UK Government saves six vital community spaces from closure in Wales

Six vital community assets in Wales have been saved from closure, thanks to £3.1m announced by the UK Government today

Six vital community assets in Wales like local pubs, music venues and football clubs have been saved from closure, thanks to £3.1m announced by the UK Government today [23 March 2024].  

This investment from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Community Ownership Fund will ensure these beloved establishments are protected, ensuring they will be around for generations to come.  This funding will maintain more community spaces for people to enjoy, helping to bolster local economies as well as contributing to the government’s wider mission to grow the economy. 

Across the United Kingdom, the Department has announced £33.5m today to save more than 80 projects in our communities.   

Projects receiving funding in Wales include:   

  • Rhyl FC: Saving the community based football club from the risk of eviction, by purchasing and security the Belle Vue ground. As a result of this UK Government injection, the group will be able to operate seven days a week and expand its services to support the vulnerable and disabled.    

  • Le Pub: Purchasing the building that houses Le Pub, a cherished community asset that hosts live music, standup comedy and wellbeing sessions in Newport. Future generations of artists and creatives will benefit hugely from having this cultural hub on their doorstep.   

  • Ryder Academi: Transforming the Capel Penuel in Llanrwst by covering the cost of purchasing and renovating the theatre. This performing art space supports children with additional needs and theatre lovers who want to pursue a career in the arts.       

Jacob Young, Minister for Levelling Up, said:    

"We know how much these vital community assets mean to people across the country. They are an important lifeline for people young and old, and they’re the beating heart of our towns, cities and villages.   

"That’s why we’re stepping in to protect them with a major rescue package, so we stop these great establishments closing or being lost forever and ensure that they continue to sit at the heart of our beloved communities."

  Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said: 

"I’m delighted to see six more fantastic projects in Wales receive funding to protect these much-loved community assets for the future. 

"Local institutions like village shops, pubs, sports clubs, music venues and town halls are at the centre of community life and the UK Government has used the Community Ownership Fund to invest more than £7m in Wales to preserve so many of them for generations to come."

Previous beneficiaries of the scheme in Wales include:   

The Judge’s Lodging Trust, Diane Gwilt, chair said:   

"I don’t think it’s an understatement to say the funding has quite literally saved this building.

"Hopefully this (converting the old housekeepers flat into two holiday lets) will provide the financial stability and sustainability the organisation needs to provide more local projects with schools and more volunteering opportunities."

The Llandyrong Community Shop Limited, Emyr Morris, company secretary said:   

"Without the support of COF we would have been unable to lever the additional funds required to purchase and refurbish our village shop and post office and this important facility would have been lost for ever.

"We know our project, with the support from COF, is greatly welcomed locally as over 300 hundred individuals purchased community shares to support this endeavour."

This is the third announcement of funding from the third round of the Community Ownership Fund, bringing the total spending from the pot to more than £103m with 333 projects rescued so far.    

Scottish projects in this round will be supported with £3.8 million of funding, with a further £2.8 million for Northern Ireland and £3.1 million for Wales. So far, the Community Ownership Fund has awarded a total £17 million for 47 projects in Scotland; £8.1 million for 31 projects in Northern Ireland and over £7 million for 24 projects in Wales.   

Since Round 1 of the Fund, Ministers have funded all bids which have passed the criteria for successful applications. This approach allows the Department to fund the maximum number of projects. In future windows ministers may choose to prioritise funding to underrepresented areas to help even out any regional imbalances.  

The next round of the Community Ownership Fund, Round 4, is the final round. There will be two bidding windows in Round 4 to allocate remaining funding. The next bidding window, Round 4 Window 1, will open on 25 March 2024 and close on 10 April 2024. 

From: Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities , Jacob Young MP, and The Rt Hon David TC Davies MP