Corwen is to become the hub for a groundbreaking £100,000 new integrated rural transport system, part of a £440,000 boost for the area.

The Dee Valley town’s very own rapid transit fleet already consists of a 16-seater minibus and a Toyota Rav 4 hybrid with an all-electric Nissan Leaf due for delivery this autumn.

The project is the brainchild of the locally-based South Denbighshire Community Partnership (SDCP) and is opening up the opportunities for local travel for many including the elderly and isolated of Corwen and the surrounding rural area of Edeyrnion.

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones, Labour, was a guest at the launch of the scheme at Corwen’s Canolfan Ni and she said: “It’s wonderful to see the development of the South Denbighshire Community Partnership and the way they are so responsive to the needs of the local community.

“The community transport element of this is just the kind of innovative project that addresses the challenges of living in the rural community.

“I am co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Charities and Volunteering and this is a good news story that needs to be shared widely across Wales, the UK and further afield.”

The Partnership is headed by Margaret Sutherland and it has attracted funding from a number of sources for its series of projects which cover social inclusion, improving access to services, renewable energy generation as well as a new on-demand transport system.

Big Lottery Wales has provided them with £350,000 over four years and local rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd, based in the town, has provided a further £52,000 over three years from their LEADER project funding together with £42,000 from the Bus Services Grant.

The bus is already in action in the area while the Toyota, which is to be used for dial-a-ride and a meals-on-wheels service for food prepared at SDCP’s headquarters at Canolfan Ni, in Corwen, comes into operation in September and the Partnership is also keen to attract volunteer drivers for the project.

The Leaf, a fully electric car with a range of 170 miles, will also arrive soon and two electric charging points have already been installed at the rear of Canolfan Ni – with two more planned for early next year.

The vehicle will be used for a Community Car Club scheme and will be available for hire by driving licence-holders who do not have access to a car and they can hire it for half a day upwards.

Margaret said: “The programme we have come up with follows six months of consultations with the local community to see what services they were lacking and what they wanted.

“A clear message was received that accessing existing or new services was a significant barrier and these initiatives will help to address this.

“It all fits into the five themes of our health and well-being agenda which is taken from the results of the consultation and the needs identified by it and it links to the Welsh Government’s Welsh Future Generations Act.

“The Toyota can provide dial-a-ride services as well as meals on wheels while the Leaf arrives in October and will be available for hire for people with a driving licence and they can hire it for up to a week if they are going on holiday somewhere and it is available.”

The community bus, which is wheelchair accessible, is used to bring people to the regular activities which take place at Canolfan Ni, for outings and for shopping trips to Llangollen and is available for hire to local community groups.

Older people with limited mobility are picked up and dropped off at their doorstep by the team of volunteer drivers who will even carry their shopping in for them.

Margaret added: “This can even help with people’s nutrition because they might be worried about buying too much because they don’t think they would be able to carry it home but we can sort that out for them too.

“The outings are down to them – we ask them for suggestions and we take them to places like Bala Railway.

“The new community transport options are very exciting and fit in with our work to improve access to services, especially for the vulnerable and isolated.”

SDCP will be at the climax of the week-long Edeyrnion Festival at Corwen Sports Pavilion on Saturday, August 25, with a stand with information on the Meals On Wheels and Dial a Ride services and on opportunities for volunteering including as a driver.

SDCP work with Denbighshire County Council as the booking hub for their new Flexi bus service, for more information go to