Resilient rural communities

Resilient rural communities

A new hub for tackling poverty, based in Narberth, has been opened by Eluned Morgan AM.

The old Victorian school hall in Narberth is the new home for PLANED and has been refurbished and given a fresh lease of life to provide a hub of activity to help address poverty, improve wellbeing and services.

PLANED will be able to offer a ‘one stop shop’ for activity and information to combat rural poverty.  The hub will support digital connectivity in the county, at the same time offering skills and training in IT and local knowledge sharing, hosting organisations and facilities.

Lynne Upsdell, PLANED Board Chair said:“PLANED has evolved over time, and has a long and proud history of rural regeneration and support for community-led development. PLANED turns 30 this year.

“We help build capacity of communities so they can have a greater influence in decisions that affect them, particularly with regard to well-being, and support them to develop resilience to economic, environmental and social change.”

Eluned Morgan, AM said:“I am delighted that in celebrating its 30th anniversary, PLANED is looking to the future with the opening of a brand new base that will allow the organisation to continue supporting communities in a digital future. We face many challenges in rural Wales, and since being elected to the National Assembly I have sought to identify practical measures to address them.  PLANED has been instrumental in supporting communities across Pembrokeshire, it is part of the fabric of the County and I hope, against the backdrop of Brexit, PLANED will continue to enhance the wellbeing and resilience within our county for many more decades to come.

“I want to pay a special tribute to Joan Asby, PLANED’s first Chief Executive for time and dedication she gave in creating a body that has had such a positive influence on our rural communities.”

Projects housed in the building include the Pembrokeshire Community Land Trust project supporting community groups deliver genuine, permanently affordable homes and land owned and run by local people.

Datris project improving digital education and skills – training opportunities out in community venues, as well as developing an online community building resources and virtual forum.

Tir Coed, engaging people with woodlands through accredited training, volunteering and educational activities.

Pembrokeshire Community Shares and PLANED Community wellbeing and resilience project will also be based at the hub, supporting communities to purchase and manage local community assets, and to encourage town and community councils to work collaboratively to develop initiatives that meet wellbeing Goals.

PLANED continues to support local businesses and social enterprises through the Pembrokeshire Enterprise Network and as part of the current DTA Wales enterprising solutions project mentoring community groups who which to develop a more entrepreneurial approach and long term economic growth.