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Innovative solutions to rural issues

Facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains

Facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains
  • Projects that link skills and needs together (Skills Banks)
  • Development of new business partnerships or growing existing ones
  • Develop mentoring/ambassador schemes
  • Projects that create an entrepreneurial and innovative culture
  • Projects that enable employment of local people
  • Development of new products or processes
  • Develop and/or build on Powys brands
  • Pilot innovative approaches to supply chain development.
  • Projects using innovative methods of increasing the number of businesses engaging with public and private support services.

Exploring new ways of providing non-statutory local services

Exploring new ways of providing non-statutory local services
  • Piloting news ways of delivering services such as transport
  • Facilitate community engagement and information to identify community resilience and capacity to enable service delivery
  • Projects that build the capacity of local actors to allow them to deliver local services
  • Innovative projects that improve the health and wellbeing of local people
  • Research and visits to other best practice project examples
  • Projects that develop volunteering opportunities and training placements.
  • Support for the development of community hubs.
  • Projects that trial alternative ways of delivering non statutory services.
Photo by Finn Beales

Renewable energy at Community level

Renewable energy at Community level
  • Community engagement activities to disseminate renewable energy (RE) information to communities
  • Energy audits to identify hotspot communities for RE or energy efficiency
  • Projects that support the reduction of fuel poverty within the county
  • Projects that use community benefits from RE to alleviate poverty
  • Projects that support businesses to become more energy efficient
  • Projects that utilise natural resources to deliver local solutions.
  • Facilitation of support by communities through mentoring and familiarisation visits.
  • Engagement activities to disseminate RE information to land owners and rural businesses
  • Fuel sourcing from community woodlands.

Exploitation of digital technology

Exploitation of digital technology
  • Projects that increase the uptake of digital technologies within the business and community sectors
  • Projects that use digital technologies to provide services
  • Projects that build on existing web platforms or creates new ones
  • Projects that increase the uptake and usage of digital technology to improve business productivity and effectiveness.
  • Pilot mentoring or buddy schemes to encourage the use of social media.
  • Pilot innovative ways of using new technologies to provide information.

Adding Value to local identity and natural and cultural resources

Adding Value to local identity and natural and cultural resources
  • Projects that make best use of natural assets such as community grown food initiatives or community woodlands
  • Developing new activities related to the natural environment and heritage
  • Building the capacity of events to encourage sustainability
  • Develop ideas to increase the use of the Welsh Language within the outdoor activities sector
  • Develop ideas that link producers, retailers, caterers and visitors and products together
  • Improve the knowledge of the local natural and historical environment of local tourism providers

Farm Diversification

Farm Diversification

The Farm Diversification Scheme was a strategic project under Axis 3 of the Rural Development Plan which was active between 2011 and 2014. The aim of the project was to develop the agricultural sector in Powys into a dynamic and competitive sector.

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Resilient Powys

Resilient Powys

The Resilient Powys Project delivered a programme of support and financial assistance to encourage innovative, bottom up, small scale, business and community-led development initiatives, supporting diversification of the rural economy and improving the quality of life of Powys' citizens. A suite of strategic objectives were identified against which activities will be delivered.

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Sustainable Tourism Powys

Sustainable Tourism Powys

Sustainable Tourism Powys (STP) was an innovative programme delivered by Powys County Council to support and develop tourism in Powys into a dynamic and competitive sector. The project offered a range of support that developed and promoted the tourism offer in Powys including; grants schemes, targeted marketing, business advice and support.

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The River Friendly Severn Project

The River Friendly Severn project was delivered by the Severn Rivers Trust over two years (2016-18) in northern Powys, across the former county of Montgomeryshire.

Clean rivers are important for recreation, for wildlife, for fishing, agriculture and for many businesses relying on ample supplies of clean water.

The river Severn and its tributaries suffer from a number of pressures including:

  • ·         Pollution from industrial, agricultural and domestic sources
  • ·         Concrete and paving in built-up areas limit water storage and drainage
  • ·         Barriers in rivers that stop fish from swimming freely
  • ·         Poor land management leading to loss of habitats and key species
  • ·         Alien species such as Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed which smother river banks and cause increased erosion

The River Friendly project enabled our Senior Community Officer to work with local schools, businesses and volunteer networks. We supported local people in taking action for their rivers to improve water quality, restore habitats and celebrate the diverse wildlife that call them home.

The River Friendly Severn project built relationships with local primary and secondary school teachers in five key river catchments in Powys. Pupils learned how the river provides important habitats for a range of fascinating wildlife. After an introductory whole school assembly and class workshops children achieved the ‘River Friendly Kids’ Award.

They then undertook site surveys and designed a range of improvements for their school grounds to help make them ‘River Friendly Schools’. Specially commissioned rain gardens have been built in three schools which store rain water and reduce pollution into rivers. They also offer a focal point for community engagement and learning about conservation and the importance of rivers.

We engaged local businesses through the River Friendly Business Award. This was designed to demonstrate the benefits of getting involved with local communities and practical river conservation. Businesses were involved in a number of ways, for example donating money for high-vis jackets for school children, offering corporate volunteering time, and even making physical improvements for the river on their properties. We have built strong relationships with businesses and continue to work with them to improve the Severn catchment.

Finally, by working with volunteers and establishing networks of specialist knowledge and best practice we have ensured a high level of skill and technical understanding among local people within the community. These networks are extremely important for Severn Rivers Trust as they enable us to have multiple ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground and extend our reach. With the input of volunteers we can track the impact of our conservation work, identify any threats such as pollution, and understand more about river wildlife. Not only this, volunteer groups provide invaluable contributions to practical conservation tasks including invasive species control, making in-stream improvements and planting and caring for the rare river trees such as the iconic Black Poplar.

For more information please contact Lisa Barlow on or visit their website:

Start Date:  October 2016

End Date:    September 2019

Project Total:   £121,055.39

Rural Development Funding / Arwain:   £96,844.31

Match Funding:   £24,211.08

Become a LAG member

If you'd like to register your interest in becoming a member of the LAG, please complete the OPLAG Membership EOI Form

To learn more about the work of the OPLAG or to discuss becoming an OPLAG member, please contact:

Louise White, RDP Programme Officer
Tel: 01597 827072/07773 818391
E-mail: louise.white(at)

All enquiries and expressions of interest regarding application for membership will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence and in line with Data Protection legislation.

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