Swansea Building Society celebrates its 100th birthday by giving £40K boost to Mumbles Park development

(L-R) Simon Tse, Alun Williams, Martin Rodwell, and Tony Rees

Swansea Building Society has donated £40,000 to Mumbles Community Association’s Go Underhill development in the same week the building society celebrates exactly 100 years trading.

The building society, with branch offices in Mumbles, Swansea, Carmarthen and Cowbridge, made the donation on February 6th – the day after its 100th birthday – to further help Mumbles Community Association (MCA) redevelop the facilities in Underhill Park.

The Go Underhill development is a major multi-phase project to redevelop and refurbish the much-loved Underhill Park in Mumbles. It aims to protect and enhance the asset with up-to-date facilities fit for the 21st Century, which can be enjoyed by the local community and visitors to the area.

This most recent donation by Swansea Building Society follows one for £10,000 made in 2022 to help fund the completion of two additional changing rooms, which had originally been omitted from the contract let due to budget limitations.

The latest £40,000 boost has been warmly welcomed by Mumbles Community Association – a registered charity – to help it continue its plans to redevelop the site across several phases. The initial £2 million phase 1 commenced at the start of 2022 and includes the refurbishment of the pavilion with new public toilets, new changing facilities for sports teams, new facilities for the disabled, and a new community hub and café.

The project has also recently secured funds from Sport Wales and Swansea City Council, which will go towards the final element of phase 1 of the project – a £1.1 million all-weather pitch.

Once this first stage of the development is completed, MCA will then take on management of the park and the new facilities under a 125-year lease and will work with existing and potential users to create more opportunities for the community.

Swansea Building Society was founded as a mutual Building Society on February 5, 1923. The Society’s principal objective has always been the provision of loans secured on residential property for the use of customers – particularly in the South Wales area. These loans are funded by personal savings deposited in a variety of savings accounts offered by the Society. The Society is one of only three remaining mutual Building Societies in Wales and the only Building Society or Bank with its headquarters in West Wales.

Alun Williams, Chief Executive of Swansea Building Society, said:

“It’s wonderful to be able to make this £40,000 donation to the Go Underhill project in the same week the Society celebrates its 100th birthday. Swansea Building Society is one of the few financial institutions that still has a permanent premises in the village of Mumbles. As such, the Society feels very much invested in this ambitious, but much-needed, redevelopment of the popular park and facilities.

“Underhill Park is regularly used by thousands of local residents, as well as visitors to the area. It is home to two established sports clubs, Mumbles Rangers Football Club and Mumbles Rugby Club, who between them have more than 50 grass-roots sports teams using the site for training and matches. With its fabulous children’s play area and great run around space, it is a real cornerstone of the local community and is vital for the health and wellbeing of local residents. That’s why all of us, here at the Society, are looking forward to seeing how the project develops over the coming months and years.”

Simon Tse, Chair of Mumbles Community Association, said:

“We are very grateful to Swansea Building Society for this large donation of £40,000. It will make a big difference to what we are able to deliver in phase 1 of the project, and we are really excited about how the whole development is coming together.

“Underhill Park is such a valued resource for local people and visitors; so, this funding from the Society will leave a fantastic legacy for the area and help us ensure that the new facilities are in place to enable more people to enjoy this wonderful sport and recreational space for generations to come.”