Council Delight Over Big Lottery Award For Green Spaces In Newtown
Town Councillors in Newtown are celebrating the successful bid for £1.1 million which has been awarded by the Big Lottery to the Going Green for a Living Land Trust, to help improve sports and recreation opportunities in the town.
Councillor Richard Edwards was one of those who had the initial vision for a Riverside Country Park, turning the parks and riverside green spaces into a destination for visitors and residents alike. He worked with other councillors and staff to encourage a group of volunteers from local clubs and organisations to put in a bid for lottery funding and to become a not-for-profit land trust to run the project.
Cllr Edwards said, “This project started back in 2015. I am really excited that all the hard work and effort put in by the team has been acknowledged with the award of this bid. This will allow us to protect the open and green spaces ensuring continued access for all users. It will also give the opportunity to develop the amenities further. The whole project aims to stimulate regeneration and economic growth, turning a liability into an asset for the town. The riverside park will create an attraction that can be used by residents, but also to bring visitors into Newtown once the bypass is complete. This marks the start of an exciting period in Newtown’s history. It shows what can happen when we come together as a community with a common aim.”
Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council committed over £30,000 from its 2017/18 budget and £55,000 from its 2018/19 budget, to the project. A member of staff was also seconded to the GGFAL Land Trust to help submit the funding bid. Without this support and commitments, the project would not be possible.
Proposed project plans include: refurbishment of the riverside play park, additional allotments, greater access to and around Trehafren Hill, a specialist BMX pump track and improved recreational access to the river.
Cllr Sue Newham, Mayor of Newtown, said, “We are absolutely delighted that all the hard work and sleepless nights put in by the Going Green for a Living team have paid off. The Town Council is committed to working together with Going Green to enable everyone to enjoy the green spaces, which are such a jewel in Newtown’s crown. I know that the young people of the town will be looking forward to seeing the play park they helped to design taking shape very soon. Well done to everyone and thank you.”
The Big Lottery bid has been awarded subject to good land transfer terms from Powys County Council. The terms of the lease have to be flexible enough to allow the Going Green for a Living Land Trust to carry out the improvements they have planned, without unreasonable conditions being imposed.
Cllr Newham added,“ We know that Powys County Councillors will want to see the green spaces project succeed, as much as we do, so we are confident that a compromise position can be reached.”
Notes for editors:
a) Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council has resolved to accept the largest community asset transfer in Wales – from county council to town council – as part of the county council community delivery programme.
b) The transfer will be on 99-year lease from county to town; final terms of transfer are being negotiated.
c) With the ambition and vision of ‘turning a liability for the county into an asset for the town’, the Town Council initiated a stakeholder group of interested parties to explore different interests in and ideas for the land, and out of that was created the Going Green for a Living (GGfL) Land Trust which was able to apply for the Big Lottery Funding – a route that is not open to the town council.
d) Thus, the Town Council will be landlord to GGfL and has made a regular commitment of £55,000 towards maintenance.