Arfor at work
Gwynedd Council has confirmed its plans for its share of a £2 million fund as part of the Arfor Programme.
The Welsh Government Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates AM, recently announced the fund has been set up to trial innovative ways of promoting entrepreneurship, business growth, community resilience and the Welsh language in the west wales coastal area.
In Gwynedd, a suite of projects is on the cards to create employment, which includes support for businesses to grow, help for communities to keep monies local to their area, create new work spaces and to support young people to stay and return to the county.
This will include:
Support for Enterprise - an advice and financial support package for businesses wishing to be enterprising and create new jobs in Welsh language strongholds.
Production Space - open temporary workspaces in disused buildings in communities across Gwynedd to provide opportunities for local businesses and the wider community to learn about new equipment and technology and to experiment with them.
Enterprising Communities Challenge - opportunity for two or three communities within the Welsh language stronghold to break new ground and turn their ideas into reality, in order to keep money circulating in the local community and create new jobs for residents.
Llwyddo’n Lleol - a campaign across Gwynedd and Anglesey to highlight and promote current and exciting work opportunities available locally now and in future for young people and their families in both counties.
The Arfor Programme is running across the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Gwynedd and Anglesey. The four local authorities announced their plans for the funds up to March 2021, which include:
- promoting enterprise and supporting business growth in areas with a high proportion of Welsh speakers
- securing better and better paid jobs to retain local people in these areas and encourage those who have left to return
- promoting the value of speaking Welsh and bilingualism in businesses, creating a vibrant sense of place
- encouraging businesses and people who move to rural areas to value and use the Welsh language.
Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development, said: “The Arfor Programme will be an exciting scheme for Gwynedd with the development of innovative projects for developing the local economy and promoting the Welsh language. It provides an opportunity for Gwynedd Council and the rural areas of Gwynedd to try out new projects to develop local businesses; give communities a new challenge to pilot new ideas to create local jobs to keep people in their communities and promote the Welsh language.”
The Welsh Government’s Economy Minister, Ken Skates AM, said: “The Arfor scheme is key to promoting new and innovative methods to support economic development in our Welsh language heartlands, where we know the rural and foundational economies are particularly important.
“The programme has been developed in close collaboration with the four local authorities who are responsible for its delivery. It aims to promote stronger links between language and the economy, creating an environment which can support quality job opportunities, meet people’s needs and help communities to flourish, providing the support needed to meet the demands and opportunities as we leave the European Union.
“I am pleased Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Gwynedd and Anglesey Councils have now announced their plans for this scheme and I look forward to seeing them implemented for the benefit of the people and communities in this region.”
Deputy Economy Minister Lee Waters AM added: “The Foundational Economy approach seeks to nurture a more resilient economy, promoting business growth, community resilience, entrepreneurship, and the Welsh language, and the Arfor Innovation Fund will help us achieve that in this region of West Wales.
“The schemes announced by the local authorities will also help us inform future activity to benefit local authorities across Wales as we evaluate best practice.”
The four counties will be working in partnership on activities to encourage businesses and individuals to use – and take pride in – the Welsh language. We will work together to learn from the individual projects and to develop a long-term strategy on how to stimulate the economy in areas where a high percentage of the population speak Welsh, create high value jobs for local people and through this support the language to grow in the future.
The Bwrlwm Busnes project will contain a Welsh language welcome pack to elevate the benefit and appreciation of the language across the region by raising awareness among businesses of the opportunities and importance of the language to our communities.
For further details, contact Anwen Davies, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/RhaglenArfor