A SWANSEA company has helped sweeten the deal for a community group which has multi-million pound plans to modernise sports facilities in Mumbles.

Joe’s Ice Cream has given £10,000 to Mumbles Community Association (MCA), which is raising money to upgrade Underhill Park.

MCA has planning permission for the first £2.2 million phase of its Go Underhill project.

This first phase comprises new changing rooms and public toilets, an all-weather pitch, community hub and cafe, and toddlers’ play area.

It is applying for grant funding but also needs sponsorship and donations to deliver the project.

Underhill Park hosts rugby, football and cricket matches, and is popular with dog walkers.

Joe’s Ice Cream owner Dominic Hughes said: “The Go Underhill development is a fantastic community project that we are proud to support.

“Outdoor play and team sport are so important for everyone, from children through to adults of all ages.

“We expect this project to bring great joy and happiness to Mumbles and the wider community and we hope that generations of our customers will enjoy the new facilities for years to come.”

People in Mumbles were given an update about MCA’s plans at a meeting last month and, as a result, several offers of support and expertise have been pledged.

This community backing is seen as crucial for the success of Go Underhill.

MCA chairman Simon Tse described the £10,000 sponsorship from Joe’s Ice Cream, whose Mumbles parlour welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge earlier this month, as fantastic news.

“We are very grateful to them, not just for the funding, but also the endorsement this gives to Go Underhill,” said Mr Tse.

Mumbles Community Council has allocated £100,000 towards the new changing rooms and public toilets from its 2020-21 budget.

Longer term, MCA would also like to build a clubhouse – available for community groups as well as sports clubs – a gym, spectator stand for the all-weather pitch, and improved car parking, but these plans are not set in stone.

Last summer the group negotiated a deed of consent with Underhill Park landowner the Somerset Trust, which manages the estates of the Duke of Beaufort.

MCA, which is a registered charity, said this deed was an essential part of the jigsaw, and allowed it to retain any profits relating to activities at Underhill as long as the money is reinvested in the park.

An MCA spokeswoman said Swansea Council has agreed in principle a 125-year lease for the park.

Mr Tse said: “We truly believe that by coming together as a community we can make this happen.”

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