CFF grant means Underhill AWP is Go!
Underhill Park in Mumbles will finally get the all-weather pitch (AWP) that sports teams have long been crying out for, following the news that Cymru Football Foundation (CFF) has awarded £190k to Mumbles Community Association (MCA) towards its development.
Put together with the previously announced grant awards from Mumbles Community Council, Swansea Council and Sport Wales, the grant award means that MCA has completed the jigsaw of securing the £1.1m needed to bring a full-size, floodlit AWP to Mumbles as part of the Go Underhill development.
CFF is charged with delivering the Football Association of Wales’ (FAW) commitment to develop inspirational fit-for-future football facilities that will improve and grow Welsh football on and off the pitch. And, whilst the AWP will also be used for other sports such as rugby, the new AWP at Underhill Park fits the bill perfectly.
Head of Operations for the Cymru Football Foundation, Aled Lewis said:
“The Cymru Football Foundation is excited to be supporting the development of a new 3G pitch at Underhill Park that will have such a significant impact and deliver huge benefit to the local community.
Following our launch in October 2022, we have supported 81 facility projects with over £4m of investment and, through the support of our funding partners, we’re committed to delivering even more investment to achieve our goal of Inspirational and Fit-for-Future Facilities.”
The other organisations who have already made their commitments to support the development of the AWP have expressed delight at the news that the project is about to get off the starting block.
Cllr Martin O’Neill, chair of Mumbles Community Council, said:
“We are delighted to have been able to support MCA in the provision of the All Weather Pitch for Underhill. It will be a real asset to so many sports teams who currently struggle to find places to practice and play all year round.”
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said:
“We’re wholly committed as a council to helping deliver the very best facilities for our communities throughout the city.
“This investment will benefit residents across the whole city as well as Mumbles and not just in the near future but for many years to come. It will help more people access world-class facilities for recreation, sports, exercise and competition, and also to enjoy all the physical and mental health benefits that taking part in physical activity can bring.
“We’re delighted to work with the local community to bring this project to life, and to further raise Swansea’s profile as a city where people can access a wide variety of high-quality leisure, cultural and sports activities close to home.”
The AWP will be built alongside the new Underhill Hub, and will sit at the southern end of the park, closest to Langland Corner. The Hub, once it opens, will not only offer high quality changing rooms, dedicated referees changing, and a physio room in support of the existing grass sports pitches and the new AWP, but also a new community space with a café, an activity programme, and opportunities for private hire.
CGI showing location of new AWP next to Underhill Hub
Example of AWP to be built
The contract for developing the AWP has been awarded to Blakedown Sport & Play, one of the UK’s largest and longest established sports facility construction contractors, who specialise in synthetic surfaces. It will take around 4 months to complete.
In order to create the AWP, and before Blakedown can move onto site to start construction, the old football and rugby club changing rooms at Underhill have been demolished, a BT fibre cable moved, and the ground levelled. Work on this element is underway, with Blakedown expected to be on site at the start of June.
Chair of MCA, Simon Tse, said:
“We are thrilled, almost beyond words, at the news that we have been awarded £190k by Cymru Football Foundation.
“It means we have managed to get over the line with the funding for the AWP and will be bringing a fantastic and much desired new facility to Underhill Park before the end of this year. On behalf of everyone, I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to CFF, as well as to MCC, Swansea Council and Sport Wales, all of whom have awarded us grants for the AWP.
“Whilst the new AWP will benefit the clubs and teams who currently play their sport at Underhill, it will also enable us to welcome new users and create new opportunities for active participation in sport and recreation.
“With the development of the Underhill Hub completed and the fitout and set up underway, our hardworking team of volunteer Trustees and Advisers is buzzing at what is coming for the whole of the community and the many visitors to Mumbles to enjoy.”