PLANS to develop a more commercial approach at Greenmeadow Community Farm, aimed at securing the attraction’s long-term future, are set to move forward this week.

Torfaen council has been drawing up proposals for a more sustainable operating model for the Cwmbran farm which previously faced funding cuts, threatening its future.

The council’s cabinet supported creating a business-focused role to lead the new approach at the farm last autumn, following approval of a £500,000 investment.

A council report says work on the plans to develop a “sustainable commercial operating model” has started, and that detailed proposals will be outlined next month.

However an initial funding allocation of £30,000 from the council’s general fund is required “to test the feasibility” of the plans.

“The farm proposals are likely to require changes to building structures, and the creation of new events and activity space in some of the paddocks,” the council report says.

“While the detailed and technical design of such spaces would be considered as part of this capital work, the initial feasibility and concept design needs to be undertaken prior to any decision on the allocation of capital as it will inform which projects are deliverable within budget, what the return on investment is likely to be and how they will contribute to making the farm operations more sustainable (in a financial sense).”

The proposed funding will allow for architectural work, site surveys and marketing of Greenmeadow Community Farm to be carried out.

As well as testing the viability of the plans, the work will also help support the development of a business case for the proposals.

A council report says the local authority is also “exploring opportunities” to better connect and promote the borough’s attractions including the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and Greenmeadow Community Farm.

“This is an extensive piece of work not due to commence in earnest until autumn 2022 and subject to funding,” the report adds.

Cllr Sue Morgan, executive member for resources, is expected to approve the £30,000 funding for work at Greenmeadow Farm as an executive member decision on Wednesday.