ARFOR Challenge Fund projects

May 2024 | Arfor, Featured

Thirty innovative projects across north and west Wales have secured funding totalling over £2 million through the ARFOR Challenge Fund.

Below provides a summary of the thirty successful projects.


  • Cymen: Developing Welsh Speech Recognition Technology.
  • Sain / Oleia: Canolfan Sain (Sain Centre): Developing a digital and physical space; preserving and digitising Sain’s catalogue sustainably, ensuring that it remains accessible to future generations.
  • Bangor University: Research scheme into bilingual staff recruitment challenges (Welsh/English).
  • Cwmni Bro Antur Aelhaearn: Antur Aelhaearn housing and language project – a model that enables learning, piloting and sharing lessons across the ARFOR area when considering a local home ownership model.
  • Adra: Upskilling the construction sector to take advantage of framework contracts for the benefit of SMEs.
  • Pennotec: Algae Trap Service from an environmental biotech business. An initiative to develop and test an innovative method of removing algae from ponds in the ARFOR region.
  • Adain: Normalising the Welsh language in Digital Marketing. An initiative to help businesses within the ARFOR area to strengthen their digital presence in Welsh and create relationships with other businesses.
  • Bangor University: ARFer: An app developed to support individuals and groups to use more Welsh at work.
  • Asiannt Cyf: Facilitating Welsh medium/bilingual community childcare and early education providers to improve and develop their standard of provision in line with local authority and Welsh Government requirements, promoting and maintaining recruitment and retention of local workforce, subsequently leading to an increase in business stability and growth.


Ynys Môn

  • M-SParc: Rhwydwaith Cymry Llundain (London Welsh Network): A scheme that gives M-SParc and the region the chance to highlight the opportunities available across the ARFOR area to the London Welsh community.
  • HAIA / M-SParc: Gwlad y Gemau (Games Country): Reviving the Welsh language through Esports Innovation and Language Technology.
  • MySparc: A digital portal in the form of an app that brings a business eco-system, enterprise, academia, students and investors together in one place to create the ARFOR Innovation community.
  • M-SParc: Academi Iaith a Gwaith (Language and Work Academy): The scheme enables people to gain employment, to learn or improve and use their Welsh. It offers financial support to people while employed, and to create Welsh languages spaces.



  • Sgema Cyf: GlobalWelsh: unleashing the potential of the ARFOR diaspora – Creating a ‘Welsh Space’ digital community (Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion) for globally networked companies & mapping other companies that can benefit from the area. A focus on increasing the economic value of companies as attractions to collaborative investments and new ideas. A partnership with GlobalWelsh.
  • Fflach: Transitioning Fflach, a company that was a platform for Welsh musicians, to become a community company.
  • Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales: Decarbonising Beef: Research focusing on evaluating and demonstrating financial and environmental opportunities of adopting new practices of beef production, as well as educating farmers about the effectiveness of beef production.
  • Tan y Graig: Blas ar Gymru: A scheme to create a truly unique Welsh experience that will celebrate Welsh culture and traditions.
  • Golwg: Extending the local websites across ARFOR: A scheme that conducts research in the communities of Carmarthenshire and Gwynedd (except Arfon) that would explore demand.
  • Theatr Gydweithredol Troed-y-Rhiw (Troed-y-Rhiw Co-operative Theatre): A scheme that invites 10 fledgeling dramatists for a residential weekend for an opportunity to be inspired to write. They will have the opportunity to be mentored for a period of 3 months to hone their craft, before producing original plays to be published on our online platform, y Llyfrgell Ddramâu (the Drama Library) by the end of the year.
  • Rupert Allan: A project to profile cultural and business priorities on the public online map (OpenStreetMap) building on food, farming and cultural tourism as a dynamic Community Archive.



  • Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant / University of Wales Trinity Saint David: IAITH GWEITHLE, IAITH GWEITHLU (Language of the workplace, language of the workforce): Analysis of Welsh language use in workplaces and by the workforce in ARFOR counties.
  • Goiawn – Antur Amser (Time Adventure): A VR game style educational package for schoolchildren.
  • Tetrim Teas: Tyfu Iaith, Tyfu Madarch, Tyfu Partneriaeth (Grow Language, Grow Mushrooms, Grow Partnership). A scheme that gives three underprivileged communities in west Wales the opportunity to benefit from the experience and expertise of Madarch Cymru (Mushrooms Wales)
  • Iaith – Cadernid Iaith: (Language – Linguistic Assertiveness): A project developing and piloting Linguistic Assertiveness training for the infants and young children care sector.
  • Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru (National Theatre of Wales): An initiative to develop and reinvigorate the technical theatre workforce in west Wales and nationally. Successful applicants will be awarded a 6-month work placement.


Outside ARFOR

  • Darogan Talent: Attracting graduates to the ARFOR area – a pilot focusing on attracting students and recent graduates studying outside Wales to the region by informing them of the range of opportunities available there, and by hosting a series of events for students outside Wales.
  • Llais Cymru (Voice Wales): Ffenest Siop (Shop Window) – the Ffenest Siop website ensures that anyone who wants to receive a service in Welsh, can find businesses and services that offer this within ARFOR areas.
  • Mentrau Iaith Cymru (Language Initiatives): This project will stimulate the entrepreneurship of Welsh people in the field of leisure and sport.
  • Undeb Rygbi Cymru (Wales Rugby Union): Workshops through the medium of Welsh to normalise and promote the use of Welsh on the ground and in business. A pilot scheme to create stronger links between rugby clubs, local businesses and their relationship with the Welsh language – to result in economic benefit.
  • Alaw / Cymdeithas Bêl-Droed Cymru (The Football Association of Wales): A series of events in each of the counties within the ARFOR region that emulate the FAW and Wal Goch (Red Wall) culture, including bilingualism, inclusivity and connection with the business community.



Sign up to receive our free news bulletin

Register today if you would like to receive a regular email containing the latest Observatory articles.

Choose a language

You have successfully subscribed

Share This