Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority takes lead role in securing €10million for rural communities across Europe

Bannau Brycheiniog National Park
Authority is celebrating along with its eleven partners spread across Europe after securing
€10million for the benefit of rural communities over the next three

The new project – called
Rural Alliances – will support rural enterprises and communities to
work together in new alliances to generate new business opportunities,
safeguarding and improving rural services and making their areas special places
for people to visit, live in and raise their families.  The project will run for three
years and is aimed at regenerating rural areas and exchanging best practice
between different EU regions.

The Bannau Brycheiniog will
benefit from €0.5million (£400,000m) allocated to Wales through the project
under the EU’s Interreg IVB North West Europe programme. On top of this, the
Welsh Government will invest over £320,000 (€400,000) through its Targeted Match

Finance Minister, Jane Hutt,
said: “Bringing entrepreneurs and communities together
through the creation of new alliances will help form self-supporting,
inclusive, confident rural communities. I am delighted to back this initiative
with EU resources from the Targeted Match Fund.”

Deputy Minister for European
Programmes, Alun Davies, said: “It is excellent news that Wales is
taking a lead role in forging a pro-active relationship with our EU partners as
part of the Interreg IVB North
West Europe Programme to coordinate and address common challenges facing our
rural communities.”

Through the project, the
Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority will focus their work on enabling
tourism clusters make links with their local communities so that together they
can manage and develop opportunities, including green tourism and the impact of
demographic change in their communities.

Mrs Julie James, Chairman of
Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “It is a privilege to be
lead partner in this vitally important project.  It will mean a great deal
to the development of our tourism work but also will contribute towards the
sustainability of the local communities within the National Park, one of our
core priorities. 

“Now is the time to tackle
the issues of rural regeneration and demographic change.  We think we have
an important set of ideas to explore from the core concepts of communities and
businesses working together in alliance to the Rural Vibrancy Index and
Financial Engineering ideas.  We look forward to working with our
partners, including University of Wales Trinity Saint David as well as local
people on that journey.” 

Rural Alliances builds on the
success of the work achieved by the COLLABOR8 Projection – a project also
backed by Interreg IVB North West Europe Programme which finishes at the end of
June 2012.