Underhill All-Weather Pitch ready for play

Underhill All-Weather Pitch ready for play

The new full size and floodlit All-Weather Pitch (AWP) at Underhill Park, which has been under construction since March this year, is ready for action and will welcome its first users on Monday 06 November.

Long desired by the local sports teams, the AWP has been made possible after charity Mumbles Community Association (MCA) managed to secure generous grant funding from four different bodies – Mumbles Community Council, Swansea Council, Sport Wales, and the Cymru Football Foundation. Together these organisations granted MCA the £1.1m needed to enable the new facility to be built.

Built by 3G specialists Blakedown, the new pitch is suitable and marked up for both rugby and football. It will make a huge difference for local teams by enabling more playing and training time at Underhill and will open up opportunities for new players to participate in sport. The 3G pitch will also be a bonus in wet conditions, hopefully reducing the number of occasions when flooding causes postponement of training and games.

Available 7 days a week, there has already been huge interest in using the new AWP, particularly on weekday evenings, both by existing park users and new ones. The charity is offering some free use to local primary schools during the daytime and is already looking into how to maximise use of the facility to bring more people into sport.

Simon Tse, Chair of Mumbles Community Association, said:

This superb new all-weather pitch is a game changer for our local teams and the wider community, and we are extremely grateful to those who have it possible by awarding us grant funding, namely Mumbles Community Council, Swansea Council, Sport Wales, and the Cymru Football Foundation.


Our charity knew it was a huge ask to secure the full £1.1m needed but the dedication and hard work put in by the team of volunteer Trustees has now paid off.


We are thrilled to be finally ready to welcome players on to the new AWP they have wanted to see built in Underhill, excited at the prospect of seeing it in action and relishing the opportunity to explore how it can enhance the sporting life of people of Mumbles and beyond.

The AWP is the final piece of MCA’s Phase 1 development plans for Underhill Park, which are based on consultation with the community over many years.

Phase 1 has also included Underhill Hub, which comprises a café, community space, meeting room and 6 new large changing rooms, as well as a refurbished pavilion. This has been welcoming customers and users since it opened to the community on 19 July, with the changing rooms in use since the sports season resumed in early September.

A developing programme of activities open to the public is running each Monday and Tuesday in the main Hub, alongside catering in the café or via the hatch service every day.

Underhill Hub is open!

Underhill Hub is open!

Wednesday 19 July saw the new Underhill Hub open its doors to the community for the first time, with a core of Mumbles Community Association Trustees and some of the new Go Underhill volunteers on hand to make people welcome and explain what is now on offer.

Things got off to a great start, with a steady flow of customers trying out the new Hub café and the Hatch service which can be used by those enjoying the outside seating, all helped by a generous dose of July sunshine after a rainy start.

Many café customers took time to provide feedback on their experience and comment on the facilities and service on offer. Comments received included:

“Brilliant venue, staff friendly and a great vibe.”


“Lovely coffee!!”


“Great loos and lovely toys for children”


“Fantastic venue for the community.”


“Absolutely fabulous!! Well done to all the team for such an amazing achievement.”

Underhill Development Manager, Douglas Johnson, who is responsible for the operation of the whole site, said:

“It’s great to be finally welcoming people into the Hub and we are grateful for the amazing feedback we have received.


“As you would expect with a completely new operation and a new team of staff, not everything went as smoothly as we would like, but that’s to be expected. We’re learning with every opportunity to serve people and with every bit of feedback we get. By hearing what people think we will be able to ensure that the Hub offers what our community want.”

Open Wednesday through to Sunday as a café, on Mondays and Tuesdays the space is being kept available so that activities which are open to the community can be offered, with a programme to be developed over the coming weeks and months.

The Hub café sits at the centre of the development which, in addition, comprises six new changing rooms, an additional changing room in the refurbished Pavilion, a wheelchair accessible changing room, a dedicated referees’ changing room and a physio room, as well as storage space for equipment used by Mumbles Rangers Football Club and Mumbles Rugby Club.

The public opening follows a series of briefing events and tours which were held for sports club users, and ‘soft opening’ sessions for those organisations, businesses and individuals which have generously given grants, donations or in-kind support for the construction, fitout or set up of the operation.

Simon Tse, Chair of Mumbles Community Association, the charity which has turned the dreams for Underhill Park into a reality, said:

“We are thrilled to finally open the doors to the new Underhill Hub.


“The building and fitout work has taken 18 months to complete, but it has taken much, much longer than that to turn the dreams of new, fit for purpose changing rooms for Underhill Park’s sports users into what we now have available.


“The new facilities offer so much more than was originally dreamed of, and we now have a Hub which our local sports clubs and the wider community can use and enjoy.


“With all the support we have received and the approach of listening to our customers and users so we can try to deliver what they want, Go Underhill truly is ‘By the community; for everyone.’”

CFF grant means Underhill AWP is Go!

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 new facilities in Underhill Park

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.”

Construction completed on new Underhill Hub

Construction completed on new Underhill Hub

A significant milestone has been reached with the Go Underhill development as the building work achieved practical completion and the new buildings were handed over to Mumbles Community Association.

MCA Vice Chair David Wilson (far right) was on hand, together with Trustee Mike Podbielski (far left), to receive the keys from Leighton Barnett, T.A.D. Builders Ltd’s Site Manager for the development, who has overseen and managed all the construction work at Underhill.

Speaking just after handover, David said:

“This is a major milestone in the development of new fit-for-purpose facilities in Underhill Park. Getting to this point has been made possible by the fatastic support from our grant funders and donors, and through the commitment and dedication of our tireless team of volunteer Trustees over a considerable period of time.


“As well as those who are directly involved in Go Underhill, we would like to thank all those who have been part of the construction team, including the main contractor T.A.D. and Leighton in particular.


“We will savour this moment for a few days but then we will be pushing on.  There is still a huge amount of work to be done to fitout and finish the interior as well as setting up the operation, ready to welcome people in.  And from there we aim to grow the operation in a way which ensures it meets the needs of local people, both those who visit Underhill Park currently and hopefully many people for whom the park will be a new location on their radar.


“Over the next few weeks we will be recruiting the team of staff and volunteers we want to engage to become part of the Go Underhill team, so we would encourage anyone who would like to be a part of this fantastic development to come forward and express an interest.


“With a fair wind, we hope to be able to open to the public by July and are eagerly anticipating welcoming local people into our new Underhill Hub at the start of our journey to make this a facility which offers something for everyone in the community.”

Job opportunity for new Café Manager

Job opportunity for new Café Manager

With the construction of new facilities at Underhill Park getting close to completion, we are looking to appoint a new Café Manager to help develop a vibrant and successful operation which meets community needs.

Underhill Café Manager (£22k – £25k)

Our Underhill Hub Café Manager will be responsible for all aspects of the Café operations. They will be involved in the set-up of the Café and establishing it as an excellent new refreshment facility in Mumbles.

The role will include creating menus which will serve existing park users as well as attracting new customers, recruitment and training of a team of part time staff and volunteers, establishing the processes required for the day-to-day operations and compliance with health & safety and EHO requirements at a five-star level.

The person appointed will be working closely with the Underhill Development Manager and the rest of the Go Underhill team.

Read the full job description and person specification here 

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

Start date April 2023

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.