English | Cymraeg Tel: 029 2076 5760 Connect: Twitter

CREW sponsorship feature – Centre stage

The new director of CREW Regeneration Wales wants to work towards transformational changes to tackle issues of poverty, urban decay and social inclusion. Meet Nia Griffiths…

I became director of CREW in September on a secondment from Welsh Government. Prior to this, I worked on the Rural Development Plan, most recently as head of implementation for the community-led LEADER programme. I established the Wales Rural Network under the RDP which promotes co-operation and the sharing of good practice amongst organisations in rural Wales, as well as bringing in expertise from the UK and Europe. This network has a lot in common with CREW so I’m very aware of the benefits of collecting and sharing good practice within the fields of regeneration and local development. 

I have more 20 years’ experience of working in the regeneration field with a particular focus on community and grassroots-led regeneration. I established the Cadwyn Leader Group in North Wales, and led a range of initiatives to develop communities and build local capacity. I was also involved in the design and delivery of the Welsh Development Agency’s community regeneration toolkit and spent six years co-ordinating  training networks.

I even spend my spare time getting involved in local regeneration. Although my job now takes me all over Wales, I like to put something back into my local community  in the Severn Valley, Mid Wales where I’m a founder director of a local regeneration company.

In my job with CREW I am concerned with how the organisation can make a contribution to the process of tackling issues of poverty, urban decay and social inclusion which have been a top priority in Wales for some time. The latest areas requiring support are at the very heart of our communities, the urban centres, which have suffered greatly from shifting economic patterns and the migration of young people to larger conurbations outside Wales.

Our town and city centres have seen external pressures diluting their strength as vibrant centres. The threat of losing those personal and social interactions and the chance to make connections through visiting a shop, town centre business or meeting friends is a reason in itself to continue to work on ensuring the survival of our high streets.

Last month CREW, in partnership with Welsh Government, hosted the Wales Regeneration Summit in Swansea. The theme was ‘Recreating the future of Welsh towns and cities’ and it aimed to establish a dialogue showcasing activities to support the future development of town and city centres. The day before the summit, CREW hosted a fringe event with Coastal Housing Group. This included themed discussion panels, the relaunch of the Welsh Towns Network and a free film showing. All of this took place in ’temporary use’ buildings, from redundant office space to an ex ‘Iceland’ superstore in Swansea.

Key decision makers from around Wales attended both events and delegates took away the message that future strategic decisions, be they on employment, housing or transport, should create opportunities for strengthening and reinforcing town and city centres. The task for CREW now is to build on the success of these two events and further support regeneration practitioners to tackle the challenges ahead for our communities.

All Resources and literature from the Wales Regeneration Summit 2014 have been uploaded to Crew’s website. www.regenwales.org/resource_70_Wales-Regeneration-Summit-2014

CREW in collaboration with Community Housing Cymru are currently finalising details for their forthcoming Rural Regeneration Conference on March 19. For further details visit CREW’s website.

Nia Griffiths is director of Crew Regeneration Wales @Crewregenwales


Sign up to our email newsletter

Every two months we'll email you a summary of the latest news & articles on the WHQ website. Better still, if you're a fully paid up magazine subscriber, you'll get access to the latest members-only articles as well.

Sign up for the email newsletter »

Looking to advertise in our magazine?

Advertising and sponsored features are a great way to raise your profile with our readership of housing and regeneration decision makers in Wales.

Find out more »