Brenig windfarm windfall chance for Mynydd Hiraethog rural communities. Brenig Wind Ltd Community Benefit fund is administered by rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd who have already awarded a quarter of a million pounds in little over a year to organisations from the Hiraethog area of Conwy and Denbighshire.
It stretches from St Asaph in the north to Maerdy, near Corwen, in the south and from the River Clwyd in the east across the Denbigh Moors to Cerrigydrudion and the Conwy Valley – a map of the area that benefits is on the Cadwyn Clwyd website.
It is funded by Brenig Wind Ltd whose 16 wind turbines can be seen turning on the Mynydd Hiraethog horizon to generate over 37.6 megawatts of power – enough to power over thirty thousand homes a year.
“Cadwyn Clwyd has already distributed £267,000 in three rounds of funding to community groups for 47 different projects and helped them leverage a further £60,000 which means this rural heartland has received £327,000 in just 12 months.” said David Heelan of Brenig Wind Ltd.
So far the fund has provided cash help for organisations as varied as Ruthin Mini Rugby, Nantglyn Football Club, Llansannan Male Voice Choir, the Flying High trampoline club in Denbigh and the North Wales International Music Festival in St Asaph
One of the first organisations to benefit was Clwb Beicio Hiraethog Cycling Club, based in Llansannan, which received almost £7,000 for electric bikes to encourage local people to swap four wheels for two.
“In Llansannan pretty much any direction you go you’ll be going uphill so we thought electric bikes would be a great way to encourage people to take up cycling.
“It’s been very successful, and everyone loved it. We were going out two or three times a week for group rides and some people borrow them to go riding themselves.
“We’ve also had help from Sport Wales and now we have 13 electric bikes ranging from a couple for juniors through a step-through bike for ladies to mountain and racing bikes.”
Last year’s lockdowns hit the club though bikes are still used by individuals but the club are planning to resume group rides in April.
“They are a great way to get out and see the countryside and they’re a big help with the hills but you can have as much or as little help as you like from the electric motor – the important thing is to get out there.”
A grant of £9,755 went to Ysgol Cerrig Digital Club for 10 laptops and 16 iPads for their Digital After School Club but in lockdown they are being used for the children of key workers who are attending the school in lockdown.
“Once lockdown is over we hope to use them in the Digital Club when children from the school will be able to help older people in the community make use of them and teach them IT skills.
“In the meantime we have allowed children to borrow the Chrome books we have in the school to keep up with their home learning.”
“We’re delighted that so many organisations have benefited from the Fund so far and we’re looking for many more to get bids in this month.
“This is a marvelous opportunity for local community groups and societies to get bids in and they need to think big and small because the money is available for a range of projects across the area.”
For more on Hiraethog Cycling Club, including video, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/624609091033908.