New plan launched to boost rural Swansea

Rural walking routes and local food producers in Swansea are set to get a boost as part of a nationwide plan to develop rural Wales.

The official launch of the Swansea Rural Development Plan (RDP) takes place this week and will mark the first phase of a series of projects developed to boost rural Swansea and improve the local economy.

Swansea Council, on behalf of its partners from the public, voluntary and private sector, has successfully bid for £350,000 from WAG and the European Union under the Rural Development Plan for Wales. The first business plan specific to Swansea’s rural areas has been devised and is set to be developed between now and February 2011.

As well as improving cycling and walking routes in parts of rural Swansea, the plan will also help develop a mobile youth service to address issues of social exclusion for young people in rural communities

Welsh Assembly Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones will officially launch the Swansea RDP at Felindre Village Hall on Thursday September 24 at noon.

She said: “I would like to congratulate all the project applicants, the Swansea Rural Development Partnership, Rural Action Swansea and the City and County of Swansea for their success in securing this important funding for the rural wards of Swansea. I know that it has taken a great deal of hard work and commitment to get to this stage.

“These are interesting and ambitious projects that have the potential to enhance many aspects of rural life. I wish everyone involved every success in delivering them.”

Rural Swansea takes up around 60 per cent of the City and County. The areas set to benefit under the plan include the Gower, Mawr, Pennard, Pontarddulais, Fairwood, Llangyfelach, Bishopston and Penclawdd wards.

Gareth Sullivan, Cabinet Member for Economic and Strategic Development, said: “This is a really exciting time with the opportunity for Swansea’s rural areas to benefit.

“Over the next 18 months we will be implementing five key projects related to the promotion of walking and cycling, the extension of youth services and the promotion of local food and arts and crafts. This will input thousands of pounds into the local economy and, during the recession, this represents a much-needed boost.

“Everyone involved in the Rural Development Plan is now working towards making these important projects a success and achieving the main aims of the plan.”

The business plan projects have received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007 to 2013 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Fund for Rural Development.

The Swansea Rural Development Plan is divided into two business plans. The Council has completed the first plan and is calling on the public to come up with ideas that could help develop part two of the plan.

Richard Beale, Chair of the Swansea Rural Development Partnership, said: “We are now seeking views and ideas from the public which we can add into the second business plan. Projects such as supporting rural businesses including tourism businesses, providing better community facilities or village enhancement schemes could become part of the of the next plan.

“We would love to hear from anyone who has ideas about developing rural Swansea further.”

Visit for more information on the Rural Development Plan including the latest newsletter. People can also contact Richard Beale on 01792 6335094 or Paul Relf on 01792 636858.


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