Community projects and innovative business ideas could benefit from funding provided by the Vale of Usk Rural Development Programme (RDP) – a partnership between Monmouthshire and Newport City Council to promote rural communities and businesses while increasing prosperity.  The RDP team invites eligible ventures to get in touch and discuss potential schemes.

RDP funding has already supported community groups with specialist research and reports for potential projects and free advice is available to access additional support.  For example, training schemes have been popular, ranging from specialist mountain-bike guide tuition to woodland management.

Among the five funding areas that the RDP focuses upon is green energy and a film has been commissioned for release in September outlining available support for this sector.  It aims to attract renewable projects to reduce fuel poverty and carbon footprint as well as improving sustainability.  Projects need to be innovative and demonstrate local support with community benefits.

Other exciting schemes include a joint bee-breeding programme with the Caerphilly and Merthyr RDPs to breed Welsh queen bees better suited to local weather and environmental conditions.  The project will also work with schools and the community to raise awareness.  In addition, Gareth Baker of Wye Valley Apiaries has hosted a number of workshops covering bee-keeping techniques and breeding.

Councillor Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member for innovation and enterprise said: “Funding from the Vale of Usk Rural Development Programme could be the key to launching innovative and beneficial schemes while promoting investment into our countryside communities.”

Do you have a business venture idea in areas of tourism, heritage, local food and drink, green energy, sustainable transport or the digital sector?  If so contact the RDP team – www.valeofusk.org – to discuss any ideas.

  • The RDP Project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.