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Sports changing rooms to be modernised and more suitable for women and girls

Cabinet met at Swansea's Guildhall on April 18 (Pic: Richard Youle)

DATED sports changing rooms in Swansea are to be modernised and made more suitable for women and girls.

A growth in female sports participation was one of the reasons for a £1m investment which was authorised by Swansea Council’s cabinet at a meeting on April 18.

Cabinet also agreed a new £1m fund which councillors can spend on small-scale capital projects in their ward.

A review of council-owned changing rooms had identified those at Cwm Level playing fields, Plasmarl; Tir Canol, Morriston; Bonymaen Park, Bonymaen; Cadle Mill, Blaenymaes; and Trallwyn, Bethel Road, Trallwn, as being in need of an upgrade but no final decisions have been made and other changing rooms could be added to the list.

Council chiefs will consider criteria like demand from local clubs, enabling and encouraging female use, and the need to prevent the building falling into disrepair when prioritising schemes.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies said: “There is a lot of interest in female sport, more women participating in sport, and rightly so. But I think we need to bring our estate, especially changing rooms, up to date and make sure there is equality of access.” He said he hoped sporting bodies may chip in with match funding.

Cabinet members went on to authorise the second £1m sum for councillors to spend on local improvement schemes. The minimum scheme value is £20,000 and only 70% of a scheme’s full cost will be funded – the remainder has to come from other sources such as grants or community donations. The one-off sum will be available until the next council elections in 2027.

Swansea has 75 councillors and they already receive a £15,000 per year community budget to spend on things like local projects, road safety upgrades, and land improvements. The money can’t be spent supporting any kind of political activity.

The council publishes a list of what the community budget has paid for. For example Bonymaen councillors Paul Lloyd and Mandy Evans have funded daffodil and wildflower planting, bollards, and signs with some of their allocation while Penllergaer councillor Wendy Fitzgerald has paid for dropped kerbs and double yellow lines in Gors Road among other things. Morriston’s five councillors have contributed towards a street cleaner and made donations for events such as a Victorian-themed day and Christmas parade.

Former West Cross councillors Mark Child and Des Thomas funded lighting along a section of the seafront promenade and it was so popular that the scheme is being extended.

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The two £1m commitments signed off by cabinet had been approved by full council when the 2024-25 capital budget was set last month but formal authorisation was required under financial rules.