Cadwyn Clwyd help secure £14 million EU fund to boost rural economies

A rural development agency has helped secure £14 million of European funding for rural Denbighshire and Flintshire.

The news was revealed at a Celebration Event of Cadwyn Clwyd projects and the launch of a new DVD about the work of Cadwyn Clwyd.

Among the VIP guests at the launch at the National Eisteddfod in Denbigh was Alun Davies, the Welsh Government Minister for Natural Resources and Food.

Cadwyn Clwyd was set up 13 years ago to help regenerate rural Denbighshire and Flintshire.

Manager Lowri Owain said: “As a company, we’ve been very successful in helping to get projects realised and we work with a wide range of projects.

“We’ve also been very successful as regards the funding we’ve attracted through the competitive tendering process.

“In all, we’ve secured over £14 million of funding from Europe’s Rural Development Plan and also the Welsh Government for the communities of Denbighshire and Flintshire.

“I am proud of our record of delivering successful projects, ranging from the new community shop in Pwllglas, providing support for pubs through the Pub is a Hub scheme established by the Prince of Wales, renewable energy projects as well as helping to set up the Clwydian Range Food Trail.”

According to John Les Tomos, the Chairman of the successful Mold Food Festival, the support of Cadwyn Clwyd had been vital.

As a result of the backing, he said, the festival now provides an £800,000 boost to the local economy every year.

Another successful project is the bursary scheme to help budding entrepreneurs in the two counties.

Finance Officer Catrin Jones explained: “The bursary scheme has been started to help individuals from the rural areas of Denbighshire and Flintshire to establish themselves in business for the first time,  to take the first step into the business world.

“We’ve already helped in excess of a 100 people to establish a business and we’ve supported a variety of different businesses.”

Mr Davies also visited the  mini food festival organised by Cadwyn Clwyd in collaboration with Menter a Busnes at the Eisteddfod.

Cadwyn Clwyd’s contribution came via the Rural Development Fund for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government.

Local produce tents have not been a regular feature at every National Eisteddfod, but Rob Price, agri-food officer for Cadwyn Clwyd, wanted to ensure local producers were part of Wales’ biggest festival.

“It’s gone really well, we had 16 North Wales food and drink producers keeping the produce stalls full all week,” said Rob.

“We have put together this package with our partners the Welsh Government, Northern Marches Cymru and Menter a Busnes. We felt it was important at Wales’ premier cultural festival that local food and drink producers had a suitable showcase for their produce.”

Among the products being showcased was a new beer, Sion y Bodiau – a light, refreshing summer beer – from the micro brewery, Bragdy Dinbych (Denbigh Brewery).

According to brewer Alyn Ashworth, the legend of Sion y Bodiau features a knight called Sion, who was able to slay a troublesome dragon living in the ruins of Denbigh Castle, and which was terrorising townspeople, because the dragon was distracted on seeing Sion’s two thumbs on each of his hands!

Alyn, originally from Manchester, said: “The name for the new beer was suggested by one of the tutors at the Welsh language centre I attend weekly at Lenten Pool.

“I’m selling five different beers at the produce tent. Most of the beers have been very well received but the most popular one I make is Cwrw Du’nbych/Black Denbeer – A traditional Celtic black Porter.

“The idea behind Sion y Bodiau was I wanted to produce a beer especially for the Eisteddfod – where there was a no-alcohol rule for many years – a beer which was not too strong and which was light and refreshing for a summer festival. This beer is 3.2% AVB in alcohol strength whereas some I make are 7.2%.

Alyn, whose background is in computing, has lived in Denbigh for nearly 11 years and last year he also produced a special one-off limited edition Denbigh Plum Ale for the famous Denbigh Plum Festival.

Another product being launched at the National Eisteddfod was a new paté from Patchwork Paté which has helped create five new jobs at their base in Ruthin.

Its first Welsh pâté, chicken liver paté with apple and Welsh cider, is  made with Rosie’s Triple D cider from Llandegla and Blodyn Aur Rapeseed Oil, pressed at Derwydd, a farm near the village of Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, between Ruthin and Cerrigydrudion.

The produce tent included: Bodnant Food Centre, Harvies Pies, Snowdonia Cheese, Aballu chocolates of Rossett, Patchwork Pate, Megan’s Kitchen, Aerona liqueurs from Pwllheli, Orchard Pigs, North Wales Brewery, Môn ar Lwy (Anglesey ice cream), Siwgr a Sbeis the Llanrwst bakery, Denbigh Brewery, Denbigh Chocolate Shop, Caru Amore pasta, Amanda Jane Liqueurs and Cig Eifion Howatson Meats, a recently established charcuterie company.

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