Football club floodlights shine a path for £60K windfarm community funding

Helen Williams, of Cadwyn Clwyd, with officials of Ruthin Football Club and Ruthin Memorial Playing Fields Association, from left, Duncan Roberts, Paul Commins, Richard Goldston, Alan Jones, Andy Edwards, Ruthin FC Chairman, and Phil White. Picture by Mandy Jones Photography.

Helen Williams, of Cadwyn Clwyd, with officials of Ruthin Town Football Club and Ruthin Memorial Playing Fields Association. From left: Duncan Roberts, Paul Commins, Richard Goldston, Alan Jones, Andy Edwards, Ruthin FC chairman, and Phil White. Picture by Mandy Jones Photography.

An ambitious football club has kicked off an appeal to community groups to apply for funding with a total of £60,000 available.

Ruthin Town are preparing for the new season after completing a major upgrade of their facilities including an impressive new floodlighting system.

The new lights are ready for switch-on with 12 new pylons carrying LED lights that will cover the first team and reserve pitches as well as the training area.

The floodlights at the club’s Memorial Playing Fields home have received a £10,000 grant from the Brenig Wind Farm Project, part of over £150,000 in grant aid the club has been able to access for its revamp. The rest has been raised by club sponsors and members’ own efforts.

The funds from the Brenig Wind Farm Project is part of a total of £333,362 that has been distributed by Denbighshire-based rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd over the past two years.

Applications for the next round of funding are due by Wednesday, August 25, with a further £60,000 available and organisations in rural Conwy and Denbighshire are being invited to get their applications in.

The Brenig Wind Farm Fund is set to provide almost £4 million over 25 years for communities in the qualifying area and Brenig Wind Ltd’s David Heelan said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for rural communities to benefit.

“Cadwyn Clwyd has already distributed well over £300,000 to over 50 different local projects in four rounds of funding to community groups for a range of different projects and helped them leverage even more.

“The applications will go before a locally-based grants panel who will make the final decisions on where and how the money is spent.”

The eligible area in Conwy and Denbighshire stretches from St Asaph in the north to Maerdy, near Corwen, in the south and from the River Clwyd in the east across the Denbigh Moors to Cerrigydrudion and the upper reaches of the Conwy Valley – a map of the area that benefits is on the Cadwyn Clwyd website.

It is funded by Brenig Wind Ltd whose 16 wind turbines can be seen turning on the Mynydd Hiraethog horizon to generate over 37.6 megawatts of power – enough to power over thirty thousand homes a year.

According to Ruthin Town chairman Andy Edwards the Brenig Wind funding, along with support from Sport Wales, the Clocaenog Wind Farm Fund and local sponsors including Jones Bros, has made a massive difference to the club.

He said: “It’s looking amazing here – we’ve never had floodlights before but they’ll be ready for the start of the new season.

“They really take our facilities to the next level and will cover the First Team and Reserve pitches and the training ground although we won’t be playing here for a few weeks because we groundshare with Ruthin Cricket Club.

“They really take our facilities to the next level and if we were to be promoted to the top level of Welsh football, the Cymru Premier, it would be easy to upgrade.

“We’re all really proud and excited about the facilities here now and it shows that as a club we have ambition.

“All of the extra work needed to complete the project and to put back as we started has been done by a huge team of local volunteers.

“Football and cricket members along with local contractors have worked immensely hard to get the facilities back to how we need them. We can’t thank everyone enough.

“It’s all done voluntarily and the only people who get paid here are the local contractors who have come in to do the work.

“It’s all down to the hard work of our members and the support and generosity of our local sponsors.”

So far the fund has helped fund bowling greens at Denbigh and Llansannan, a kitchen in Bylchau Memorial Hall, laptops and iPads for an after-school club in Cerrigydrudion, cameras to track red squirrels in Clocaenog Forest and a defibrillator in an old phonebox in Nantglyn.

Cadwyn Clwyd Project Manager Helen Williams said: “We have been delighted to help so many local organisations benefit from the Wind Farm Fund so far and we’re looking for many more to get bids in by the deadline.

“This is a great opportunity for local community groups and societies who need to think big and small because the money is available for a range of projects across the area.”

Details of how to apply for the latest round of funding – the deadline is Wednesday, August 25 – are also on Cadwyn Clwyd’s website at http://cadwynclwyd.co.uk/

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