INNOVATORS and entrepreneurs with sustainable project ideas are being urged to apply for grants that will drive post-Covid economic recovery in Denbighshire.
Led by Cadwyn Clwyd and Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC), the £600,000 Community Innovation Denbighshire project will focus on encouraging micro firms, community groups and social enterprises in rural and urban areas to put forward proposals that will deliver regional and environmental benefits.
Supported by Denbighshire County Council and part-funded by the UK Government through the £220m UK Community Renewal Fund, support is available for 25 organisations or individuals who can apply for a £5,000 grant they will match-fund to trial new products, systems, and services.
Business Wales will also be on hand with guidance and advice throughout the process.
Cadwyn Clwyd Manager Lowri Owain said this is a “fantastic opportunity” to capitalise on financial aid that will develop skills and systems while laying the foundation for prosperity and jobs.
“Our primary aim is to work in partnership with Denbighshire entrepreneurs and community groups to test the viability of their business concepts in a supportive, managed environment while evaluating the positive impact they could have on the local economy,” said Lowri.
“Ultimately, given the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic there is a need for this kind of support, but also for a platform to demonstrate and showcase the incredible innovations which have taken place in lockdown, ideas which could lead to sustainable, high-quality products and services.
“We are not limited to a particularly industry or sector, we want to hear from people across the county and help them make a difference for years to come, whether that be through tourism, food and drink, retail, leisure or a whole host of other arenas.”
Community groups and social enterprises can also apply for funding support up to £20,000 for feasibility studies and pilot projects which could form the basis of bids needing further support from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity fund when it launches later this year.
These can be centred around sustainability, green growth and innovations that help the local economy bounce back from the challenges of the Coronavirus.
Cadwyn Clwyd’s Business Partnerships Officer Donna Hughes said they would like to see new technologies come to the fore which will provide wider environmental and community benefits.
“We hope to hear from organisations in coastal areas as well as rural locations as the scheme is targeting all areas of Denbighshire,” said Donna.
“As well as having an impact locally the funding and guidance available will add value for the selected organisations and community groups as they look to the future – it is a huge opportunity for them.”
Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies backed the initiative and said: “It’s important that micro and small businesses in the region are given support and a platform to demonstrate and showcase their innovation.
“The UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund is enabling them to do that through Community Innovation Denbighshire. Some SMEs will have started in the extreme pressures of Covid, and it is particularly good to see them being given an opportunity to flourish.
“I would encourage all such businesses with the potential to improve their existing services or develop new sustainable products that can have an impact on the local community and economy, to apply for a grant.”
Follow the hashtag #UKCOMMUNITYRENEWALFUND on social media.
NOTES TO EDITORS: The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus