In 1979 a group of passionate and committed volunteers amazingly turned a former slag heap at Tairgwaith into Wales’ premier trotting track (where a world trotting record was set in 2010), which attracts from 300 to 1000 spectators for each event and is the proud winner of a Community Green Flag Award.
The related community organisation has just won a prestigious Social Enterprise Development Award, one of only 11 in Wales awarded by Santander in 2013 download press release, and has a vision to add a major grandstand, stables, a manege (horse schooling area) in the centre of the track and accommodation lodges.
In order to support this vision WECAN has helped the club form a strategic partnership with Lafarge Tarmac, a joint venture company formed following the merger of Lafarge UK and Anglo American’s Tarmac business, to create the UK’s leading construction materials and services company.
Rhymney Brewery and the VRP WECAN project are jointly supporting a monthly series of 12 ‘Living Landscape Lectures and Activities’ organised by Torfaen County Borough Council (www.visitblaenavon.co.uk), as reported in the latest issue of SME Wales (download article).
The talks are aimed at encouraging both communities and visitors to appreciate the natural environment, Blaenavon World Heritage Site and the surrounding region. The Brewery (www.rhymneybreweryltd.com) and World Heritage Centre are alternately hosting these imaginative events with the first one at the Brewery, held on 20 August 2013, attracting a near capacity audience of 55 people and some unexpected results!
Rhymney Brewery has provided a package of investment support to sponsor:
- The annual Community Tourism Conference in the Valleys (23-24 April 2013)
- A highly novel 12 month programme (from June 2013) of ‘Living Landscape Lectures’ based in and promoting the outdoors
- Two stargazing events (Sept – Nov 2013) linked to the Dark Sky Wales initiative
All these initiatives are linked to promoting the Brewery’ new visitor centre, Blaenavon, which is also benefiting from wildflower planting, courtesy of Environment Wales. The Community Tourism Conference was delivered at Margam Park and is being evaluated.