The Welsh Government has provided over £700,000 to fund the new community centre in Glyncoch, Pontypridd which sits along side the Craig Y Hesg quarry.
The centre, which opened in 2012, now provides a range of services to the local community including education and training opportunities, lunch clubs, taekwondo classes, fitness sessions, bingo and five-a-side football. And as a result of Welsh Government funding, local fundraising and charity donations all of this can now take place in a warm, safe and welcoming environment.
The majority of the Welsh Government funding was awarded from the Aggregate Levy Fund for Wales which supports community projects in areas directly affected by quarrying.
Earlier in the day the Minister visited the Craig yr Hesg Quarry and saw how blue pennant – the high quality sandstone that the quarry is famous for – is extracted. The physical properties of blue pennant make it ideal for surfacing roads and making them less slippery which means there is high demand for the stone across the UK.
Craig Y Hesg quarry provides a real boost to the local economy, directly employing 25 people and indirectly providing work for around a further 60 contractors and lorry drivers.
Speaking about his visit, the Minister said:
“The extraction work that takes place at Craig yr Hesg is vital for the resurfacing of roads right across the UK and the quarry is providing a real and welcome boost to the local economy. However we know that communities living in close proximity to quarries are invariably affected by the industrial processes involved.
“The Community centre at Glyncoch has benefited from over £400,000 from the Aggregate Levy Fund for Wales, which supports communities living close to quarries and a further £300,000 from the Community Facilities and Activities programme. It really is a pleasure to see that money being put to such good use and making a real difference to people here in Glyncoch.”
The Glyncoch project is a further demonstration of the Welsh Government’s commitment to urban regeneration and to tackling poverty.
Since 2002 the Aggregates Levy Fund for Wales has supported 300 individual projects at a total grant value of £16 million. The fund was established in 2002 as a direct consequence of the introduction of a levy on the commercial extraction of aggregate (hard rock, sand and gravel). The fund ensures that some of the money raised by the levy is used to support communities directly affected by the industrial process of quarrying. This is usually done through improvements to community amenities and facilities.