The Thriving Rural Communities Scheme (TRC), which is funded under the European LEADER scheme, is a local Scheme for Bridgend County Borough.

It is here to innovate, research and collaborate and to do the things that other funds often cannot. Importantly it is led by the community to respond to your needs and to solve the everyday challenges faced by rural communities today.

It is a revenue programme for partnerships or groups to come together and commission joint pieces of work with us. It is there to support projects to take place in your community.

 

We are actively looking for your proposals as to how this should happen and invite you to submit an Expression of Interest, or simply to speak with a Reach officer, to let us know what you have in mind.

We aim to develop all project ideas in partnership and so will involve as many relevant partners as we can in that process, from developing the idea right through to its final delivery. This helps to ensure that the project is genuinely needed and generates a wider community benefit.

There is a consistent process in place to score all proposals fairly and transparently. Reach officers can help you navigate this but all guidance documents are available to download on our Toolkits and Information Packs.

We have a Local Development Strategy up to 2020 which identifies a number of priority actions for the area which the Local Action Group can take forward with this funding.

 

Bridgend Local Action Group invites rural communities and partner organisations to submit Expressions of Interest for project proposals that will bring positive change to the economic wellbeing and quality of life for those living, working and visiting Rural Bridgend*.

The fund will be used to support projects under the following five themes:

  • Adding value to local identity and natural and cultural resources
  • Facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains
  • Exploring new ways of providing non-statutory local services
  • Renewable energy at community level
  • Exploitation of digital technology

 

What is available?

Thriving Rural Communities Scheme offers support to projects of up to £100,000 in Revenue funding. The fund can be used to develop, test and pilot ideas that could help to improve and renew rural communities.

There are two funds available:

The Preparatory Support Scheme

Preparatory support is available for projects that align with the following requirements:

Project cost does not exceed £7,500.

Project does not include a practical pilot or trial.

Project will deliver the types of eligible activity outlined below.

  •  Small-scale feasibility studies,
  •  Local action plans or development plans,
  •  Small-scale research project,
  •  Consultation activities.

The Main Thriving Rural Communities Scheme

The Scheme can support the following types of activities:

  •  Training, mentoring, facilitation and consultation,
  •  Large and small-scale research, feasibility studies and development plans,
  •  User-friendly toolkits and innovative resource packs,
  •  Trialling pilot projects for new ways of delivering services in the community,
  •  Developing community hubs and networks, such as a volunteering group.

 

The application process

  • Submit an Expression of Interest form to the Reach team.
  • The EOI is screened for eligibility and reviewed for direct project funding or preparatory support.
  • If eligible you will be invited to submit a full application with support from a Rural Programme Co-ordinator.
  • The full application is submitted to the Local Action Group for approval.
  • If the project is approved the project will be developed in partnership with the Reach team. The Reach team will work with you to commission the project and deal with the contractor arrangements while you steer the project and provide direction.

Who can apply?

  • Community action groups,
  • Rural networks (formal or informal and including business networks),
  • Third and public sector organisations,
  • Bridgend Local Action Group members,
  • Administrative body for rural development in Bridgend County Borough.

 

* The area of Bridgend County Borough defined as rural by the Office of National Statistics includes all of the following wards: Aberkenfig; Bettws; Blackmill; Blaengarw, Bryncethin, Bryntirion, Laleston and Merthyr Mawr; Cefn Cribwr; Coity; Cornelly; Llangeinor; Llangynwyd; Nantymoel; Newton; Ogmore Vale; Penprysg; Pontycymmer; Ynysawdre; Bryncoch; Felindre; Hendre; and Sarn.