South West Wales

Swansea Community Farm faces closure without £50,000

Campaigners to keep the farm open holding a banner Image copyright Swansea community farm

Swansea's only community city farm is facing closure at the end of the month, unless it can raise £50,000.

Swansea Community Farm in Fforestfach offers free access to a variety of rare breeds including sheep and bees, a healthy eating kitchen and café, and sustainable orchards.

Organisers say their core Volunteer and Child and Youth programmes have some funding from external sources beyond March 2017.

But day-to-day running costs do not.

Founded in 1998, the farm has been an accredited Agored Cymru training centre since 2012.

It has also delivered a range of courses in cooking skills and healthy eating, food growing, nature conservation skills and animal care.

Phil Budd of Swansea Community Farm said the farm had fallen foul of austerity.

"Everyone we speak to agrees that the farm is doing vital work in reconnecting under-privileged urban youngsters with where their food comes from, but when local authorities and the Welsh Government have to choose between us and, say a hospital, it's hardly surprising we are where we are now," he said.

"All the available grants are for specific projects, but it's extremely difficult to get funding for the day-to-day nitty-gritty."

Image copyright Swansea community farm

It is hoped £25,000 can be secured from a crowd-funding campaign, and the same amount via grants, government and business.

Organisers say that would secure its future for six months, while they look for a longer-term partnership.

"It's terribly sad, at what should be our busiest time of the year, we're already having to keep one eye on the prospect that we won't be here this time next month," Mr Buss said.

"Many of our sheep should be going into lambing shortly, so we've already had to start re-homing them, as we don't want to have to move them while they are delivering and suckling.

"Hopefully we can welcome them back in the summer, but we all need to pull together and find new ways of working."

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