Back in 2015, the town’s community plan identified our environment and green spaces as important to keep, to make better and to make more use of.
In 2016, the opportunity arose for the community to take on the stewardship of 130 acres of the towns parks, open spaces and river frontage. With the support of Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council this asset was secured on a 99 year lease and subsequent sublease, from Powys County Council.
To take this land on – and to work with the community on new ideas and activities – Going Green for a Living Community Land Trust Ltd was formed in 2017. We trade as Open Newtown. Much easier to remember.
In 2018 Open Newtown secured a £1.1 million grant from The National Lottery Community Fund Wales as part of their Community Asset Transfer fund to enable it to develop the lands assets and to establish the projects and partnerships that would allow Newtown’s green spaces to be managed in perpetuity for the community. The majority of this funding has been invested in our new community & visitor centre, Hafan Yr Afon.
The land is maintained through a Service Level Agreement contract between ourselves and Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council, to maintain the land to the standards set out in the lease agreement. We are uniquely placed to provide the best value for money on behalf of the community and provide further services in betterment of the agreement, through improved seating, reactive and planned maintenance, Park Ranger services, clearing anti-social hot spots. supporting and leading on new public events, securing 1000’s of volunteer hours, providing training opportunities, all in partnership with local contractors and organisations, along with establishing new relationships with national organisations.
To view a map of Open Newtown’s boundaries please click here (opens in a new window).
Legally we are a company limited by guarantee but you will hear us referring to ourselves as a social enterprise (and at times a not-for-profit company). These are all correct and mean we run as a company and must make a surplus to stay viable. Any surplus we do make must be reinvested in our core purpose. But essentially we are still a Private Enterprise and pay our fair share of taxes.
Our written objectives revolve around working collaboratively with people in our community, engaging them in the sustainable management of the natural resources.
Our Members are all organisations from across Newtown who are involved with the towns environment and / or who make use of the towns green spaces. All Members have voting rights at our AGM.
Open Newtown is run by an unpaid volunteer Board who guide its work, support the staff and promote our work. Day-to-day a small staff team run the projects.
Any projects delivered via grant funding are fully scrutinised by the funders, with significant and regular auditing of accounts.
Plans to unlock the economic potential of the green spaces and river include creating opportunities for sports, recreation, events, well-being, tourism and the local economy and community.
Keep in touch – get involved – make a difference