£9m funding for Welsh communities asset management
Emma Kennedy - May 17, 2016

The Big Lottery Fund (The Fund) has announced that it is launching a new round of funding for its £9m Community Asset Transfer 2 programme (CAT2) that is creating more sustainable communities in Wales by supporting asset transfer.

Hundreds of people are expected to attended events around Wales this week for the launch of the latest funding. It aims to provide both capital and revenue funding to support the transfer of assets, such as land and buildings to community ownership. The assets can be transferred from individuals, the public or private sector.

Projects can apply for grants between £300,000 and £1,150,000 with money being used to help community groups to regenerate and reinvigorate the assets and develop manage and sustain them to improve their livelihoods and neighbourhoods. Through this programme, groups will be encouraged to use the asset to generate multiple income streams and provide quality services and amenities.

The CAT2 programme follows the success of the first Community Asset Transfer (CAT) programme which was launched in 2010. Through further consultation, The Fund discovered a continued need for this kind of programme for communities in Wales.

Towy Community Church in Carmarthenshire received a grant £798,202 to transform the former cheese-packing plant in Johnstown, Carmarthen into a multipurpose facility. The Xcel project has houses a state-of-the-art bowling alley that provides long term sustainability for the building as well as funding for two community projects: a low-cost furniture recycling facilities as well as a food bank that both support people in need.

Paul Griffiths, Xcel Centre Manager said: “The Xcel Project started as an idea just over six years ago with Towy Community Church’s vision to help the people of Carmarthenshire through ventures such as a foodbank and furniture project. By opening Xcel Bowl and using the proceeds, it allows us to offer these much needed services to people who find themselves in difficult financial or personal situations.

“Six years later with over 400,000 visitors to the centre and over 6000 helped in the community the success of the project would not have been possible without the funding from the Big Lottery Fund, along with their valuable support and advice which we continue to receive even into our third year of operation.”