Trustees of Mumbles Community Association (MCA) are a step closer to starting work on site after Mumbles Community Council (MCC) formally signed off on its significant financial contribution to Go Underhill at its meeting on 13 July.
The up to £1.2m in grant funding was offered in May 2020, but MCC subsequently decided that it wanted to make it a condition of the grant that it should itself take the lease on Underhill Park, which is owned by Swansea Council. The tripartite lease agreement now reached involves MCC taking a lease on the terms originally negotiated with Swansea Council by MCA and agreeing to immediately grant the charity an underlease on those terms. This means that the Park will still be developed and run by MCA, the independent charity set up specifically for this purpose.
MCA Trustees have considered the expressions of interest already received from potential contractors. A shortlist of five companies has been agreed, all of which Go Underhill’s team of professional advisers have assessed as having the necessary experience to tender for the work.
Once tenders are issued, contractors will have six weeks to respond. A minimum of two weeks will then be required to evaluate the tenders before a contractor can be appointed. This could take longer, however, as there are concerns about the well-publicised increases in building materials costs due to COVID and Brexit.
Chair of MCA, Simon Tse, said:
“It’s exciting to know that we are getting close to the start of turning the long-held dreams for Underhill Park into a reality.
“With the delays over the last year, we do have concerns that our building estimates could fall short of the actual tender prices we get back, so we are anxious to move forward with the tenders as quickly as possible, so we can understand if there is any impact on our plans.
“We remain very positive, however. Over the last year, we have managed to secure significant grant funding and support from organisations like Mumbles Community Council, the National Lottery Communities Fund and Welsh Government’s Community Facilities Programme, as well as donations from individuals and local businesses. Alongside feedback from the community who will all benefit from Go Underhill, this reassures us that our plans are good, and we can’t wait to start delivering on the schemes they have supported.
“Hopefully, we will soon be in a position to set a firm date for the successful contractor to get on site, and to start the building work this autumn.”