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The sustainable management of natural resources is central to the Wales Rural Development Programme priorities. It recognises by strengthening local supply chains, fostering innovation, creating balanced territory approaches, maximises on sustainably managing our natural resources we can increase communities economic, social and environmental resilience.
To support the Wales RDP to achieve its aims and objectives the Wales Rural Network (WRN) have held three events to date on supply chains. These were themed on Wool/Textiles.
Its aim was to build on existing networks and build new partnerships to stimulate new ideas and encourage collaboration to develop and strengthen Welsh wool supply chains; adding value and reducing waste was a key feature.
The latest Wool & Textile Discussion Group took place on the 29th September via Microsoft Teams. 30 delegates attended which included a wide range of stakeholders across the supply chain including the British Wool Manufacturing Board and the Welsh Farming Unions. Breakout groups were held to discuss opportunities, barriers to development, their vision for the future and the business support needs of the Welsh Wool Industry.
The Covid 19 pandemic has shone a light on supply chains, the need to increase local resilience and safe guard precious resources. To support this, the Welsh Government is committed to supporting a Green Recovery in Wales which safeguards the environment and allows our rural economy to thrive.
The work of this group is important as it will highlight Welsh opportunities for investment including:
- Support and create further diversity to increase the resilience of the rural economy
- Support innovative approaches and collaboration
- Strengthen and develop local supply chains
- Service the shift in consumer habits towards local products and destinations
- Momentum to accelerate the transition towards a low carbon economy for rural communities
The Wool / Textile supply chain group are looking to produce “A framework for Welsh Wool”
The next meeting is in the planning stages, but if you wish to be involved in this exciting journey please contact the Wales Rural Network. All details will be published on the Wales Rural Network webpage.
In the meantime there are a number of opportunities that will be opening shortly which will be of relevance to Wool and Textile businesses, these are listed below:
Co-operation and Supply Chain Development Scheme, aiming at Pilot Action for Green Growth & Circular Economy. This will support pilot actions to enable a whole supply-chain approach to be taken. Designed to add value to and embed the sense of place and cultural heritage of Wales through processing and marketing of non-food products.
The aim of the Co-operation and Supply Chain Development Scheme is to provide support for public bodies, businesses, organisations or communities to develop cross-sector collaborative approaches with a range of stakeholders at the right scale to achieve multiple objectives and outcomes through “making new things happen”. There is an available revenue and capital budget of £1,000,000, due to open in December 2020.
Rural Business Investment Scheme
Farm businesses looking to diversify into non-agricultural activities; existing non-Agri businesses and new starts, aimed at strengthening the supply chain for ERA products and the creation and development of non-agricultural micro and small enterprises and diversification into non-Agricultural activities. A £1,000,000 capital funding pot is available to fund 40% of eligible costs. This window is due to open in November / December 2020.
Dates for the windows will be shown here once agreed: https://gov.wales/rural-development-programme-2014-2020-application-dates
The above are in addition to the following sources of support:
- Farming Connect: https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/
- Business Wales: https://businesswales.gov.wales
- The LEADER Local Action Groups are also operating in the rural wards in 21 of 22 Local Authority areas. They can undertake pilot projects through the funding they hold. The contact details for the Local Action Groups can be found on the Wales Rural Network website: https://businesswales.gov.wales/walesruralnetwork/projects/project-contacts