Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (NPTCBC), working in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, were bidding to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project to restore the peatlands on a large area of land straddling NPTCBC and Bridgend County Borough Council. The land is partially covered by a large wind farm operated by Vattenfall.
The project included proposals for a visitor centre near to the Vattenfall site, but HLF had indicated that the case for this element had not been sufficiently articulated, and proposals for the full funding package were delayed.
NPTCBC sought our support to explore the feasibility of the proposals for a visitor centre as part of the wider scheme, which included an appraisal of its potential financial viability given the remoteness of the site (located off the Rhigos Pass on top of a mountain) and consultation with potential user groups and partners.
What we did
Following an inception meeting with the project partners, we conducted a desk-based review of existing materials and a site visit, followed by a consultative exercise with a range of community, public, third and private sector individuals/organisations to determine their need for/likely use of the proposed facilities. We then produced a written report detailing our work and providing comments on the feasibility of the proposals (which were challenging in financial revenue terms given its remote location) and recommending the next steps.
Results of our work
Following the submission of our study in support of the wider application NPTCBC were successful in securing the first phase of their HLF funding, which is currently concluding a procurement process and moving into a delivery phase of the project: