Who would have thought on that day in April 2018, when we spoke to the NRW Manager, Mike Cresswell, about Pen y Cae, that we would soon be posting back the signed Lease just a mere four years later!
Yes, it really has been four years since that fateful conversation, but now it finally looks as though we’ll have to start getting our hands dirty in bringing the building up to scratch. There’s plenty to do; fix the water supply, sort out a solar power system, get the wood burner up there and fitted, get the gas cooker up and fitted, reglaze the broken windows, get new padlocks for the doors and a few coats of paint won’t go amiss either.
Put it another way- the hard work starts here. Although to be fair there’s been a lot of hard work involved already; negotiating the lease (big tanks to Andy Schultz), getting funding (big thanks to Sue Mabberley) in particular.
Finally, a big Thank You to Helen and Barbara at the National Park for being so patient having approved the funding such a long time ago and looking after our money whilst we waited for the legal proceedings.
It took the solicitors and NRW another three and a half months to do their end of the signing the lease, but now we think we have it all sorted out!
Amazing weather on Sunday, with clear sunny skies on the tops and thick mist in the valleys, makes Pen y Cae look like it’s by the seaside!
I suppose on a VERY clear day and standing on a tall step ladder with a good pair of binoculars, you MIGHT just see the Bristol Channel, but in truth Pen y Cae remains a mountain get-away rather than a seaside chalet.
The good news however is that the Brecon Beacons National Park Sustainable Development Fund have accepted our funding bid for just over £21,000 and so we now await the decision from Awards for All to match fund the SDF.
The recent COVID problems have set us back a little in getting Pen y Cae up and running, but things are now starting to move ahead again.
Firstly we are now deep in discussion with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) who are the de facto owners of the building. With the help of our legal expert, Andy, who lives just below Pen y Cae, we are working through the various factors which will inform the wording of the final lease. We hope to finalise matters in the not too distant future.
Alongside this we have recently applied for funding from the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) of the Brecon Beacon National Park Authority. Unfortunately their request for more detail on a couple of points means that we may not get a decision until November, but we are hopeful that they will support us. We are also working up a bid to the Awards for All funding stream and hope to get that sent off in the near future.
Finally with funding from the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership (BMLUP) we have been able to make a wonderful video about the history of Pen y Cae that can be used both for promotional purposes and as a teaching resource once we begin to welcome groups to Pen y Cae. Big thanks on this to Emma, Emma’s children, Cath, Judith and Oliver – there are others but their names escape me!