A PILOT project aimed at regenerating communities by encouraging affordable housing is underway in Pembrokeshire, with a public meeting taking place in Angle this Wednesday.

Funded by Arwain Sir Benfro - the Local Action Group for Pembrokeshire - the project has secured over £3.3 million of funding from LEADER, an EU initiative which supports rural development schemes.

Narberth-based community group, PLANED, is helping to deliver the funding in the county while working with the Pembrokeshire Community Land Trust and Pembrokeshire County Council.

The project launched in November last year and is currently exploring the need and demand in Pembrokeshire for community-led housing initiatives in order to deliver affordable housing for local people.

A number of potential sites for affordable housing have been identified, including Angle, Crymych, St Nicholas, Clunderwen and Martletwy.

Community Land Trust (CLT) officer Joanna Rees-Wigmore said: “Good quality affordable housing available for local people is integral to the sustainability of a community.

“The effect of rising house prices, particularly in coastal and rural areas, coupled with the lack of good quality private rented accommodation within the reaches of local people, can often lead to outward migration ultimately leading to the break-up of communities.”

In collaboration with West Country-based Wessex CLT, Pembrokeshire CLT is working with communities throughout Pembrokeshire to enable them to provide affordable housing for local people in perpetuity.

Most projects generate sufficient surplus to include within their developments community infrastructure enterprises such as community shops and post offices.

With this in mind, a community-shares scheme is also being floated to encourage investment.

A public meeting is taking place in Angle village hall on Wednesday, November 7, at 7pm, when Alison Ward of Wessex CLT will explain her experience in helping communities establish community land trusts across Somerset, Devon and Dorset

An important contribution to some projects has been the philanthropic donation or gifting of land to communities.