February 2014: The Barmouth Heritage Trail is launched.
Status Summer 2013:
The company continues to provide support and assistance to various groups in the town. Particular focus, at present, is on the Barmouth Heritage Trail Project.
This project was initiated by Communities First and has been successful in obtaining funding to provide a Heritage Trail around the town. A map showing all points of interest, with information on their history and origins will be supported by a website, and by the provision of plaques.
Cwmni'r Bermo CBC are providing administrative and financial support for this project which is expected to be completed Autumn 2013.
Status April 2013: Although we have tried to find additional funding to allow us to continue our Open Door facility in a less expensive space, at this point in time we have not been successful.
We have held discussions with The Dragon Theatre and whilst they would be prepared to consider offering a short period of time rent free, rent would be payable following that period. It would not be appropriate for the directors to take advantage of the free period without being sure that they funds available to continue with the project.
It is also the case that the present layout of the Theatre does not easily lend itself to an Open Door policy nor to the setup of a small area in which the current office facilities could be accommodated.
Applications for funding have been submitted but responses to these are not expected for some time and we therefore have to be prudent and have closed the existing facilities.
Current users of the building have been assisted to find alternative accommodation and any equipment which the company retains is being stored by various groups in the town, with the obligation that this equipment is available at any time for use within the community.
The company will continue to ensure that some legacy derives from closure of the Communities First operation.
Should we subsequently be successful in raising funds that would allow us to pay for suitable premises, then the volunteers who have worked so hard on this project for a significant number of years, will be ready to pitch in again and provide their time to man such premises to once again support the people of Barmouth with an "Open Door" help and resource centre.
Barmouth First - Community Resource Centre
Aim: To create a sustainable Community Resource Centre to carry forward the work previously carried out by Barmouth Communities First Partnership.
What was Communities First: A Welsh Assembly Government funded programme aimed to combat poverty and social exclusion in the most deprived wards in Wales. It was operated in each ward by a team of three staff ( Coordinator, Development worker and Administrator) who were responsible to a local Partnership that comprised representatives of Local residents, charitable / third sector groups and Statutory bodies( Local Authority, Police, Fire, Health, Employment, Housing etc.). The Partnership received annual funding from the Welsh Assembly Government and had a service level agreement with Gwynedd County Council who acted as Grant Recipient Body. The Partnership set the objectives and targets annually and reported on progress to the Welsh Government. The budgets were set annually and managed locally again reporting on spending and value for money as part of the overall reporting process.
Who are we: Cwmni'r Bermo Community Interest Company was formed to incorporate the Barmouth Communities First Partnership to enable it to access money to operate projects that would benefit the community of Barmouth. It comprises six Directors who were also the Board of the Partnership.
What do we want to do: Under Communities First the office in Station Road became the hub of the community, the first point of contact for outside agencies that wished to operate in Barmouth and the first place local residents approached when seeking services or guidance of any kind.
When it was announced that the Government would no longer fund the Partnerships in many areas the board considered what the future might be.
Local people urged the board to maintain as much as possible of the service provided by Communities First, especially the information and guidance aspects.
Being remote from the big population centres many charities and main line services do not find their way to Barmouth so local residents miss out on the services that could be provided to them.
Recently many organisations and charities have been forced to reorganise their operations and shrink their operations. Frequently this means that services that are geographically remote from their base are the first to be axed. Barmouth ,being in south Gwynedd, is particularly vulnerable since many organisations operate from the Bangor/ Caernarfon areas.
Networking with potential partners is an ongoing function that needs to be constantly updated to enable us to react to changes and to take advantage of any new service or initiative that may be developed.
In recent months we have seen a great increase in the number of enquiries about debt and finance guidance and have therefore searched out organisations that can offer help or a presence in this area.
Similarly, we are receiving requests for help in completing application forms for benefits / housing and employment so need to be constantly checking with the community to see what services they need.
In addition we support local groups, helping them understand the need for proper paper work such as policies, mission statements, constitutions etc. We also help them access funding by use of the Grantfinder network.
We have been successful in obtaining an initial six months funding from the Welsh Government, via Gwynedd Council. This allows us to operate up until 31/03/13 and gives us time to acquire additional to safeguard the project for the longer term.