It is a joy to see the bright ideas which emerge from our communities across the Brecon Beacons National Park, and to see how much imagination and local commitment to sustainability there is. I hope you enjoy reading about the inspiring SDF-funded projects in this year’s annual report.
SDF is a net earner for the Park, levering in funding for sustainability projects. In 2018-19 for every £1 invested by SDF, £4 of match-funding has been raised. I congratulate everyone involved, and thank all the partners and funders. Of course, it is not only investment that makes for a successful project. Our two SDF officers Helen Roderick and Ceri Bevan support new applicants, help them to shape their applications, and check that they meet the Authority’s priorities. My huge thanks go to them for their sterling work, and for compiling and editing this report.
There are clear links between good public governance, investment and development. The SDF (Sustainable Development Fund) Committee is accountable to the public, allocating funds against objectives set by the National Park Authority, and against the Welsh Government’s Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. There is always some risk attached to funding new initiatives, and sustainable development projects can take years to come to full maturity, but we are risk takers, and we are patient, and we pride ourselves on backing project teams that have good ideas, and need the boost that seedcorn or match funding can provide.
It is a great pleasure to chair the SDF Committee. The six Members and up to fifteen local subject experts who provide support through the Grant Advisory Panel (GAP) are efficient and good-humoured. My thanks go to fellow Authority Members: Deputy Chair Cllr Karen Laurie-Penny, Chris Coppock, Cllr Michael Jones, Cllr Iain McIntosh and Cllr Kevin Madge, for their collegiate support and hard work in assessing and deciding on grant applications. My thanks also go to members of the Grant Advisory Panel, who give their time and expertise so generously to assist the SDF Committee with our funding decisions: Sarah Coakham (NRW), John Coombe (Brecknock Access Group), Cllr Richard Dixon (Llanelly CC), David Jones (FUW), Andrew King (Brecknock Bird Recorder), Abi McCullough (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust), Joyce Morgan-Gervis (Ty Mawr Lime), Margaret Underwood (voluntary sector), Cllr Chris Walsh (Brecon TC), Cllr Bernard Watkins (Maescar CC), Mike Wright (The Charter Group) and the Brecon High School students who have attended our meetings. Thanks to everyone for their knowledge, insight and challenge.