The organisation behind the Gilestone Farm Project in Powys is launching a community conversation on its plans that could generate millions for the local economy.
The engagement aims to share the current thinking around the future of the farm and gather ideas and views from the community.
With a 21 year history of successfully working with traditional and modern Welsh rural businesses, the award winning Powys organisation produces the Welsh made and Welsh grown Green Man.
The organisation has also diversified into Welsh food and beverage, science engagement, training, wellness, hobbyist and cultural activities, tourism, children’s education and entertainment and has a charitable arm called the Green Man Trust which has supported over 10,000 people.
The conversation, which launches on Thursday 8th June, will see over 4,000 leaflets being distributed to the local area and the launch of a dedicated project website (www.gilestonefarmproject.co.uk).
Fiona Stewart, the project developer, said: “By launching our conversation we want to start a positive dialogue with the community of Talybont and the surrounding area on our Gilestone Farm project and the many local benefits it can bring.
“With final business plan having been scrutinised by the Welsh Government, we are now at the right stage stage of the project where we can share our ideas and begin to gather local people’s thoughts and ideas on how we can ensure that the Gilestone Farm project has the right positive impact.”
Cllr James Gibson-Watts, Leader of Powys County Council said: “The exodus of many young people from Powys represents a serious threat to the viability of our communities and the county’s economy.
"Any proposal that offers the prospect of creating sustainable, skilled jobs for young people has to be of great interest to Powys County Council. So, the potential of the commercial arrangement between the Powys organisation behind Green Man and the Welsh Government at Gilestone is something in principle I very much support.
"The Welsh Government have announced that plans for Gilestone have progressed to an agreed point where further information can be circulated to the community.
"Whatever develops must fulfil the requirements of the appropriate official organisations that are authorised to give permissions within the Usk Special Area of Conservation. And Powys County Council will work with all parties to ensure that this happens.”
Catherine Mealing-Jones, Chief Executive of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said: “I’m pleased to see the plans for Gilestone Farm progressing. Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park is keen to work with those who, like the organisers of Green Man, are seeking to ensure a vibrant sustainable local economy and to make Y Bannau a place where nature and community can thrive.”
The community conversation follows on from a number of meetings with local representatives and organisations including Powys County Council, Talybont on Usk Community Council, and the National Park Authority.
The objective is to boost the Mid-Wales rural economy and address the increasing problem of the age and wealth gap which creates economic and social instability.
The Powys operators of the project have 21 years’ experience of job creation in rural Wales, as well as developing new and established rural business as organisers of the Green Man Festival.
The emerging plans look to create a new sustainable rural enterprise that would generate £23m for the local economy, provide at least 38 new full time jobs and support 300 jobs through its supply chain based locally and within Wales.
The Gilestone Farm project business plan has the support of the Welsh Government and Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons National Park) subject to approvals from authorised authorities.