The projects include establishing a community radio station, piloting a community cinema and running a series of workshops culminating in a sustainable fashion show.
“What does a community broadcast station look like? Well in the Dyfi Biosphere it looks like dx3.cymru. Digidol Dyfi Digital, or DX3 for short, is an internet radio and TV station based in the Dyfi Biosphere,” said Will Tremlett from Stiwdio Dyfi, a community interest company run by local people for the benefit of local people.
“It has grown out of the work of numerous individuals who have come together under the banner of DX3 to facilitate an audience facing outlet for audio visual artists in the Dyfi area.
“To make the project accessible to all, DX3 is commencing a series of free digital skills workshops and has an arsenal of camera, audio and computing equipment power, that anyone can use, once inducted by experienced practitioners at our Digital Skills workshops.”
Will found strong interest resulting in funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to equip DX3 as well as having camera equipment offered free of charge for the project by camera suppliers Visual Impact and Videndum.
The home of DX3 will be a small building behind Y Plas, long disused and facing an uncertain future and now to be renovated by Stiwdio Dyfi thanks to the support of the Machynlleth Town Council.
“Stay tuned for the DX3 label on Bandcamp launching this Calan Geaf,” says Will.
Much of the free training going on at DX3 will result in high quality radio and video content for DX3’s online channels and also Sôs Coch Sinema, the new community cinema in Machynlleth, where local stories and advertisements can be played before a screening.
Making its home at Y Tabernacl, Sôs Coch Sinema features screenings every Thursday and Saturday until the end of October. For this Will was also successful in securing delivery support from Cinema For All and the BFI Audience Fund.
“The hope is to create enough interest in a community cinema in Machynlleth to be able to continue”, added Will. “Local cinema is all about community, a place to meet, watch a film together, stay out for a meal or be able to walk home.”
The programme includes a weekly ‘Sports Action’ screening, a contemporary or 'world cinema' title, a horror night and a cinephile curation under 'Keith Turbo presents…' with variations of this as the season progresses.
“Y Tabernacl has provided a great home for this pilot project and has made us very welcome. We are looking forward to the local community making Y Tabernacl a new kind of destination,” said Will.
Stiwdio Dyfi has a final strand to the ‘Creative Spaces & Outlets’ project - sustainable fashion. Hwb Ffasiwn Da is a “sewing, fashion, up-cycling collective” about to begin a series of workshops, leading to a runway event called Sioe Calan Geaf this October.
The Hub Ffasiwn Da is the brain child of Will’s brother, Jay Tremlett, who held his first sustainable Fashion Show before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The fast fashion industry is amongst the biggest manufacturing polluters in the world,” said Jay. “One cotton T-shirt requires 2,700 litres of water to be made and run off chemicals from factories have a devastating impact on human and non-human life.
“What makes this worse is that it’s happening in some of the poorest parts of the world, with little or no support for those affected by the pollution. The issue is too big for any individual to fix alone, the only solution is a collective one.”
This is the driving mentality behind Hwb Ffasiwn Da, a community-driven fashion project based in Machynlleth. The hwb is about developing a local textiles industry “where collective working is the game and collaborations are the style”. Calan Geaf is the hwb's first attempt at a runway show!
“It’s humbling to experience the amount of support we have garnered for this fairly complex programme of activities” added Will, who has just steered a team of supporters to deliver 5,000 newspaper flyers - on 100% recycled newsprint - in Machynlleth and surrounding areas.
“It demonstrates the sheer interest people have in seeing community projects like this come to fruition. It has taken a while to get to this, but this autumn is going to fly by with this much belief in us and if the interest already flowing in is anything to go by.
“So many people have come forward to get involved, or sent messages of appreciation and support, so we want to keep delivering. We think these things are here to stay.”
For updates or to get involved with Hwb Ffasiwn Da, DX3 and Sôs Coch Sinema, visit stiwdiodyfi.org .
The project is funded by the UK government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, a UK Government programme for 2021/22. It aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The programme invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus .
Picture caption: DX3 community radio station.