Monday, August 21st, 2023
The impressive Grade I listed Margam Castle sits in over 800 acres of beautiful parkland, surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers, in classical and modern planting styles. With lakes and long vistas, which have evolved since medieval times, the Park is somewhere to be enjoyed by everyone, during all seasons.
It has long been a goal of the Friends of Margam Park to assist in making the Park a more accessible attraction. Thanks to the Friends successful funding application, as part of the Margam Green Energy Community Benefit Fund, and Mynydd Brombil Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, they have been able to purchase three brand new all-terrain, mobility scooters, allowing more visitors the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful venue.
The all-terrain Pride Ranger is the perfect scooter for tackling the tough terrain at Margam Park and has proved to be capable of tackling every surface and incline in the park enabling visitors to enjoy everything the stunning park landscape has to offer.
Wednesday, August 9th, 2023
Another batch of grants from the Margam Green Energy community benefit fund has been awarded. The beneficiaries are:
- Community Ventures Port Talbot CIC – £6,000 was awarded towards the Taibach Community Education Centre ‘Past to Present’ project, an ambitious proposal involving the renovation of the Community Centre, once a local school. The project has also received a large grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as a contribution from the Mynydd Brombil Wind Farm Fund.
- Port Talbot Karate & Kickboxing Club was awarded in excess of £5,000 for equipment to set up a new kickboxing class at Ysgol Cwm Brombil.
- Tata Steel Cricket Club received £6,000 towards the restoration of their pitch.
- Margam Abbey has been awarded £5,000 towards the restoration of the Mansel Wall Monument and Tomb Chest, a continuation of the restoration of the various tombs and effigies in Margam Abbey.
- The Friends of Margam Park have been awarded £2,000 towards the cost of a publicly accessible defibrillator at their HQ, the Turbine House at Margam Park.
The Community Fund is provided by Schroders Greencoat, the owners of Margam Green Energy and is administered by Neath Port Talbot Council. The fund supports projects (to a maximum of £6,000) within the Taibach & Margam ward of Neath Port Talbot Council. For more information about the Fund and how to apply, please contact Paul Hinder, Project Development and Funding Manager at NPT Council : [email protected]
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Margam Abbey’s organ, installed over 150 years ago and regarded as a historic instrument of national importance, is now in full working order thanks to an extensive overhaul and restoration, costing more than £20,000.
The cost of the work, which took three months to complete, was borne by the congregation of Margam Abbey and Margam Abbey Music Foundation, alongside financial contributions from the Margam Green Energy Community Fund (£3,000), the Mynydd Brombil Wind Farm Community Fund (£8,000), the Simon Gibson Charitable Trust, the On Organ Trust, and the Newlands Wind Turbine Fund (£1,000).
Margam Abbey was built in the 12th century, and the Abbey’s organ was installed in 1866 for the wedding of Bertha Isabella Talbot to John Fletcher of Saltoun. It was originally built by William Hill, one of the great English organ builders of the 19th century. It was enlarged in 1911 by August Gern, a notable French Organ Builder who had learned his craft with the renowned Aristide Cavaille-Coll of Paris. After more than 100 years of service, the organ needed repair, and the restoration was undertaken by GO Organ Builders in Hereford. The organ’s reservoirs were restored by Dave Roberts Organ Builders Ltd of County Durham.
Mark Greenaway-Robbins, Vicar of Margam Abbey said: “The organ has traditionally accompanied regular worship, weddings and baptisms for many years and the occasional concert. However looking at the next 100 years, the Diocese of Llandaff wants the Abbey to also become a centre of excellence for culture, heritage and music. The organ’s restoration is an important step towards achieving that goal, and we are hugely grateful for the financial support that’s been given.”
Hugh Unwin, Director of Schroders Greencoat, the owners of the Margam Green Energy biomass power plant, said: “The organ restoration was the most significant grant made by the Margam Green Energy Fund last year. We were delighted to be able to support the restoration that will mean that music in the Abbey will be heard by worshippers and music lovers today and for generations to come.”
Sam Mayes, Stakeholder Engagement Manager at RES, the British renewable energy company which operates Mynydd Brombil Wind Farm said: “We are delighted the Mynydd Brombil Wind Farm Community Fund has been one of the main contributors that has enabled Margam Abbey’s beloved organ to be given a new lease of life. The specialist work that has gone into protecting and extending the use of this historic instrument is a prime example of how onshore wind can provide direct, lasting benefits to local communities in a multitude of ways.”
The Margam Green Energy Community Fund supports projects (to a maximum of £6,000) within the Taibach & Margam ward of Neath Port Talbot Borough Council. The Fund is kindly administered by the Council. For more information about the Fund, please contact Paul Hinder, Project Development and Funding Manager at NPT Council : [email protected]
Friday, November 11th, 2022
This year, three organisations have received grants from the Margam Green Energy community benefit fund, which is administered by Neath Port Talbot Council.
St David’s Church Hall received a grant for the supply and installation of a new hot water heater for the on-site kitchen. The Hall is regularly used by a number of community groups including Brownies, Rainbows and the local WI. The new hot water heater has reduced the cost of utilities and will make the running of the Hall more sustainable.
Tata Minis Under 7s Football received a grant for kit, coaching and the purchase of equipment including cones, bibs, slalom poles, pop-up goals and mannequins. This is a newly formed junior football side and the receipt of the grant will allow them to establish themselves within the local community and increase participation levels.
Margam Abbey secured a grant of £3000 towards a £20,000 project to restore the bellows of the church organ. This is a historic instrument of national importance, having been built by William Hill, one of the greatest organ builders of the 19th century. The Abbey is a concert venue and is popular with local choirs. The organ is used frequently to accompany regular worship, weddings and baptisms as well as services of thanksgiving for local and regional charities. The bellows are currently in Durham receiving restoration by specialist conservators and will soon return to the Abbey.
Individual grants of between £500 and £6000 can be awarded from the Margam Green Energy Community Benefit Fund. The Fund wants to support projects that generate a genuine long term community benefit within the Ward of Margam and Taibach. The themes that are eligible for support include recreation, education, health, the environment, culture, energy efficiency and the local economy.
If you want to know more about the Fund and how to apply, please contact Paul Hinder or Eloise Stanton at Neath Port Talbot Council – [email protected] / [email protected]
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022
Margam Village Minis is the latest group to have benefited from Margam Green Energy’s Community Benefit Fund. Margam Village Minis, which runs a series of sports activities for girls and boys in Margam, received £3000 to refurbish their MUGA – Multi-Use Game Area.
The Community Benefit Fund, which is administered by Neath Port Talbot Council, provides money to community organisations and projects that make a positive impact in the areas of health and recreation, the environment and culture in the council ward area of Margam & Taibach.
Individual grants of up to £3000 can be awarded. Application forms and guidance notes for the Margam Community Benefit Fund are available from Neath Port Talbot Council, Project Development and Funding Unit, Port Talbot Civic Centre.
Monday, July 18th, 2022
Stephen Kinnock, the MP for Aberavon, last week visited the Margam Energy Power Station, which is located three miles south-east of Port Talbot.
The 40MW power station entered commercial operation in 2019 and uses waste wood to generate renewable electricity for homes and businesses via the National Grid. It was the first power station of its type to be built in Wales and is owned by funds managed by Greencoat Capital, one of Europe’s largest fund managers that focuses exclusively on investment in clean energy infrastructure.
During his visit, Mr Kinnock met with power station workers and was briefed by Greencoat Capital about the environmental benefits of the plant and its support to the local area, via a £350,000 Community Benefit Fund. The Community Benefit Fund, which is administered by Neath Port Talbot Council, provides money to community organisations and projects in the council ward area of Margam & Taibach.
Hugh Unwin, co-head of Bio-Energy at Greencoat Capital said: “We were pleased to show Stephen around our Margam plant and explain to him how it generates renewable electricity, supports the local community and supports the regional economy through its supply chain and the electricity it generates. Margam is a long-term investment in Welsh energy infrastructure and is helping Wales achieve its net zero emissions target. Biomass represents a key strategic market for Greencoat and its investors in the UK.”
Stephen Kinnock MP said: “Renewable energy projects, such as the Margam Green Energy Plant in my constituency, are helping Wales to get to net zero and at the same time are modernising the country’s energy infrastructure. It was great to learn more about how waste wood is being used to generate electricity and to see how the Margam plant is working with Neath Port Talbot Council to bring additional benefits to the local community.”
Friday, April 29th, 2022
Greencoat Capital is pleased to announce that funds managed by Greencoat have agreed to acquire 100% of Margam Green Energy Plant (“MGEP”), from Glennmont Partners..
MGEP has been operational since May 2019 and is one of the largest biomass plants in the UK, with a processing capacity of c.290 thousand tonnes per annum (ktpa) of waste wood. The plant’s net capacity of 41.8MW is sufficient to offset around 150,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The acquisition is Greencoat’s third investment in large-scale bioenergy plants, following the acquisition of Templeborough Biomass Power Plant in 2019 and Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant in 2020.
The UK supply of low-quality waste wood is forecast to increase in line with economic growth and construction and demolition activity, with MGEP placed to benefit from these trends. The only other viable alternatives for these grades of wood aside from biomass are landfill or export, meaning that MGEP converts what would otherwise be waste into power.
In line with Greencoat Capital’s broader investment strategy, its bioenergy assets provide stable, inflation-linked returns which have low correlation to the wider economy, and which are well insulated from global natural resource supply issues.
Thursday, January 20th, 2022
As we emerge from the Covid pandemic, the Margam Community Benefit Fund is keen to receive more applications from community groups that are based in the ward of Margam. The Fund is administered by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, and there’s £17,500 available every year to promote inward investment and to support community facilities and activities in the local area.
Individual grants of up to £3000 can be awarded. The Fund has supported a range of projects, making a positive impact in the areas of health and recreation, the environment and culture within the ward of Margam. Application forms and guidance notes for the Margam Community Benefit Fund are available from Neath Port Talbot Council, Project Development and Funding Unit, Port Talbot Civic Centre.
Monday, November 23rd, 2020
A project to re-design mountain bike trails at Margam Country Park, and funded by Margam Green Energy, has been a huge success.
Earlier this year, Neath Port Talbot Council allocated funding for the project to the Margam Mountain Bike Club from the Margam Green Energy Community Benefit Fund. Money for the fund comes from Glennmont Partners, one of Europe’s largest and best-known renewable energy fund managers and who are the owners of Margam Green Energy plant.
Fuelled by waste wood, the Margam Green Energy plant provides renewable energy for up to 75,000 homes and employs 30 people onsite.
Using the money, the Mountain Bike Club worked with trail design specialists Back on Track on the project to transform the existing competition grade cycle tracks at Margam Country Park into downgraded ‘red’, ‘black’ and ‘blue’ trails.
The project was led by the Physical Activity and Sports Service team based at the park who also physically built the trail in partnership with Margam Park staff. The trails are now accessible to the novice mountain biker but they still provide a challenge for those with a bit more confidence. The project has been a huge success and since the reopening of the park, the club has witnessed a huge upsurge in membership and ad hoc usage.
Cllr Peter Rees, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, said: “This is a fantastic example of the council working with our renewable energy partners to produce benefits the community can enjoy. These new trails give much wider access to mountain biking which is not only good for people’s health but which also attracts more visitors to our flagship Margam Country Park.”
Murray Paterson, UK Biomass Manager for Glennmont Partners said: “Supporting this type of project is precisely what our Community Benefit Fund for Margam is about – supporting local community groups and organisations. Given the easing of lockdown restrictions, we hope people of all ages make full use of the bike trails and explore the beauty of Margam Country Park.”
The Margam Green Energy Community Benefit Fund is administrated on behalf of Glenmont Partners by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Project Development and Funding Unit. The Fund grants awards of up to £3,000 to community projects based in the Ward of Margam.
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
Councillor Rob Jones, the leader of Neath Port Talbot Council and the ward councillor for Margam, visited the Margam Green Energy Plant on October 11th. He was joined by Taibach ward councillors Anthony Taylor (Deputy Leader of NPT Council) and Rachel Taylor, and council officers. It was a first opportunity for the group to see the plant since it entered commercial operation in the summer.
John Williams, Margam Green Energy’s manager, took the opportunity to explain how the plant uses waste wood (mainly sourced from South Wales and SW England) to generate renewable electricity and to introduce the NPT group to members of the operations team.