Five craft hubs are being set up across Bridgend County Borough as part of a £61,000 new initiative which aims to generate jobs and create opportunities where people can socialise, share their skills and improve their abilities.
Based at premises in Aberkenfig, Pontycymmer, Ogmore Vale, Newton and North Cornelly, the Bridgend Craft Collective will be open to seasoned crafters as well as new beginners, and members will receive training in business practice, digital marketing and other related skills.
It has been organised in partnership between the Bridgend Reach team and Eclipse Gift Wrapping and is fully funded through the Thriving Rural Communities Scheme. The collective will set up opportunities for displaying and selling members’ work at craft fairs and exhibitions at prime locations, craft markets, craft trails, pop-up shops and more.
The initiative hopes to establish a local network of craft businesses, and will be launched at the Community Church in Pandy Road, Aberkenfig at 2pm on Friday 14 September. Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, said: “Crafting has experienced a massive boost in popularity over the last few years, and you only have to look at how many ‘hobby entrepreneurs’ are selling online these days to see this.
“With additional benefits such as business mentoring available, the Craft Collective offers a fantastic opportunity for talented residents to make their work known, improve their skills and spend time with other like-minded creative people. “This initiative has been made possible thanks to European funding, and I am grateful to the local action group for prioritising the EU funds.”
To find out more, please visit www.craft.bridgendreach.org.uk, or search for ‘Bridgend Craft Collective’ on Facebook and ‘@BridgendCraft’ on Twitter. The project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural
Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.