Another milestone in the development of Underhill Park was achieved last night when Mumbles Community Council approved a legally binding Grant Agreement with Mumbles Community Association.
The agreement grants MCA up to £1.2m towards the cost of developing new facilities in the Park.
At the meeting, the Council also agreed the recommendation to borrow £840,000 to cover a portion of the grant, following the Welsh Government granting approval for the Community Council to do so.
Mumbles Community Council’s Chair of the Community and Social Well-being Committee, Cllr Rebecca Fogharty, said:
“The full Council decided last year to offer our wholehearted support to the development of Underhill Park and to underwrite a significant portion of the funding to enable it to progress and ensure it offers services for all of our community. Following the permission from the Welsh Government for us to take out a loan, putting this grant agreement in place will enable MCA to move forward with the development of new changing rooms, public toilets, and ancillary services.
“Taking out a loan which will be repaid over 10 years will enable us to use money generated through the annual precept to follow wider plans for improvements in the Mumbles Community Council area as well as supporting Go Underhill. This approach ensures the best use of the annual funding we receive from the community without needing a bespoke increase.”
Simon Tse, Chair of MCA, paid tribute to all the hard work that has gone into getting the Grant Agreement in place, and thanked solicitors from Douglas Jones and Mercer (for MCA) and Peter Lyn & Partners (for MCC) who have played a key role in achieving this.
Looking ahead, Simon commented:
“We are almost over the line in terms of getting the development of Underhill Park underway. MCA are awaiting the outcome of our grant application to the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities Programme, which should be known later this month, and hoping for a positive result.
“If approved, this additional money will enable us to tender all the Phase 1 building works at the same time, in a single cost-effective package.”
One final legal matter needs to be concluded to enable the works to go ahead. A tripartite agreement with Swansea Council that will grant a Head-Lease on the Park to MCC who will then grant a sub-lease to MCA needs to be in place. Work on the agreement between the three parties is underway, with everyone working hard to get this done as soon as possible.
“Whist we still have some fundraising to do, once the lease agreement is finalised, tenders will be invited for the first phase building works. With a fair wind, we hope to start building on site this summer, so exciting times ahead for Underhill Park and for the community.”