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Leasing opportunity for three Swansea football clubs

Three playing field areas look set to be leased to two football clubs and a friends of group to help unlock grant funding and potential to improve facilities.

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Swansea Council’s cabinet approved in principle the transfer of Pentyla playing fields, Cockett, part of Mynydd Newydd playing fields, Penlan, and part of Coed Gwilym Park, Clydach.

The clubs have been offered the opportunity to run pitches and changing rooms themselves and help boost football in their areas.

Hundreds of players across junior and senior teams use the facilities for training and matches every week. All three are keen to develop football and vital health and wellbeing opportunities for their communities.

For Penlan AFC, assuming control of part of Mynydd Newydd would enable the first team to be promoted from the Macron West Wales Premier League by having the required standards of the league met.

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Rosehill Community FC meanwhile are looking to take over the management of Pentyla playing fields, known locally as the Ganges, however public open space will remain.

Jamie Hopkins, first team manager of Penlan AFC said:

“This could potentially be a massive moment for the club and the local area.

“We’ve performed really well on the pitch but haven’t had the facilities to match. Whilst other clubs have gone from strength to strength.”

The proposal follows in the footsteps of a long history in Swansea of the council working with clubs and voluntary organisations in the management of local facilities for local people, so communities can decide for themselves what should happen there.

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Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration, Events and tourism said:

“We’ve a proud tradition in Swansea of supporting sport and culture in our communities that promotes wellbeing and healthy lifestyles.

“We think local people know best how to look after local facilities that mean so much to them. That’s why in the past we’ve transferred management of some of our parks and community centres to local groups and offered sports clubs the chance to have more say in the running of their own playing fields and facilities.

“Swansea Tennis Centre and the bowls arena at Landore are two really excellent examples of community-led facilities which are thriving under local management.

“Such arrangements enable groups to access grants that aren’t available to the council and allow them to develop new and imaginative approaches to creating popular, thriving community venues.”

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Other parks and recreational space have benefited from similar approaches across the city, including at Pontardulais and Mumbles.

Under proposals being seen by Cabinet on October 19, facilities in their respective areas would be transferred through a lease from the council to Penlan Football Club, Friends of Coed Gwilym Park and Rosehill Community Football Club via a community asset transfer, at a very low rent.

[Lead image: Swansea Council]

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