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Rest bay playing fields and pavilion transformed into sports community hub

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Huw David, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education Councillor, Charles Smith and Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Stuart Baldwin, recently visited the re-developed Rest Bay playing fields and pavilion building after a successful community asset transfer (CAT), which allowed Rest Bay Sports (RBS) to develop a community friendly / sports hub.

RBS was awarded a 25-year lease by the Council in December 2020. Since then, the outdated pavilion building and Rest Bay playing fields have undergone a major overhaul and been transformed into a welcoming and multi-functional community hub.

Building work which has been valued at approximately £120,000 including in-kind labour and donations of materials with Bridgend County Borough Council providing £45,220 of funding for building works and a further £10,000 towards the cost of pitch maintenance equipment from the CAT Fund.

In addition to funding allocated via the CAT Fund, FC Porthcawl and Porthcawl United both received £1,000 under the council’s Bridgend Sports Support Fund (BSSF) in 2020-21 to assist with Covid-19 emergency support and Porthcawl United have been allocated a further £1,000 under the BSSF in 2021-22 for mini and junior team development.

The Covid-19 pandemic helped allow time for refurbishment and extension to be done, and it has since flourished. The facility now provides a home for RBS but also consists of seats for up to 80 people with uninterrupted first floor views over the main pitch space, space for the community to come and relax, with gaming facilities including a pool and football table, three large screen TVs, public toilets and changing rooms with showers. Future plans include an elevated balcony overlooking the rugby-pitch.

Rest Bay Sports (RBS) is formed from two clubs, FC Porthcawl and Porthcawl United FC, that share the facilities at Rest Bay playing fields, Porthcawl.  FC Porthcawl is a relatively new team that was only formed in 2016 with the senior team playing in the Port Talbot and District Premier League. Porthcawl United FC has junior and youth teams that are made up of varying age groups with membership of more than 300 and consisting of both girls and boys.

The building works commenced in February 2020 and were completed in the main by September 2020.  An official opening is planned shortly.               

The council is now discussing how the club can apply to this year’s sports support fund for club development grants of up to £2,000 and asset development funding of up to £3,500.

This development is all about providing an attractive and sustainable building that will be a real asset to the local community and offers residents a sense of community.

The community asset transfer process has always been about finding new ways to ensure that such facilities can remain open for public use, and it has proven to be a big success

Numerous facilities have flourished as a result, and we are continuing to work closely with local clubs and other organisations, including RBS, to maximise the amount of funding that they can apply for and benefit from.

The council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education Councillor Charles Smith

Speaking of the experience of the CAT process, Brad Hockridge, the chairman of Rest Bay Sports said: “I am delighted with the results of the CAT transfer, Bridgend County Borough Council, private investment and many hours of hard work from a handful of truly dedicated people, this is a great result for Rest Bay and the community.

“The updated pavilion and playing fields are maintained by Rest Bay Sports Ltd and the manpower comes from local sports enthusiasts, businesspeople and tradesmen who gave and still give up their time to ensure that this area is kept in tip top condition to be used by local sports enthusiasts for the foreseeable future. With the belief, vision, and the commitment of Rest Bay Sports Ltd and Bridgend County Borough Council allowing the outdated facilities transformed and are now enjoyed by the community and are an asset to Rest Bay.

“It has given us the opportunity to grow the club and provide a place in Rest Bay for residents to come together as a community and enjoy sports.

“It has been a long process, but we are over the moon with the result, and we are looking forward to growing the club in the future.”

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