European Funding - Rural Development Plan  Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council :
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European Funding - Rural Development Plan 

Rural Development Plan (RDP) 2014 - 2020


The Rural Development Plan for Wales is part of a European Union Programme to promote the economic regeneration of rural areas. 


The RDP LEADER Programme uses innovative methods to assist communities, helping to boost the local economy by developing basic services, village enhancement, improving the local environment and promoting sustainability and the Welsh language.


The future programme is awaiting approval from Welsh Government, but if successful the programme will be delivered jointly with Rhondda Cynon Taff. The areas covering the future programme deemed eligible as rural in Merthyr Tydfil and RCT are Bedlinog, Cyfarthfa, Maerdy, Merthyr Vale, Rhigos, Vaynor, Ynys-y-Bwl with Plymouth as a Service Centre and Treharris as a Host ward. 


The programme will be administered by Merthyr Tydfil and the Rural Action Cwm Taf Local Action Group will ensure the programme delivers innovation projects identified as being most needed within rural communities.


The themes for the future programme are:

  • Adding value to Local Identity & Natural and Cultural Resources
  • Facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains
  • Exploring new ways of providing non-statutory services
  • Renewable energy at a community level
  • Exploitation of digital technology

In 2015, the Welsh Government will also be launching a Rural Community Development Fund which groups/enterprises and organisations may apply for.


If you require any further information on the future Rural Programme, or would like to know how to be involved in the consultation process please contact the Rural Co-ordinator:


Rural Action Merthyr Coordinator – (01685) 727089

Email –




Rural Development Plan (RDP) 2007-2013


Merthyr Tydfil was involved in the most recent Rural Development Plan Programme. 


There were three main objectives stemming from the Merthyr Local Development Strategy and all projects that were approved fit within at least one of the key objectives: 

  • Welsh Heritage and Culture
  • Production of Local Food, Crafts and Services
  • Tourism and Outdoor Activity

Business Plan 2 of the Rural Development Plan Programme commenced in Merthyr Tydfil on the 1st March 2011.  Three projects were delivered under Business Plan 2 and a total of £1.75m from the RDP was secured for Merthyr Tydfil. 


Project Cynnal


This project (ended June 2014) focused on business growth, environmental best practice, resource efficiency and ICT. 

Services included:

  • Access to up to £5000 of grant aid
  • Resource and Energy Efficiency Advice
  • Website Development
  • Tips and hints on efficient IT systems, system protection and broadband assessment
  • Help with email, internet settings and basic database development
  • eBusiness and the implementation and more specialist systems
  • Signposting to complementary funding programmes.

Preserving Merthyr’s Heritage


This project (ended June 2014) aimed to protect, enhance and promote the heritage and landscape of the rural wards of Merthyr as a means to encourage the sustainability of those wards through tourism, the protection of its bio-diversity and educating those who live or visit the area. 


North and West Merthyr contain some of the best preserved and documented industrial archaeological sites in the whole of the Borough as well as examples of medieval archaeology. Those sites are also of national importance as they hold the key to detailing the evolution of Merthyr from a rural backwater to the World’s foremost iron town, and making Wales the World’s first industrial nation, the development socialism, radicalism and the fight for workers rights.  



Rural Grant Scheme


The project, which ended in December 2013, sought to build capacity within the eligible Rural Wards in Merthyr Tydfil for local communities, encouraging them to develop and implement project ideas that aim to sustain the rural economy. 


Applicants could apply for grants of up to £15,000 capital or revenue and were asked to secure a minimum of 20% match funding. Ideas were encouraged through a range of methods including networking with other Local Action Groups, visits to RDP areas and previous approved Axis 4 projects, the setting up of Task and Finish groups and themed / community consultations.



If you require any information about the most recent Rural Development Plan Programme please contact:


Rural Action Merthyr Coordinator – (01685) 727089 

Email –  


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