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

Rural Development Plan (RDP)


The Rural Development Plan for Wales is part of a new European Union Programme to promote the economic regeneration of rural areas.  The areas deemed eligible as rural in Merthyr are Bedlinog, Cyfarthfa, Merthyr Vale and Vaynor with Plymouth as a Service Centre area. 


The RDP is aimed at assisting communities, helping to boost the local economy by supporting local business and the voluntary sector/community organisations, improving basic services, village enhancement, improving the local environment and promoting the Welsh language.


There are three main objectives stemming from the Merthyr Local Development Strategy and all projects that were approved in Business Plan 1 / due to be implemented through Business Plan 2 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 are being delivered under Business Plan 2 and a total of £1.75m from the RDP has been secured for Merthyr.  The three projects will be delivered between March 2011 and December 2014.



Project Cynnal


This project focuses on business growth, environmental best practice, resource efficiency and ICT. Support will be provided to develop the economic structure in rural areas by helping businesses that employ less than ten people become more energy efficient and get the best out of their IT systems.


Services include:

  • 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.

If you think your business could benefit from reduced energy costs and more effective IT please contact:


Business Environment Coordinator – (01685) 725463
Business ICT Officer – (01685) 727089

Email -



Preserving Merthyr’s Heritage


This project aims 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. It will detail Merthyr’s role locally and nationally in the development of a new Welsh identity and its part in making major contributions towards the UK’s industrial development.


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.


The project will also map the decline of the areas industry and how today the rural wards have recaptured their pre industrial beauty and bio-diversity. The project will also link this important site with the new cycling development at Gethin Woodland Park, creating a recreational hub for northern Merthyr.


For further information please contact:


Groundwork Caerphilly – (01495) 222605 




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 and communities of interest, encouraging them to develop and implement project ideas that aim to sustain the rural economy. The Local Action Group in Merthyr was strengthened and developed to fully assist the local communities to apply for grant aid and oversaw the delivery of the scheme with the support of the Rural Action Merthyr Grant’s Officer. 


The Grant Scheme provided an opportunity for local communities and communities of interest to secure funding to deliver against the 7 measures under Axis 3. The projects invited for submission were required to link at least one of the measures under Axis 3 and were required to be new, innovative projects focusing on the development of rural areas. 


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.


The project built confidence of both the rural communities and the Local Action Group and aimed to build relationships between a range of sectors and stakeholders. The project encouraged job growth and entrepreneurship, had added value, encouraged best practice and was an opportunity to pilot new, innovative ideas.


If you require any information on the Grant Scheme then please contact:


Rural Action Merthyr Coordinator – (01685) 727089 

Email –  


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