Swansea Building Society celebrates 100 by giving £40k boost to Go Underhill

Swansea Building Society celebrates 100 by giving £40k boost to Go Underhill

Pictured from left to right: Simon Tse, Chair of the Mumbles Community Association; Alun Williams, Chief Executive of the Swansea Building Society; Martin Rodwell, Mumbles Community Association trustee and head of fundraising at Underhill Park; and Tony Rees, Mumbles Branch Manager, Swansea Building Society.

Swansea Building Society has donated £40,000 to Mumbles Community Association’s Go Underhill development in the same week the building society celebrates exactly 100 years trading.

The building society, with branch offices in Mumbles, Swansea, Carmarthen and Cowbridge, made the donation on February 6th – the day after its 100th birthday – to further help Mumbles Community Association (MCA) redevelop the facilities in Underhill Park.

The Go Underhill development is a major multi-phase project to redevelop and refurbish the much-loved Underhill Park in Mumbles. It aims to protect and enhance the asset with up-to-date facilities fit for the 21st Century, which can be enjoyed by the local community and visitors to the area.

This most recent donation by Swansea Building Society follows one for £10,000 made in 2022 to help fund the completion of two additional changing rooms, which had originally been omitted from the contract let due to budget limitations.

The latest £40,000 boost has been warmly welcomed by Mumbles Community Association to help it continue its plans to redevelop the site across several phases. The initial £2 million phase 1 commenced at the start of 2022 and includes the refurbishment of the pavilion with new public toilets, new changing facilities for sports teams, new facilities for the disabled, and a new community hub and café.

The project has also recently secured funds from Sport Wales and Swansea City Council, which will go towards the final element of phase 1 of the project – a £1.1 million all-weather pitch.

Once this first stage of the development is completed, MCA will then take on management of the park and the new facilities under a 125-year lease and will work with existing and potential users to create more opportunities for the community.

Swansea Building Society was founded as a mutual Building Society on February 5, 1923. The Society’s principal objective has always been the provision of loans secured on residential property for the use of customers – particularly in the South Wales area. These loans are funded by personal savings deposited in a variety of savings accounts offered by the Society. The Society is one of only three remaining mutual Building Societies in Wales and the only Building Society or Bank with its headquarters in West Wales.

Alun Williams, Chief Executive of Swansea Building Society, said:

“It’s wonderful to be able to make this £40,000 donation to the Go Underhill project in the same week the Society celebrates its 100th birthday. Swansea Building Society is one of the few financial institutions that still has a permanent premises in the village of Mumbles. As such, the Society feels very much invested in this ambitious, but much-needed, redevelopment of the popular park and facilities.


“Underhill Park is regularly used by thousands of local residents, as well as visitors to the area. It is home to two established sports clubs, Mumbles Rangers Football Club and Mumbles Rugby Club, who between them have more than 50 grass-roots sports teams using the site for training and matches. With its fabulous children’s play area and great run around space, it is a real cornerstone of the local community and is vital for the health and wellbeing of local residents. That’s why all of us, here at the Society, are looking forward to seeing how the project develops over the coming months and years.”

Simon Tse, Chair of Mumbles Community Association, said:

“We are very grateful to Swansea Building Society for this large donation of £40,000. It will make a big difference to what we are able to deliver in phase 1 of the project, and we are really excited about how the whole development is coming together.


“Underhill Park is such a valued resource for local people and visitors; so, this funding from the Society will leave a fantastic legacy for the area and help us ensure that the new facilities are in place to enable more people to enjoy this wonderful sport and recreational space for generations to come.”

Swansea Building Society was established in 1923. Its head office is located at 11/12 Cradock Street. It also has branch offices in Swansea, Mumbles, Carmarthen and Cowbridge.

The Society is one of only three remaining mutual building societies in Wales and the only one with its headquarters in South West Wales. As of December 31, 2022, it had total assets in excess of £500 million.

The Society’s principal objective is the provision of mortgages secured on residential property. These mortgages are funded by savings balances deposited in a variety of traditional savings accounts.

Fantastic £250k for AWP from Sport Wales Fund

Fantastic £250k for AWP from Sport Wales Fund

Sport Wales has made a fantastic £250k grant offer to registered charity Mumbles Community Association (MCA) towards the costs of a new full sized All-weather Pitch (AWP) in Underhill Park in Mumbles, Swansea.

The money has been approved by Sport Wales’s Pitch Collaboration Group after detailed discussions with local and national sports bodies, following which a full application was made by the charity in November 2022.

The funding amounts to just under 25% of the £1.1m total cost for the new AWP.

Owen Hathway, Assistant Director – Insight, Policy and Affairs for Sports Wales, said:

“We are delighted to have been able to support this project. Investing in local facilities to ensure that sport is accessible and safe is a real focus for Sport Wales, especially where those facilities offer multi-sport opportunities. This Welsh Government supported funding will create an environment for all ages and become a hub for the local community to come together through sport, and we look forward to seeing it develop.”

With MCA already having been awarded grants for the AWP by Mumbles Community Council and Swansea Council, the total now raised for this element of the Go Underhill development is just over £900k. The charity is waiting on a further grant application to another sporting body which would complete the funding package needed.

Chair of MCA, Simon Tse, said:

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant by Sport Wales.


“A new AWP will have a significant positive impact on the opportunities for sport to be played in Underhill Park throughout the year and we are anticipating that it will lead to increased sports participation locally.


“It’s something that the clubs already using Underhill have desperately wanted and it will enable us to open up the park to more sports users, including local schools who will be offered the opportunity for some daytime use of the AWP free of charge.


“We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the remaining grant application comes through and we can get the AWP built.”

With planning permission already given and competitive tendering previously completed, if the final element of funding is approved, work on the AWP could commence in the next few months.

Swansea Council awards significant grant for new AWP

Swansea Council awards significant grant for new AWP

Pictured: David Wilson, MCA; Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council; Simon Tse, MCA; Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council

Excitement is building after Swansea Council announced that local charity Mumbles Community Association (MCA) has been awarded £330k towards the costs of developing a new All-Weather Pitch (AWP) in Underhill Park in Mumbles.

The AWP is the last element in the phase 1 plans for bringing the facilities in Underhill Park up to a standard which meets local needs. The remaining elements, currently being built at a cost of over £2m, include an upgrade of the existing park pavilion, six new sports changing rooms, public toilets and a new community café and activity space, which together will form the Underhill Hub.

Council Leader, Cllr Rob Stewart, and Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, visited Underhill to make the announcement and see how the developments already underway are progressing.

Cllr Stewart said:

“It was very exciting to see the great progress that is being made. When they open, the facilities that will be here for people who live in or visit Mumbles, and for those from across the area who play competitive sport in the park, are going to be fantastic.”

Cllr Francis-Davies said:

“I’m delighted to be announcing this award, which will help add the final element to the plans and ensure the sustainability of the development, following through on our commitment to support the development and provide all-weather facilities for the community in Mumbles.”

The application and award have been made under the Council’s Economic Recovery Fund as the income stream from the AWP is a crucial element in ensuring that the new facilities are sustainable and self-supporting. MCA hope that the £330k from Swansea Council will be a game-changer in helping it win further grants to meet the full £1.1m cost of getting the AWP built.

Swansea Council’s grant matches the amount already committed by Mumbles Community Council towards the AWP, bringing the funding pot to 60% of the total cost. Applications have already been made by MCA to sporting bodies for the balance of the funding needed, and the charity is now waiting with bated breath to hear whether these have been approved.

Chair of MCA, Simon Tse, said:

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this significant grant by Swansea Council which brings our vision for the completing the new facilities in Underhill a big step closer.


”From the moment we announced that the construction work on the rest of phase 1 was getting underway, interest in progress with securing a new AWP in Underhill has been extremely high. And with other applications for funding already in place we are now extremely hopeful that our charity will soon be able to deliver this long desired new facility which will expand and extend playing time for sport in Underhill.


“We are now keeping our fingers crossed that our other grant applications come through, but a big thank you to Swansea Council for giving us this funding to help make it happen.”

The current building work at Underhill is due to be completed in early 2023 and will be followed by a fitout period for the new café and community room. MCA currently anticipate that these facilities will open in the spring.

Employment Opportunities at Underhill Park

Employment Opportunities at Underhill Park

With the construction of new facilities at Underhill Park getting closer to completion, Mumbles Community Association (MCA), the charity behind the scheme, is looking to appoint two new full-time roles to help develop a vibrant and successful operation which meets community needs.

Underhill Development Manager (£25k – £28k)
Responsible for the development, management and operation of the new Underhill Hub and linked sports facilities in Underhill Park

Underhill Café Manager (£22k – £25k)
Responsible for the development, management and operation of the new Underhill Hub Café and linked catering offer

It is hoped to make appointments in time for individuals to join the team in early 2023.

Read the full job descriptions and person specifications on the following links:

To apply, send your CV detailing relevant experience and qualifications, plus a covering letter explaining your interest in the role and what you think you can bring to Go Underhill, as soon as possible, to info@go-underhill.com

Community Councillors view Underhill progress

Community Councillors view Underhill progress

With work on Go Underhill progressing at a pace, Councillors from Mumbles Community Council (MCC) have been given a tour of the construction site so they can see how the development is shaping up.

The six Councillors who attended, including chair Carrie Townsend Jones, were welcomed onto site by MCA Trustees, and had the chance to go inside the new facilities, get a feel for the spaces and see the quality of the building work being done.

Speaking after the visit, Cllr Carrie Townsend Jones said:

“I would like to thank MCA and the contractors for giving us the opportunity to have a detailed look at how the building is taking shape. I am so pleased that MCC have been able to support MCA in getting this long-awaited project off the ground. It will make such a difference to our local sports clubs to have such high quality facilities after so many years making do with the current changing rooms which are well past their sell by date!”

At the time of the visit, in late October, the site was a hive of activity with multiple trades working on different areas and aspects of the development. With the roofing having been just about completed, a lot of the activity is taking place inside, tiling is underway in the changing room showers and the sub-contractors undertaking the first fix for the mechanical and electrical service are on site.

MCA chair, Simon Tse, said:

“Whilst there’s still some way to go, we wanted to offer MCC Councillors this opportunity to visit the site and to bring them up to speed on how things are taking shape. It was important for them to be able to see, even at this stage, how the fantastic grant which they gave Go Underhill is being spent.


“From our own experience, we know how different it is to actually get inside and see the new spaces which are being built compared to seeing them on a plan, as the facilities feel much bigger when you’re there. It was a pleasure to welcome MCC Councillors onto site, to have the chance to show them around and talk about what is to come when we open the new Hub and start managing Underhill Park for the benefit of local people.”

The main construction is due to be completed by the end of this year, with fit out and finishing works to follow in early 2023.