Councillors receive update on support for local sports clubs

Members of Bridgend County Borough Council have received an update from Council Leader Huw David on how local sports clubs are benefitting from the community asset transfer (CAT) process.

The council had previously warned that due to huge reductions in funding, it was no longer going to be able to afford to subsidise clubs after 2020, some of which were being supported by as much as 80 per cent.

To avoid having to pay the full cost of fees directly, clubs were instead encouraged to work alongside the council to take on the self-management of local facilities.

As a result of the clubs’ involvement with the CAT process, none of them have had to pay full fees since the changes were introduced, and to date, almost £724,800 has been allocated to support the improvement of local pavilions and playing fields.

The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “It was reported to Cabinet in 2020 that the council had received expressions of interest on all of its playing fields and park pavilions, either from town and community councils or sports clubs.

“As a result, no club has had to experience full cost recovery.

“For the last two years, the council has also waived hire charges for the use of sports pavilions and playing fields in order to assist sports clubs during the covid pandemic.

“In addition, we created the £75,000 Bridgend Sports Support Fund in 2019-20 to provide clubs with grants of up to £1,000 to help them deal with day-to-day operating costs.

“Similar funding was provided again in 2021-22 to support clubs in recovering from the pandemic, this time with offers of up to £2,000 for club development and £3,500 for asset development.

“Assets such as the sports pavilions and playing fields located at Bryncethin and Rest Bay or numerous community centres and play areas transferred under the CAT programme have also benefitted from significant improvements.

“This has included both capital funding under the council’s CAT scheme and around £1m external investment from Welsh Government, the Welsh Rugby Union, the National Lottery and the Ford Community Legacy Fund.

“Finally, together with partners such as Cwmpas and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the CAT team is working closely with town and community councils and community groups across Bridgend County Borough to ensure that similar outcomes can be achieved in further areas.”