ARFOR calling for Enterprising Communities

480 days ago

Enterprising Communities Fund - Cymunedau Mentrus is now open.mp4 from Cyngor Sir Gâr | Carms Council on Vimeo.

The £11 million Programme ARFOR, which aims to deliver an economic boost and strengthen the Welsh language across counties Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, and Anglesey, is now inviting applications to its Enterprising Communities Fund. The second phase of this pioneering Programme comes as part of the Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

Following on from the success of its first phase, the Programme is now open to tenders for the Enterprising Communities work stream. This presents an opportunity for companies, social enterprises and cooperative enterprises to apply for funding up until March 2025, to support communities that are Welsh language strongholds to thrive economically and in turn reinforce the language. For more information and to apply visit carmarthenshire.gov.wales 

ARFOR’s Enterprising Communities fund is multifaceted; firstly it encourages the creation of a variety of jobs in order for young people and families to be able to work in their indigenous communities. In doing so it responds to the possible risk of losing
essential local assets and services from these communities. The fund also calls on social and commercial enterprises to make more use of the Welsh language, which will not only add value to their products or services but will also maintain the local Welsh identity of ARFOR’s communities.

The Programme welcomes applicants from all four counties and hopes to see creative and ambitious plans that will lead to brand new Welsh businesses, protecting or creating more local jobs, and in turn establish more Welsh language spaces within the communities. The plans should focus on the unique qualities of each community, including the Welsh language, and aim to circulate money within the area to increase the amount of wealth that stays local.

Since its launch in 2019 the ARFOR Programme has created 238 full-time equivalent jobs, created 89 part-time jobs, and provided support to over 150 businesses. One such business is Gwenyn Gruffydd:

Angharad Rees, co-founder of Gwenyn Gruffydd, said: "As a business we are very fortunate of the ARFOR scheme. We’re grateful for the support we received to buy equipment for the honey and beeswax process as well as a computer to run the business when the business was established. The scheme also enabled us to create a full-time job."

Councillor Darren Price, Leader of Carmarthenshire Council, said:
"I welcome this significant investment in the strongholds of the Welsh language and specifically in Carmarthenshire.

"The Enterprising Communities Fund offers opportunities for businesses and third sector organisations, across Carmarthenshire, to access financial support in order to support Welsh speaking communities to prosper economically and as a result, strengthen the language.


"This is an opportunity to create a new Welsh language space across our
county, where the language is used naturally. If we are serious about increasing the number of Welsh speakers in Carmarthenshire, we must support our economy and thereby create good jobs and respond to the needs and aspirations of local people and communities.

"I therefore encourage businesses and social and community enterprises in Carmarthenshire to visit the County Council's website or to contact Arfor@sirgar.gov.uk for more details.”

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: "It’s excellent news that the work on ARFOR is continuing and that the programme is now inviting applications to its Enterprising Communities Fund.

“By working with our local authority partners, we want to support communities that are strongholds of the Welsh language to flourish through economic interventions and contribute to increasing opportunities to see and use the Welsh language on a daily basis. We look forward to seeing some really innovative ideas as part of the second phase of the programme."

Designated Member, Cefin Campbell, said: “I welcome progress on the practical delivery of the Arfor programme as part of the Co-operation Agreement between Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government. I encourage companies and organisations from across the Arfor counties to get involved and check out the Enterprising Communities Fund.

"The fund will help boost entrepreneurship and business growth and is part of our drive to grow the local economy and the Welsh language together."

The second phase of the Programme will run until March 2025 alongside four other work streams: Succeed Locally; the ARFOR Challenge Fund; Strengthening the identity of ARFOR communities and the Monitoring, Evaluating and Learning work.

For more information about the ARFOR Programme visit rhaglenarfor.cymru or email gwybodaeth@rhaglenarfor.cymru.

To apply, visit carmarthenshire.gov.wales