Rural Futures is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales (‘The Fund’), which prescribed that the programme will:

1. Operate in rural areas of Wales
2. Operate in areas where the population is less than 10,000
3. Operate in areas that have not previously received Lottery funding.

It will support at least 20 selected communities in the eligible counties of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Powys, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire to support local economic development and tackle rural issues in their areas. The programme commenced in July 2017 and will run for a total of 7 years.

In Rural Futures, Severn Wye-BRO Partnership will work in the nine eligible rural counties across Wales to provide robust, innovative support to them and local agencies, based on local assets and intelligence, which is both informed by, and informs, best practice and policy. Working in line with the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, our approach is based on the premise that local people understand best the issues that affect their communities and the opportunities to address those.

Consequently, Rural Futures aims to put people in the lead. To enhance that approach, we will support those actions by linking them effectively to best practice and evidence related to the root causes of issues affecting rural areas. As such, we will:

  • Empower selected rural communities through tailored targeted support using a mix of established asset-based community development methods coupled with novel, creative approaches to map, identify and realise the potential of their local assets. This will also include support through the award of micro-grants to develop capacity and ideas and proposals for projects and initiatives

  • Support their asset-based community-led initiatives and projects, seeking to maximise their effectiveness and impact through support and analysis from a renowned rural poverty expert to provide enhanced understanding of the contributory issues and factors.

  • Provide specialist support to local agencies and organisations working with those communities to enable more effective, knowledge-based cooperative working.

  • Ensure robust objective evaluation to monitor the effectiveness of the approaches within the Community Development Support programme and, equally importantly, to help communities evaluate progress of their initiatives and projects, themselves.

  • Create a range of appropriate routes for dissemination of the findings to inform future policy, practice and intervention. This will include development of a toolkit based on the programme.

We are acutely conscious that there are already hard-working and committed organisations and agencies working in the geographical areas in this programme. Our aim is not to supplant them or their work in any way, but rather to support and augment existing work and programmes where and as required. Moreover, we recognise the importance of creating cross-sectoral delivery partnerships and involving service providers, private sector businesses and third sector organisations in developing asset-based community development plans to support delivery.

If you want to know more about Rural Futures, please feel free to contact us.

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