A PROPOSAL to invest £255,000 into Greenmeadow Community Farm in Cwmbran was approved after councillors were warned that without it the farm would “wither on the vine and die”.

Concerns were raised about the future viability of the farm in a Torfaen full council meeting - however councillors agreed to fund safety improvements.

Some £240,000 will be funded by the council’s capital programme and will be used for essential maintenance to make sure the site is safe for staff and visitors.

An additional £15,000 will be put into the site from revenue reserves to fund small scale enhancements.

Cllr Elizabeth Haynes said: “I’ve always been of the opinion with the farm that we either need to invest heavily and turn it into a business model or we need to close it and that for me hasn’t changed.

“However, we are in unprecedented times this year and with the impact of Covid-19 on the farm and its ability to bring in funding, I believe we have a moral obligation to subsidise the farm and make some investment at this time.”

Cllr Nicholas Jones said it was not an “insignificant amount of money” and it still wouldn’t be clear after the investment whether the site would be viable.


The council’s chief officer for social care and housing, Keith Rutherford, said the investment was urgent and the farm could not reopen without it.

He said: “If we don’t make this investment it’s going to wither on the vine and die.”

The farm closed during the coronavirus lockdown and the council announced that it will not reopen until February 2021.

It is expected that all improvement works will be completed before then.

The council’s executive member for children, families and communities, Cllr Fiona Cross, said: “Over the past year or so work has been done to investigate alternative operating models for Greenmeadow Community Farm to find a viable way to continue to offer this facility within a reduced subsidy from the council’s budget.

“Capital investment is vitally important in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the farm and this decision to grant these additional funds today will undoubtedly support our endeavour to offer a more innovative and imaginative design at the farm.”