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New community space in the heart of the Valleys

Written by on 25th January 2022

Residents living in the Rhondda Valleys are benefiting from a new community space thanks to a new partnership with Transport for Wales.

TfW has collaborated with Alun Griffiths Ltd and the Cambrian Village Trust in the heart of the Valleys to transform a disused area into a green space for growing produce and improving biodiversity

It’s been made possible thanks to funding from the Local Places for Nature scheme from the Welsh Government and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It’s part of a larger £100,000 grant-funded Green Routes project to enhance biodiversity at 22 stations and in 5 community areas

Alana Smith, Sustainable Development Officer at Transport for Wales, said:

The Green Routes funding is meant to try and connect people to the nature on your doorstep, in communities.

“We decided to try and go for this pot of money to try and enhance nature and biodiversity in communities near our train stations.

“We’re delighted with the success of the project with the Cambrian Village Trust.”

The Cambrian Village trust already runs a range of outdoor activities, local events and workshops at its centre next to a lake in Tonypandy and was looking to develop its site further for the benefit of the community.

Gavin Mcauley, Community Development Coordinator at the Cambrian Village Trust, said:

“During lockdown the space was an empty blank canvas and we wanted to develop the facility to allow the community to have a space of their own.

“My idea was that people would be able to grow their own produce, cook their own produce and then sit down and eat together as a community.

“We got in touch with Transport for Wales and they were talking about the project and that we would have some planters and an allotment space and we wanted to develop that idea.”

Jeannie Jones, a volunteer with the Cambrian Village Trust, added: “It’s very exciting and we’re fortunate because the lakeside is such a beautiful area.

“Then we got this facility right on our doorstep to enhance it. These projects can benefit so many people. They can dip in and out as they need and the community spirit is excellent.

“It’s nice for us to get together and help one another. We thoroughly enjoying it and feel fortunate to have this here.”

For further information about Transport for Wales’ work in communities visit https://tfw.wales/info-for/communities