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Community changing rooms and other projects get £2m boost

A green light's been given for up to £2m of investment in playing field changing rooms and other community projects.

play area opening cheers

Swansea Council's cabinet has approved plans to set aside cash to spruce-up changing rooms at busy playing fields which will see facilities repaired, modernised and tidied up as community sports hubs available to the whole community.

It comes as the Cabinet also agreed to add a further £1m to councillors' community improvement funds which they can dedicate to making a difference in every ward in the city.

Rob Stewart, Leader of the Council, said: "Since the end of the pandemic and during the cost of living crisis, many sports clubs have been at the heart of their communities supporting the health and wellbeing of thousands of people in city neighbourhoods.

"The council recognised their value by waiving sports field hire charges for more than a year after the pandemic to help them get back on their feet.

"We've been talking to clubs about what the next steps should be and many called for changing rooms to be upgraded so they could be more easily used by women and girls and be more in line with the expectations of sports' governing bodies.

"Since the end of the pandemic the council has allocated £7m for more than 50 new community play areas for children with more in the pipeline over coming months, £1m for a new generation of skate and BMX park facilities and now £1m for changing room upgrades.

"Taken together they are the biggest investment in outdoor community play and sports facilities by the council in more than a generation.

"We've made this commitment because we saw just how important outdoor facilities have been to groups, families and individuals during the cost of living crisis.

"Our views are backed up by play charities and other organisations who say it's critically-important for mental as physical health that children and young people in particular have access to safe, quality places to play and socialise with friends and family."

The changing rooms project was introduced at Swansea Council's budget meeting last month.

Now the funding has been approved there will also be an additional £1m made available which councillors can apply for to support community projects and schemes in their area.

At the moment the community budget scheme allows each individual Member to spend up to £15,000 a year on qualifying projects.

In the past councillors have allocated resources to schemes including the provision of defibrillators, extending local wildflower planting schemes, supporting community events and minor streetscene improvements like sprucing up community gardens or providing public seating.

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