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Bridgend National News Politics South Wales

Council supports rugby club with vital all-weather pitch improvements

Bridgend County Borough Council has helped secure some much-needed funding to support Kenfig Hill RFC to install some vital improvements to their rugby pitch at Croft Goch Playing Fields.

The council’s Community Asset Transfer (CAT) Fund has assisted the club with the cost of pitch improvements and the purchase of pitch maintenance equipment with further funding to carry out pitch surveys.

Known locally as ‘The Mules’, the club formally took over the self-management of the rugby pitch earlier this year, having finalised a 10-year lease under the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) programme.

Founded in 1897, Kenfig Hill RFC boasts an impressive history of producing international players, including former Wales and British Lions team manager Alan Phillips, who is also the current club president. 

The club is home to several local teams, ranging from a first team (who are currently playing in National League Southwest Division 1), seconds and youth teams as well as a recently formed veterans touch rugby and women’s team plus successful tots, mini and junior teams, with more than two hundred young players.

As a result of funding from the council, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), Sport Wales’ Be Active Fund and the club’s own fundraising activities, significant improvement works have been undertaken to the rugby pitch at Croft Goch in a £68,000 project, which was completed in August this year. Works included the installation of a new drainage system and re-seeding of the pitch area.

The club also received further funding from the Welsh Government and the council, under the Bridgend County Food Sufficiency scheme to develop a food project to benefit their mini and junior members. The project enables more than one hundred young people to receive a free, healthy meal every week during the summer holidays.

Club Chairman, Howard Phillips said: “We are delighted to have been successful in securing this funding to improve our pitch. The new drainage system has made a huge difference to the players and the matches that are scheduled. We can now hold more matches and training sessions in the winter season, rather than cancelling due to poor weather and pitch conditions.

“It means we can open all year round not only for the benefit our players of all ages, but it also ensures we keep the business running for all the staff who work and support the club, delivering huge benefits to the whole community.”

The council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor John Spanswick, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to work with Kenfig Hill RFC and other funders to improve the rugby pitch at Croft Gogh Playing Fields. 

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“The club have worked hard to secure this essential funding and we’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with them with further developments such as refurbishing the pavilion with additional funding to be provided under our CAT Fund, which will ensure these assets are further developed and safeguarded for future generations.”