A Denbighshire community champion who has played an instrumental role in securing funding to purchase and open a village shop, post office and new community hub, has attended a prestigious event at 10 Downing Street, at which the work he is carrying out for the good of the local community was celebrated.
Having worked with Emyr Morris and fellow directors to progress the Llandyrnog village shop project, and having helped them secure £200k from the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund (COF) towards the development, James invited Mr Morris to the ‘Local Levelling Up Champions’ event at 10 Downing Street.
At the event, which was hosted by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Rt Michael Gove MP, the Llandyrnog village shop was among a number of other community projects across the UK which were celebrated.
Commenting afterwards, James said:
“I am extremely proud of what Emyr and the other directors have achieved in Llandyrnog, and how far they have come in such a relatively short space of time. It was great to have the opportunity to attend this event with Emyr and to celebrate their achievements with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, the Rt Michael Gove MP.
“The £150m Community Ownership Fund is for communities across the United Kingdom, providing people with the opportunity to become owners of at-risk local pubs, theatres, post offices, sports grounds and corner shops.
“When it was launched, I encouraged people in the Vale of Clwyd to apply. I was really pleased when Emyr and the other directors were successful with their application for funding to purchase and reopen the shop, install a café, and create a hub for mental health and loneliness services.
“The £200k landed in their bank account in October and they are now steaming ahead and hope to reopen the shop before the end of March next year. All this would not have been possible without Levelling Up funding.”
Last week it was announced that Denbighshire is to benefit further from Levelling Up Funding with the Vale of Clwyd set to receive £20m. In total, Denbighshire will have received £63.7m in levelling up funds since 2019.
The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP said:
“James is a huge champion for Levelling Up in the Vale of Clwyd. It was fantastic to celebrate the brilliant work going on across the country to level up and strengthen our communities to grow the economy.
“Meeting businesses, community groups and apprentices who have all benefitted from Levelling Up projects and schemes demonstrates the importance of delivering long term solutions for local areas.
“It was fantastic to meet Emyr and hear more about how his local community in Llandyrnog is benefitting from our plan to level up this country.”
"I was delighted to be invited by James Davies to 10 Downing Street to represent fellow directors of the Llandyrnog Community Shop and Post Office Project and meet others who successfully obtained funding from the Levelling up Community Ownership Fund.
"The £200k awarded has made an enormous difference towards our overall funding requirement and we are now well on the way to achieving our vision to reopen the shop for the community of Llandyrnog."