PLANED CEO, Iwan Thomas recently joined the panel at the launch of the new Understanding Welsh Places project led by the IWA.
The aim of the Understanding Welsh Places project is to create a website that is the first point of call for statistical information about Welsh towns and communities with populations of more than 1,000 people.
It is hoped that the website will support and inspire communities, place makers and policy makers to make positive changes in the places where they live and work.
Speaking about the project, PLANED CEO Iwan Thomas said: “A significant number of people in Pembrokeshire live in small towns and smaller communities. Too often, however, these communities can be overlooked by routine statistical collections and policy. While targeted funding exists for city regions and agricultural support, there is nothing specific to towns. It is also difficult to access data about towns to inform policy development and to evidence existing good practice.”
The site will be a resource and aid for grant applications, place plans, and community-based planning. People will be able to use and interpret the open data presented to identify opportunities in their areas now and in the future, and this is why it is important this project continues, to provide that continuity of data and intelligence for communities at their level.
“PLANED has over 30 years of supporting communities across West Wales, and having this level and geography of data will enable communities to engage and better understand the trends that impact on their residents, services, and opportunities. “
The IWA has been contracted by Carnegie UK Trust (CUKT) to work with others to shape the UWP project. The development of the website itself is funded by both CUKT and the Welsh Government. Representatives from a range of organisations have helped shape the project over the last 18 months. These organisations include the WCVA, One Voice Wales, Building Communities Trust, the Design Commission for Wales, Aberystwyth University and the Federation of Small Businesses.