‘Are the solutions already here?’ - is the title for a new workshop being held by PLANED that will bring key community leaders together to discuss and share, how communities are driving innovative people-led solutions across West Wales, to the problems and challenges they face.

Whilst many communities face increasing challenges, PLANED are looking to showcase the positive changes already being delivered to support social and economic opportunities that currently exist in West Wales to act as a further catalyst, and inspiration for others.

Facilitated by Dr Edward Jones, who is a Senior Lecturer in Economics from Bangor University Business School, with a wealth of experience in research on economic growth across Wales, the event on March 8, will look at how community led ventures are increasingly playing a valuable role in local regeneration and renewal.

Dr Jones commented: “This event is a great opportunity to discuss and showcase how communities are developing their own local assets to shift dynamics of control and sustainability.

“We can see from existing projects such as Dryslwyn, how communities have come together and sparked further energy and dynamism locally, and this event will demonstrate how others can follow suit.”

PLANED has already supported a number of community led share schemes and asset transfer projects in recent years, including the community purchase of Tafarn Sinc, the Crymych Arms, and Brynmyrnach Chapel to name just a few.

Some of these projects from Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire will be highlighted and shared at the event to help demonstrate the positive social benefits these bring with speakers including Dr Rosie Plummer, Owain Gryffudd, and Cris Tomos. Also highlighted will be the support PLANED, and other organisations, can provide to help deliver a longer term lifespan for the projects involved.

Chief Executive of PLANED, Iwan Thomas said: “We are very lucky to have secured such a great line up of speakers and contributors to demonstrate that how empowering communities with the right people, and the right skills, can enable community solutions.

“With examples at the event from Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire, it really will demonstrate how West Wales is leading the charge on community led regeneration.”

Local Senedd Member, Samuel Kurtz MS, is supporting the event by providing the opening address on March.

“Seeing how people across West Wales are bringing a new sense of vitality and vibrancy to local communities is to be commended,” he said.

“Projects which connect people together who would possibly have remained anonymous, for a common and positive community purpose have already demonstrated their worth, and hopefully there will be more to follow, with the right support and guidance.”

This workshop to be held at PLANED in the Old School Site in Narberth is currently open for people to register via Eventbrite, and numbers will be limited.

However, it is hoped that due to the support and interest already in this key agenda for communities across Wales, it will expand and similar events to promote solutions and opportunities will follow.

Those interested to attend can register via the Eventbrite link through the PLANED website and social media accounts.