News

Conwy Timber Forum Meeting

Conwy Cynhaliol is holding a timber forum meeting on Monday 8th of September at Nant Conwy Rugby Club, starting at 7.00pm.

Local contractors, timber processors, woodland owners and timber users are all invited to attend.

Six months has passed since the last meeting and we have several items to present:

Agenda

  • Equipment sales
  • Rural Development Plan in Conwy 2015 -2020
  • Coed Conwy website
  • Summary of initiatives in 2014 and suggestions for rest of year


If you are interested in attending the meeting or know of anyone that may be interested please contact Laura Fisher on 01492 577837 or email Conwycynhaliol@conwy.gov.uk

 

The Children of Gwynedd, Anglesey and Conwy Being Enterprising 'Marchnad Mentro' - click here

 

The Conwy Local Action Group (LAG) has been appointed by the Welsh Government to oversee the 2014 – 2020 Rural Development Programme (RDP) funded by the European Union with an estimated budget of £1.75 million for LEADER type activity in rural Conwy.  The Conwy Local Action Group are now drawing up plans on how to invest this money and we want to hear from you about what you think the priorities should be. 

Business, community, cultural and natural heritage, farming, food, timber & tourism are some of the areas of activity that will be looked at as we work on a County wide plan to tackle rural poverty and build a sustainable future for life in the rural area. You can have your say by completing our short, anonymous 10 question survey about what you think the priorities in the area should be for 2014- 2020 and/or by emailing us at conwyruralpartnership@conwy.gov.uk.  

If you’re interested in rural development and live or work in rural Conwy, there may also be an opportunity to join the Local Action Group and help to steer the next Rural Development Programme.  We need people from all walks of life and all sectors – private and public, community and voluntary. You can give from as little as a few hours of your time at the initial consultation for the Local Development Strategy to coming to regular meetings. To register your interest, please contact Elen Edwards on 01492 576673 or email conwyruralpartnership@conwy.gov.uk.

councillor parry

Rural members of Conwy County Borough Council and members of the Local Action Group enjoyed demonstrations of a mobile sawmill and an anaerobic digester during a visit to two Rural Development Plan projects on Thursday last week. 

Councillors Goronwy Edwards, Delyth MacRae, Edgar Parry, Ian Jenkins and Ifor Lloyd visited Tai’n y Foel in Cerrigydrudion who have been supported in developing an innovative anaerobic digestion system which will not only provide a long term supply of heat to the farm house but also considerably reduce ongoing fertiliser costs though the biological processing of slurry from the beef herd.

They went on to visit a Farm Diversification project at Y Glyn, Melin y Coed.  Three farms have formed a cooperative which has been supported to trial the processing of their own timber to create a sustainable alternative revenue stream. Forestry equipment and a mobile sawmill was demonstrated by the group.

Councillor Goronwy Edwards commented:
“The visit was really informative.  I’m always impressed by how innovative and resourceful people in the rural area are.  It was very rewarding to be able to see these projects in action.”

Raising substantial sums of money for big capital projects can be a challenge for many community groups, but next month two presentations will show what is possible with the right approach.

Conwy Cynhaliol, a Rural Development Plan project managed by Conwy County Borough Council, is hosting two short finance related presentations from Nick Venti of Robert Owen Community Banking and Mike Williams from the Wales Cooperative Centre. The focus will be away from traditional grant funding and more towards sustainable and accessible forms of finance.

An update on a local community hydropower project, ‘Ynni’r Dyffryn’ will also be given by members of the group.

‘Raising Community Finance’ will be held at Y Ganolfan, Dolwyddelan on the 17th of July, starting at 7p.m.

Ela Fôn Williams, the event organiser, said “This is an opportunity for groups to look at different ways of raising substantial sums of money for projects within their communities and move away from relying on traditional grants to get things done. This event will help build community capacity within groups by supporting and strengthening skills and abilities to take effective action and leading roles in the development of their communities”

If you are interested in attending the meeting or know of anyone that may be interested please contact Ela on 01492 577 839 or email ela.williams@conwy.gov.uk

We have an excellent opportunity for anyone living in rural Conwy or who has an interest in the area to have a part in shaping the next Rural Development Plan.  This is your chance to get involved in the consultation process and influence the strategy for this area for the next 6 years.  If you have ideas and suggestions and a positive outlook, we’d like to hear from you.

We need people from all walks of life and all sectors – private and public, community and voluntary.  You can give from as little as a few hours of your time at the initial consultation for the Local Development Strategy to coming to regular meetings.  For now, all you need to do is register your interest in the area.

Business, community, cultural and natural heritage, farming, food, timber & tourism are some of the areas of activity that will be looked at as we work on a County wide plan to tackle rural poverty and build a sustainable future for life in the rural area.   

To register your interest, please contact Elen Edwards on 01492 576673 or email conwyruralpartnership@conwy.gov.uk.

Work has recently begun on Menter Nefydd’s new Community Pavilion in Llannefydd, the fruits of years of hard work by the charity.

With funding from the Rural Development Plan’s Conwy Cynhaliol project administered by Conwy County Borough Council, WREN, Sports Wales, Cartrefi Conwy and also locally raised, the whole project represents a significant achievement and a long term community asset in the village and wider area.

R.L. Davies and Son Ltd of Llysfaen were appointed in April to construct the timber facility with work set to be completed by September 2014. Composite panels are being used for the build with the structure being largely manufactured in a workshop and then assembled on site.
Beryl Morris, treasurer of the Menter Nefydd committee said, “We are very excited that work has finally begun on the pavilion and can’t wait for it to be completed”.
“It will be a huge asset to the area providing a much needed facility to strengthen the community”.
Conwy Cynhaliol project manager Stuart Whitfield said “The Rural Development Plan is all about increasing the sustainability of rural communities and this project is clearly going to support Llannefydd well into the future”. “Funding aside, the project would never be realised without hard work and commitment from the Menter Nefydd committee. Getting to this stage has been no mean feat”.

For further information on the project please contact the Conwy Cynhaliol team on 01492 577837 or email conwycynhaliol@conwy.go.uk.

We’ve teamed up with Conwy Walking Week to help raise awareness of the beautiful Hiraethog area. Take up the Hiraethog Challenge, walking from village to village over 5 days. Or you could try a night walk or bushcraft and foraging events for all the family. You could even join us for an early morning walk and breakfast in a local pub! Booking is essential for all walks during Conwy walking Week – see www.conwy.gov.uk/walkingweek or www.hiraethog.org.uk for more information.

We currently have two vacancies within Conwy Rural Development Programme.

Please follow the following links for further information:

Renewable Resource Officer - click here

Rural Development Plan Project Development Officer (Ref: REQ381) - click here

 

awards

Conwy’s businesses were celebrating on Friday night at Conwy’s inaugural business awards event “Be a Winner”.

Conwy Council hosted the evening at Eirias Conference Centre where nearly 250 people enjoyed a meal of local produce under the Dyffryn Conwy Naturiol brand and entertainment from Craig Ryder before the awards themselves began.

Anna Openshaw of Conwy Rural Business Support, one of the organisers of the event commented:

“Following our successful Rural Business Awards over the past few years, we felt that it was time to recognise all of Conwy’s small businesses. As a county and as a community, we rely on these entrepreneurs to bring us their products and services. We’re very privileged to have so many talented and hard-working people in the County.”

John Merrick, Conwy’s Business & Enterprise Manager added “The winners were chosen by a panel of judges made up of the event sponsors and other representatives of business and enterprise. Over a hundred businesses were nominated so to make it to the finals was a real achievement.”

And the winners are:

Small Business of the Year – Be My Bear

New Business of the Year – Holmes & Murphy Veterinary Practice

Trainee of the Year – Joshua Cook

Green Business of the Year - Penrallt Consulting

Apprentice of the Year – Tara Bowerman, Tree Top Adventure

Social Enterprise of the Year – Glasdir

Business Person of the Year – Rhian Hastings, Celebration Chair Cover Company

Award for Corporate Social Responsibility – SPAR

Business of the Year - Sigwr a Sbeis

 

bwyd

The second rural Conwy food showcase took place on 10 April with Conwy Rural Partnership’s Conwy Cynhaliol project once again teaming up with staff and students at Coleg Llandrillo’s Catering and Hospitality Department to show local hotels and restaurants the food and drink being produced in rural Conwy

Fifty four guests representing twenty seven hospitality businesses enjoyed a three course meal consisting of locally produced food, alongside the producers themselves. Starting with Ham Hock terrine with meat supplied by Pigging Good Pork at Teyrdan Hall and rolls freshly baked by Scilicorns of Llanrwst, a main course followed consisting of beautifully cooked organic lamb from Bryn Dowsi, Henryd with baby carrots, butterneut squash and spring cabbage courtesy of Belmont, Llanddoged.

A delicious desert of vanilla panacotta, ginger and rhubarb, also from Bryn Dowsi, rounded of the food before samples of coffee and tea prepared by Caffi Cristobal of Penmachno were offered. All the producers at the event are users of Conwy Cynhaliol’s ‘Dyffryn Conwy Naturiol’ brand which is promoting the local identity of food and drink from rural Conwy.

Aled Williams, Head Chef of Cennin restaurant, Beamaris, was recruited for the evening to present each producer and explain a little about them to the assembled guests. Guests were asked to make the most of the valuable networking opportunity and discussions about rural producers supplying large and small outlets across the county continued into the evening. A small display of the producers was the focus for the evening, including Conwy Valley Meats, Llaeth y Llan of Llannefydd and Great Orme Brewery, Glan Conwy.

We’re very proud to be supporting Snowdonfest - a brand new music festival happening right here in Llanrwst on 14th & 15th June. Leanne Mitchell, winner of The Voice 2012 is headlining with performances by the West End’s “We Will Rock You” and local bands Sen Segur, Forever Kings, Kizzy Crawford, Gavner P, Cover Up and Candelas. You’ll also be entertained by newly discovered local talent as the finalists of Snowdonia’s Got Talent will be performing during the weekend as well.

You can join in the fun and take part in Wales’ biggest dance on Saturday night –learn the moves by watching the video on www.snowdonfest.com

Tickets are £10 for one day, £15 for 2 days and are available now on the website or from Eventbrite.co.uk

bwyd

Hoteliers and restaurateurs from all over the county have been invited to sample a mouth-watering spring themed menu created by Llandrillo College head chef Michael Evans. The dishes will all be created using produce sourced from “Naturally Conwy Valley” producers.

Michael Evans said, “This event is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the produce we have in North Wales, allowing the hoteliers and restaurateurs to meet with the suppliers first hand and taste their products”.


“It is only through events like this that we can show the diversity of products we have right on our doorstep and demonstrate the benefits to business customers in using locally produced ingredients”.

The idea for the event came from Stuart Whitfield, Manager of Conwy Rural Partnership’s Conwy Cynhaliol project. “Our aim is to develop and strengthen the supply chain between truly local food and drink producers and those businesses serving and selling food and drink to residents and visitors to Conwy alike. Nothing beats a face to face conversation.”

Apart from sampling the quality of locally sourced food, the evening is an opportunity for producers and businesses to network and discuss business opportunities. For more information on the event contact the Conwy Cynhaliol team on 01492 577837 or email conwycynhaliol@conwy.gov.uk.

bwyd

Llanrwst

On the 18th and 19th March, Conwy Rural Partnership will be hosting a bootcamp for tourism businesses to kick start the 2014 season.

Workshops including copywriting, PR and social media are free to all tourism businesses in rural Conwy and will be held on the afternoons of both days.

Hazel Barclay, Conwy Rural Partnership’s Marketing Officer commented “This will be a fantastic opportunity for people to step back and look at their marketing from a different perspective and learn some new techniques. We’re aiming to help businesses to stand out in a crowded marketplace and to help Conwy stand out at the same time.”

Anyone in the rural area who’d like to attend and hasn’t yet received an invitation is asked to contact Glasdir 01492 640640 or see www.bootcamp4biz.co.uk.

What do you dream of…?

Becoming a photographer?
Writing a book?
Being your own business?
Becoming a beauty therapist?
Being a mountain guide?
Making hats?
Driving an HGV?
Learning to design a website?

You could be one step closer to making your dream come true after coming to a Conwy Rural Partnership Training Open Evening. We can offer up to 75% of the costs of any training that you want*.

Come along to find out more:

Dolwyddelan
Monday 10th March
3-7pm
Pafiliwn Cymunedol/Community Pavilion

Pentrefoelas
Thursday 13th March
4 – 7pm
Neuadd Bentref /Village Hall

Betws-yn-Rhos
Wednesday 26th March
3-7pm
Neuadd Bentref /Village Hall

Rowen
Thursday 27th March
3-7pm
Neuadd Goffa /Memorial Hall

If you can’t make it to an Open Evening please call us to talk about our Tailored Training Fund:
01492 577840
ruraltraining@conwy.gov.uk

www.ruralconwy.org.uk

* Subject to eligibility. You must live or work in rural Conwy and not be eligible for support from other grant bodies.

field

A farming family at Llwyn y Coed Isaf in Dolgarrog has begun to cut reeds commercially for the first time. With a grant from Conwy Rural Partnership’s Key Fund, a rice harvester specially adapted for cutting the reeds has been imported from Asia. Emma Roberts first started thinking about the reeds after seeing it at the Royal Welsh. 32 of the 60 acres at Llwyn y Coed is flat marsh land bordering the river Conwy with an abundance of naturally growing reed. Emma, her husband Aled and his brother William took the decision to diversify from their traditional farming activity to put this to commercial use for the first time and approached Conwy Rural Partnership for support.

Elen Edwards, Rural Development Plan Strategy Manager said:

“This is one of our flagship projects and we’re really proud to have been able to support this venture. It’s a truly sustainable product in all ways and it’s fantastic to see a local family benefitting from such an innovative idea.”

Neil Pringle of CVSC who manage the Farm Diversification Key Fund on behalf of Conwy Rural Partnership added:

“There is an established demand for Welsh reed and only one other grower in Wales – a wildlife trust in Pembrokeshire. 80% of reeds used for roofing in Britain are now imported from Eastern Europe and are not of such high quality. Home grown reed is more economically viable, and lasts longer as well as supporting very valuable wildlife habitats.”

2 berson The initiative makes use of 32 acres of land unsuitable for grazing. It will provide additional income to the farm business and also creates seasonal employment to one local person. The project will improve the quality of the reed bed for nesting and breeding ground and habitat for a wide variety of birds/wildlife. The family is working with the RSPB and Natural Wealth Resources to manage the site sustainably.

 

Conwy Rural Partnership is proud to have supported Boombox Eryri - a film produced by Migrations, inspired by New York based performer and art director Ely Kim's Boombox and recreated with the people of North Wales. In collaboration with Austrian artist David Subal, Migrations filmed 100 people dancing to their favourite music in their favourite place in rural Conwy. The resulting short film is a celebration of dancing, rural Conwy and its communities.

 

rhaglen ffermio

 

Click here to see the Ffermio programme where Alun Elidyr meets a farmer in Llanrwst who has diversified.

 

 

 

Conwy’s Food

Visitors were welcomed to Glasdir in Llanrwst last Friday for the first Local Produce Market where a variety of farm and locally produced food and handmade crafts were on sale.

The first twenty shoppers to arrive received a goodie bag of promotional materials promoting the new local food brand “Dyffryn Conwy Naturiol” and the passionate local producers using it.

Fresh vegetables from Cae Melwr farm in Llanrwst, Christmas cake and biscuits made by Scilicorns Bakery, Llanrwst, using wheat grown by Cae Melwr Farm, also of Llanrwst as well as bottled ales from Nant Conwy Brewery of Llanddoged were amongst some of the products kindly donated which were up for grabs in a promotional hamper prize draw.

Conwy Cynhaliol project manager, Stuart Whitfield said; “The Dyffryn Conwy Naturiol brand is a way of bringing the wide range of products produced in rural Conwy to the attention of local consumers and those visiting the area who are keen to sample what rural Conwy has to offer. The local identity of food and drink can sometimes be missed when consumers are confronted with an assortment of similar products in the shops. Using support from the Rural Development Plan for Wales, with this brand we are trying to give local produce an edge in what can be fierce competition for the attention of shoppers”.

Ceri Williams of Llanrwst was the lucky winner of the hamper, “I hope the Local Produce Market will be a great success and look forward to the next market in January”.

The Local Produce Market will be held every second Friday of the month at Glasdir, Llanrwst, from 9.30am until 1.30pm. January market will be held on the 10th of January, 2014.

Conwy’s Food

Dyffryn Conwy Naturiol and the Local Produce Market are initiatives supported by the Conwy Cynhaliol

Project, part funded through the Rural Development Plan which is financed by the EU and Welsh Government. For more information on the brand or to obtain a local food guide please contact a member of the Conwy Cynhaliol team on 01492 577837 or email conwycynhaliol@conwy.gov.uk.

Food Showcase

Goat’s cheese coated in ginger crumb with a beetroot cake and chutney. Seared pork lion with slow cooked belly pork, braised potato, squash and apples. Prime fillet of Welsh Black beef tartar to name just a few dishes which were prepared at Coleg Llandrillo last month.

You’d be forgiven for thinking you were reading a Masterchef menu, but in fact these are just some of the dishes that were served up as part of an eight course dinner to showcase food produced in rural Conwy, prepared by head chef Michael Evans and hosted by Conwy Rural Partnership’s Conwy Cynhaliol project.

Hotel and restaurant businesses from across the county were invited to the evening where they could discuss potential business opportunities with producers located sometimes only a matter of minutes from the major resorts.

Michael commented, “This event was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the produce we have in North Wales allowing local hoteliers to meet with suppliers first hand and to taste their products.”

“It is only through events like this that we can show the diversity of products we have right on our doorstep and demonstrate the benefits to both producers and business customers in using locally produced ingredients. It also gave the students at Llandrillo first hand knowledge of what is on our doorstep.”

A survey conducted at the start of the year established that there is a lack of information available to businesses about produce from rural Conwy, with the survey identifying the sources of ingredients often being neighbouring counties and well beyond, despite there being suitable suppliers in the area.

Emyr Evans of Cae Melwr, Llanrwst, who supplied seasonal vegetables for the event said, “The organisation, service and quality of food was fantastic. For me as a producer of seasonal vegetables it made me proud that vegetables dug out of the ground hours earlier were used as part of a creative and amazing menu.”

Apart from sampling the quality of locally sourced food the evening was an opportunity for producers and businesses to network and discuss business opportunities. A second event in the spring of 2014 is being planned and enquiries from producers and businesses serving food should be submitted to the Conwy Cynhaliol team on 01492 577837 or email conwycynhaliol@conwy.gov.uk.

Bwyta Allan

Last month a new local food brand, ‘Dyffryn Conwy Naturiol’, was welcomed by visitors to the Conwy Feast where thousands of food and drink lovers took the opportunity to sample produce from far and wide.

Members of Conwy Rural Partnership’s Conwy Cynhaliol team spent the weekend at the food festival promoting the new brand and the passionate local producers using it.

Fresh vegetables from Belmont farm in Llanddoged, lemon drizzle cake and bara brith from Ty Hwnt I’r Bont in Llanrwst as well as bottled ales from Great Orme Brewery of Glan Conwy were amongst some of the products kindly donated which were up for grabs in a promotional hamper prize draw.

Conwy Cynhaliol project manager, Stuart Whitfield said; “The Dyffryn Conwy Naturiol brand is a way of bringing the wide range of products produced in rural Conwy to the attention of local consumers and those visiting the area who are keen to sample what rural Conwy has to offer. The local identity of food and drink can sometimes be missed when consumers are confronted with an assortment of similar products in the shops. Using support from the Rural Development Plan for Wales, with this brand we are trying to give local produce an edge in what can be fierce competition for the attention of shoppers”.

Demonstrating the extent of the attraction of the Conwy Feast, Saturday saw the first lucky winner, Kevin Fearnehough from Liverpool win the hamper, while Will Williams from near Tregarth won the second hamper on the final day of the feast. The team also met visitors travelling from as far as Staffordshire, Manchester and Aberystwyth.

A Local Food Guide was distributed at the feast, featuring the producers currently using the brand, with more than four hundred guides being handed out over the two days. Stuart added “The food guide was particularly popular. Having the details of rural producers in one place makes it easier for food lovers to find a local source. This first Autumn edition will be updated with more producers as more sign up to the brand”.

Dyffryn Conwy Naturiol is an initiative supported by the Conwy Cynhaliol Project, part funded through the Rural Development Plan which is financed by the EU and Welsh Government. For more information on the brand or to obtain a local food guide please contact a member of the Conwy Cynhaliol team on 01492 577837 or email conwycynhaliol@conwy.gov.uk.

Bwyta Allan

If you come to Gwledd Conwy Feast this October, you’ll spot an unusual structure amongst the castle walls – a giant, luminous yellow and pink inflatable. No – it’s not a bouncy castle, but if you allow your kids to drag you there, you’ll be able to sample some of rural Conwy’s tastiest treats.

Bwyta Allan, supported by Conwy Rural Partnership as part of the Rural Development Plan, has produced a guide to Eating Out in rural Conwy and you’ll be able to meet some of the owners of the restaurants, pubs and cafes featured in the guide, sample some of their dishes and take away your free copy of the guide as well.

Meet the owners of Pinnacle Café in Capel Curig among others– they’re well-known by walkers in Snowdonia for their homemade cakes and their famous Pinnacle Breakfasts – a must if you’re heading for a day in the hills. They’ll be in the Bwyta Allan pop-up selling some of their delicious flapjacks, brownies, bara brith and welshcakes.

The Bwyta Allan project currently supports over 50 eateries in rural Conwy. Discover country pubs & charming tea rooms, fine dining with fine views to match or hearty home made pies and crackling log fires. The diverse range of establishments have one common theme – they’re fiercely proud of rural Conwy’s superb local produce.

Bwyta Allan

If you can’t make it to Conwy Feast, the Bwyta Allan guide, has been developed to support local cafes and restaurants by encouraging local people as well as tourists to eat out when visiting the area. The guide is now available and copies can be obtained from Tourist Information Centres, B&B's and holiday cottages around rural Conwy. Or you can pick up a copy from our offices at Glasdir in Llanrwst.

There’s been great demand for another drive-in cinema night after the huge success last time. Organisers Goleuo are delighted to announce The Lion King will be shown at Nant Conwy rugby Club on Saturday October 12th. It’s a free event so arrive early to guarantee a good car viewing point as it’s on a first come first served basis. Parking opens at 6:30 pm and films start at 7pm.

There will be raffle on the night and popcorn and light snacks will be sold in aid of Cylch Meithrin Bro Cernyw.

Iola Roberts, Chair of the Cylch Meithrin Bro Cernyw commented:

“This is a unique outdoor cinema experience for cinema goers of all ages. You can just tune in your car radio on the night to the correct frequency to listen to the film while watching it on the big screen. The support that we have received as Mudiad Meithrin Bro Cernyw in organising this event from Goleuo has been invaluable and we hope that people will support the Mudiad on the evening in buying popcorn and drinks and buying raffle tickets. And we’ve been lucky to get great raffle prizes from tickets to Zip World and Tree Tops Adventures to cakes from Siwgr a Sbeis to a Sunday Lunch at the Holland Arms to name but a few. We have even had milk donated for Tea’s and Coffee’s from the owners of Siop y Llan in Llangernyw! Thanks to all that have worked hard in making the arrangements and those who have donated in any way… all we need now is for people to attend this one-off event!”

This is a one of a kind event and doesn’t happen much in Wales, it’s a spectacle to see.

Sioned Davies from Goleuo said “We’re lucky to get the support to put on an event like this from Conwy Rural Partnership, under the Rural Development Plan. It’s a completely different twist to a Saturday night out and I’d urge anyone to come along. It should be a real spectacle.”

A recent market research project, supported by Conwy Rural Partnership, has shown that there is a real demand for local beef, lamb and bacon from the hospitality and catering industry in Llandudno. John Rooney, the project officer from Conwy Cynhaliol commented, "The results show that a large number of products are purchased from outside the area. Furthermore, after talking with hotel managers, there was a passion for local meats wherever available.

From this survey came the idea of a farmers' cooperative. The idea is to work with a group of farmers to sell meat directly from farms. Conwy Cynhaliol can offer support with slaughtering, butchering and processing the meat."

For more information contact John Rooney - 01492 577836 or conwycynhaliol@conwy.gov.uk