FOOTBALL and rugby players will get their first taste of a new all-weather pitch in Mumbles next week.
The £1.1 million floodlit pitch in Underhill Park will open on November 6, eight months after work began.
It follows a £2.1 million upgrade of the adjacent pavilion and the creation of a new cafe and community hub.
The park – home to Mumbles Rangers FC and Mumbles Rugby Football Club – can suffer in wet weather, leading to training sessions and matches being postponed. Mumbles Rangers FC, whose first team play in the Ardal South West League, secured a major coup in June by signing former Swansea City striker and cult hero Lee Trundle.
The pitch and pavilion projects were drawn up and overseen by Mumbles Community Association, a charity. The association secured grant funding from four organisations for the all-weather pitch, which was built by a company called Blakedown Sport and Play.
The association said the pitch was suitable and marked up for football and rugby, that it would be open seven days a week, and available for community bookings. Local primary schools will have some free use of it during the daytime.
Simon Tse, chairman 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 Cymru Football Foundation.
“Our charity knew it was a huge ask to secure the full £1.1 million needed but the dedication and hard work put in by the team of volunteer trustees has now paid off.”
He added: “We are thrilled to be finally ready to welcome players on to the new pitch they have wanted to see 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 refurbished pavilion and community hub opened in July, with activities open to the public currently being run on Mondays and Tuesdays. The pavilion project got underway after Swansea Council agreed to lease the park to Mumbles Community Council, which in turn sub-leased it to Mumbles Community Association.
Cllr Rob Stewart, the leader of Swansea Council, said after a visit to the site last December. “It was very exciting to see the great progress that is being made. When they open, the facilities that will be here for people who live in or visit Mumbles, and for those from across the area who play competitive sport in the park, are going to be fantastic.”