equitable partnership between people and governments. They recognized that rural people have a responsibility to act towards their own well-being, but demanded that governments at all levels, including the European institutions, work to make this crucial partnership effective. The European Rural Parliament called on the European Union to mount a major review of the condition of rural areas within the EU. The conclusions from this review should be reflected in enhanced focus on rural areas within all relevant EU programmes and funds. The European Rural Parliament campaign will continue over the next two years with a view to influencing the preparation of policies for the period beyond 2020. The participants in the European Rural Parliament were also acutely conscious that the town of chärding, in which the gathering was held, receives 2000 refugees a day on their way across the border between Austria and Germany. For many rural areas this offers an opportunity to integrate refugees and other newcomers, given the necessary job creation, investment in housing, services and infrastructure. The European Rural Parliament called for a warm-hearted response, based on solidarity between peoples.
The European Rural Parliament organisers will continue to enable the actions called for within the manifesto, in co-operation with national and European partners, governments and institutions.

Click here for the 2015 ERP Report