A NEW all-weather sports pitch in Swansea is likely to cost nearly £380,000 more than expected, but help could come from the Welsh Government.
Last June council chiefs set aside £1.25 million for a new 3G pitch and fencing at Olchfa School, Sketty, but the project is now likely to cost £1.63 million – an increase of 30%.
Cabinet members have now agreed to allocate an additional £378,244 to fully fund the project. Cllr Robert Francis-Davies said the 3G pitch was really important for the school and the surrounding community, and that like many other schemes it faced a “perfect storm” of increasing costs and inflation.
The construction of the 3G pitch was directly linked to the sale of eight acres of surplus school land at Olchfa, following a decision by cabinet in 2018.
A bid from a developer was approved in 2020 but it did not progress, leading to a second bidder – Morganstone Ltd – securing the land and exchanging contracts with the council the following year.
Plans for 101 houses and flats were submitted by Morganstone associate company Westacres and approved by the council’s planning committee in April 2022. Just over a third of the properties were classed as affordable, and the developer has to contribute £844,028 to the authority’s education department.
According to the cabinet report, Morganstone has paid the council £1.425 million for the land and will pay a second, final instalment of the same amount early next year.
The report said the council could end up saving money for the 3G pitch, though, if the Welsh Government awards it £435,000 of “community focused schools” funding. Cardiff Bay officials have, it said, approved the £435,000 in principle.
The report also said the school would need to set aside money to maintain the new pitch, which could be used by the community outside of school hours.
Cabinet approved £378,244 to be added to the budget, taking the scheme to £1.63 million.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “I think this will be a great facility for the school.”