The future of a local community farm has been secured thanks to a £298,971 grant from the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund.

Clynfyw Farm in Abercych is a 395 acre organic farm and woodland in north Pembrokeshire that has been farmed by the Lewis-Bowen family since the 1750s.

The farm is a Community Interest Company which supports adults with learning disabilities and those in recovery from mental health problems.

It also works to a the wider remit of supporting community regeneration, with a focus on resilience in the face of the climate catastrophe.

The farm launched a community share offer late last year, hoping to raise £550,000 in order to put the farm into community ownership and keep its unique and sustainable vision on track.

The community share offers starts with the purchase of four cottages, converted stone farm buildings and an adjoining nine acres of land.

Over time, it is hoped the whole farm will become community owned, honouring its current uses, while focusing on 'progressive community resilience', and regenerative land usage so it can continue to be enjoyed as a secure community resource, benefiting more people, in perpetuity.

It was announced this weekend that Clynfyw Community Benefit Society is the recipient of a £298,971 grant from Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Community Ownership Fund.

Clynfyw’s Jim Bowen said that the farm got the news that its application had been successful on Friday morning.

“It’s really good, really exciting,” he said. “It means that we are able to do what we set out to do in the first place. It’s really good news.”

He paid tribute to Clynfyw staff Lizzie James and Sarah Hughes who put the application together.

Jim said that the community share offer had attracted hundreds of investors who had all put in quite small investments and that the offer was still open.

“We want as many people investing as we can to get more people involved in building resilience around the climate breakdown.

“We are totally committed to selling the farm int community ownership. This is a great opportunity for members of our community, particularly the farming community, to get involved with.” The grant takes Clynfyw over the minimum needed to apply for a Co-op Bank loan and then initiate the community purchase of part of the farm.

There is a chance to find out more about Clynfyw this Friday, March 29, when the farm will hold an open day and Easter egg hunt.

There will be stalls, including a Clynfyw craft stall, a raffle, Easter egg hunt, cakes and fresh coffee. All money raised will go to the British Egg Welfare Trust.

Also on Friday the Ffynone Farm Start will be launched. The first farm start in Wales, the scheme has been set up to get people into growing food on a small scale without a huge financial outlay and with little pressure.

“We have been working with disabled and vulnerable people for 30 years,” said Jim.

“We need to make sure that they are at the heart of food production. This scheme is to make sure that they are not marginalised. If we can include the most vulnerable, everybody else is included.”

Clynfyw Care Farm is one of six Welsh projects to benefit from the Community Ownership funding.

Welsh secretary David TC Davies said: “I’m delighted to see six more fantastic projects in Wales receive funding to protect these much-loved community assets for the future.

“Local institutions are at the centre of community life and the UK Government has used the Community Ownership Fund to invest more than £7m in Wales to preserve so many of them for generations to come.”