The £11 million Programme ARFOR, which aims to deliver an economic boost and strengthen the Welsh language across counties Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, and Anglesey, is now inviting applications to its Enterprising Communities Fund.
The second phase of this pioneering Programme comes as part
of the Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
Following on from the success of its first phase, the Programme is now open to tenders for the Enterprising Communities work stream. This presents an opportunity for companies, social enterprises and cooperative enterprises to apply for funding up
until March 2025, to support communities that are Welsh language strongholds to thrive economically and in turn reinforce the language. For more information and to apply, visit Arfor's webpage on Ceredigion County Council's website: Arfor Ceredigion
ARFOR’s Enterprising Communities fund is multifaceted; firstly, it encourages the creation of a variety of jobs in order for young people and families to be able to work in their indigenous communities. In doing so it responds to the possible risk of losing essential local assets and services from these communities. The fund also calls on
social and commercial enterprises to make more use of the Welsh language, which will not only add value to their products or services but will also maintain the local Welsh identity of ARFOR’s communities.
The Programme welcomes applicants from all four counties and hopes to see creative and ambitious plans that will lead to brand new Welsh businesses, protecting or creating more local jobs, and in turn establish more Welsh language spaces within the communities. The plans should focus on the unique qualities of each community, including the Welsh language, and aim to circulate money within
the area to increase the amount of wealth that stays local.
Since its launch in 2019 the ARFOR Programme has created 238 full-time equivalent jobs, created 89 part-time jobs, and provided support to over 150 businesses. One such business is Llaeth Jenkins Milk.
One of the brothers who run Llaeth Jenkins Milk, Eifion Jenkins, said:
'The support we received from the ARFOR Innovation Fund was invaluable as we started a new initiative as part of our business. The application and claim process was easy, and the program has ensured significant growth for our business and enabled us to employ more local, Welsh workers for our workforce.'
Councillor Bryan Davies, Leader of Ceredigion Council said:
‘ARFOR's Enterprising Communities program will be a very valuable
opportunity to help businesses and communities in Ceredigion to develop opportunities to create jobs and careers for people here in Ceredigion. A number of innovative ideas were seen as a result of ARFOR's first programme, and those initiatives are still thriving and growing.
'It is essential that there is healthy collaboration between the public, private and community sectors to create the conditions to enable economic growth that will give people in Ceredigion the choices to create good careers. The Enterprising Communities Scheme, as part of the ARFOR programme, will help make that a reality.'
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: ‘It’s excellent news that the work on ARFOR is continuing and that the programme is now inviting applications to its Enterprising Communities Fund. By working with our local authority partners, we want to support communities that are strongholds of the Welsh language to flourish through economic
interventions and contribute to increasing opportunities to see and use the Welsh language on a daily basis. We look forward to seeing some really innovative ideas as part of the second phase of the programme.’
Designated Member Cefin Campbell said: ‘I welcome progress on the practical delivery of the Arfor programme as part of the Co-operation Agreement between Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government. I encourage companies and organisations from across the Arfor
counties to get involved and check out the Enterprising Communities Fund. The fund will help boost entrepreneurship and business growth and is part of our drive to grow the local economy and the Welsh language together.’
More information and apply
The second phase of the Programme will run until March 2025 alongside four other work streams: Succeed Locally; the ARFOR Challenge Fund; Strengthening the identity of ARFOR communities and the Monitoring, Evaluating and Learning work.
For more information about the ARFOR Programme visit rhaglenarfor.cymru or email email@example.com.
To apply, please visit the Arfor webpage on Ceredigion County Council's website: Arfor Ceredigion