A Community Interest Company (CIC) which provides grounds maintenance services and firewood and timber supplies across Pembrokeshire has received support from HSBC UK to purchase new equipment that will increase its ability to reinvest in local community services.

As a not-for-profit social enterprise, Arcswood reinvests money raised from its grounds services and firewood sales back into the community by providing discounted training courses throughout Pembrokeshire. The company has used the funding from HSBC UK to purchase a new firewood processor, which will triple its capacity to process and supply firewood. This in turn will boost revenue which is reinvested in training courses for the local community, which include first aid and fire safety.

Arcswood aims to support young people and adults of all abilities by delivering health and safety courses, accredited by Lantra Awards or Agored Cymru, with specialist training and work experience for those with additional learning needs. Business partners Rob Howells and Phil Ashton, who set up the business in 2011, deliver all of the training workshops alongside a team of volunteers.

Rob Howells, Training Director at Arcswood, said:

The new firewood processor will make a huge difference to our business, enabling us to invest more money in the local community. We believe that health and safety should come first, particularly in rural communities such as Pembrokeshire, where training courses can be harder to access. We’re delighted to be raising more money to invest in these vital workshops and can’t thank HSBC UK enough for supporting the business.”

Sarah Lucas, HSBC UK’s Regional Director for Small Business Banking in Wales, said:

Rob and Phil are an incredibly hard-working team and we’re pleased to support a business that’s dedicated to supporting the local community. We look forward to seeing the difference that the new equipment makes to the business and in turn helping young people across Pembrokeshire.”

The funding package from HSBC UK was allocated from the bank’s £550 million SME Fund which supports SMEs across Wales.