Gorslas Parks Funding
Gorslas Community Council owns and maintains 3 Recreation Parks in the neighbouring villages of Cefneithin, Drefach and Gorslas in Carmarthenshire which are funded directly through the Community Council’s precept.
In early 2006 the Community Council decided that it needed to replace some of its old play equipment and provide additional activity facilities that could be used by all age and ability groups. From the start the Council realised that in order to improve the Parks and comply with current standards a capital investment of over £120,000 would need to be made and that in order to fund such a project external funding would be required. The Council also realised that in order to attract this amount of funding a well thought-out and costed improvement and action plan was required.
We were fortunate that at the time the European ‘One Fund’ grant scheme administered by Carmarthenshire County Council was still running and limited funding was available. With the help of Carmarthenshire County Council and Menter Cwm Gwendraeth in its preparation, our bid was successful and £5,000 was received to produce a 5 year costed and illustrated action plan for the 3 Parks within the Community Council. The plan was produced by Fiona Cloak Associates and this has been the catalyst for all the financial assistance that has been received to date.
Critically the plan and the 3 Parks unquestionable benefit to the community was accepted by Carmarthenshire County Council as being eligible for the receipt of Section 106 Planning Gain Community Development Funds and in accordance with Carmarthenshire County Council’s formula based on the number of houses within developments in the community £49,000 was received over a 12 month period.
The Council were determined to make this money work and maximise its worth by using it to match fund other sources of financial assistance. With the grateful help of the County Council’s Community Development Team an application was made to the Sports Council of Wales for funding under the Welsh Assembly Governments Active Lifestyles Capital Fund. Our 5 year improvement plan ticked all the boxes for the Active Lifestyle Fund and £20,000 of the money already awarded to us was committed as match funding to the Active Lifestyle Project. Our bid was successful and this turned our £20,000 into approx £80,000. One of the parks was eligible to apply for grant assistance from WREN under the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme and we received £5,500 specifically for play equipment from them match funded by £600 from the Community Council. Last but not least, County Councillor Terry Davies gave £3,600 to the Parks Project from his allocation under Carmarthenshire’s Local Project Fund.
In order to achieve the full aims of the 5 year plan, additional funding is still required but 2 years down the road our initial target of £120,000 has been met and all 3 parks have received new play equipment and activity units with a cycle/trim path.
The council itself has set aside funds for future development of the Parks which will be used as and when other match funding sources that meet the aims of our improvement plan are identified.
We found that by working in partnership with other bodies a small Community Council with limited resources like Gorslas can achieve its objectives. The Council is extremely grateful for all assistance received from Fiona Cloak Associates, Menter Cwm Gwendraeth, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Community Development Team and Planning Department, WREN, The Welsh Assembly Government and the Sports Council of Wales.
In 2012 the council were successful in obtaining a grant from the Sustainable Hubs Key Fund . A project which involved the provision of additional safety , improvement to the overall environment and additional facilities in the 3 parks. The total cost of the project was £31,197 of which a grant of £24943 was received from the sustainable Hubs Key Fund
The project involving the 3 Recreation Parks in the villages of Cefneithin, Drefach and Gorslas had been an overwhelming success with people of all ages and abilities now making use of the new facilities not only to keep fit but to improve their lifestyles. We are very grateful to our partners without whose assistance and financial contributions the project would not have been possible.