What we do
The Calon Cymru Network was established in 2009 by a small voluntary group of widely experienced planners, architects and others with ideas for ways to solve the problems of an ageing population, a lack of affordable housing and a declining economy along the rural Heart of Wales railway line corridor in Mid Wales.
Since then new members from a range of complementary disciplines joined the team which now comprises most of the professional and technical skills needed to tackle the serious social, economic, environmental and cultural issues in rural Wales. Additional, more specialised help is available from an outer circle of friends and colleagues in academia and NGOs.
In 2013 the CCN incorporated as a Community Interest Company, a not-for-profit business, in order to operate more formally as an enabling organisation.
This section contains some of our previous completed projects and lobbying papers. We are currently supporting the setting up of the Cynefin Community Land Trust to further practical on-the-ground projects.
To help identify specific problems and find coordinated ways to solve them within the context of a plan for a resilient future for the communities along the line. This might involve:
helping with the formation of Community Plans
assisting with productive liaison between towns and villages
supporting policies and initiatives which reflect locally identified priorities, and
working with contributing landowners to enable the One Planet development of low-impact, low-carbon housing, and the conversion of suitable areas of pasture to horticultural production.
A wider objective is to promote a circular economy which accords with the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.
What happens then?
As communities start to deal with setting up co-operatives and Community Land Trusts, to carry out public projects, and to generate funds, they may need some technical support on a continuing basis.
In principle, we advocate the employment of well-qualified local consultants on worthwhile projects in their own area, but the CCN is here to provide ongoing support if required.
Some of its members are able to provide these types of professional and technical services. Their engagement would be the responsibility of individual clients who would not be under any obligation to show a preference for CCN members.
Why is the project based around the Heart of Wales line?
The problems faced by the communities along the line are much the same as those in any deeply rural area in the UK, but the railway provides a low-carbon transport link, and it gives a clear identity to the territory through which it passes. This strongly defined corridor and its hinterland is effectively a socio-economic region, crying out for a rejuvenation and stabilisation initiative – the “Calon Cymru” project.