Politicians have been finding out more about a community hub in Machynlleth.

Cefin Campbell, MS Mid and West Wales, joined county councillors Elwyn Vaughan and Gary Mitchell on a visit to the new Taj Mahal Community Hub in Machynlleth.  

They met with Andy Rowland, managing director of Ecodyfi, and Ecodyfi board member and Machynlleth Town Councillor, Ann MacGarry, to discuss the range of information and services on offer to residents through the community hub, and the wider work of Ecodyfi across the Dyfi Biosphere.   

 The community hub has been made possible by Bro Dyfi Community Renewables, which will cover its running costs until 30 April. As well as providing a space to Y Pantri, which collects and distributes surplus food, the hub provides a warm space and signposting to a wide range of services available locally, including CAMAD, Advice Mid Wales, Machynlleth Food Bank and PAVO Community Connectors.   

Commenting on the visit, Cllr Vaughan said: “The Taj Mahal community hub is an important initiative which I have been proud to support from the outset. Particularly during this cost-of-living crisis, the information and services provided through the hub can be a vital lifeline. I was pleased to hear about the impact that the hub has been making, and that it has been able to signpost people to other services locally.  

"We know that many people are not claiming, and may not even be aware of, the full range of supports and benefits that they may be entitled to. I would urge anyone who is unsure about what help might be available with cost-of-living pressures to call in to the hub for more information.”  

Mr Campbell added: “I would echo Cllr Vaughan’s appeal for people to check that they are claiming all of the cost of living supports to which they are entitled and would like to thank Ecodyfi for facilitating this important signposting service.   

"I was very pleased to meet with representatives of Ecodyfi at the Taj Mahal community hub, and to have a chance to learn about the range of community development initiatives on which they are leading. I was very concerned to hear, however, about the potential impact on the organisation of the impending cliff-edge for rural development in Wales that may be approaching with the end of European funding. I pledged to raise these concerns with the Welsh Government.

"The Dyfi Biosphere is the only UNESCO biosphere reserve of its kind in Wales, and I will continue to lend my support to Ecodyfi’s work in delivering sustainable, community-led development across it.”