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Plans unveiled to upgrade Barry sports facilities

Credit: Vale of Glamorgan Council

Under proposals, changing rooms will be built at Buttrills Community Centre, located close to existing sports pitches, along with a new car park, with the current car park extended and Electric Vehicle charging points installed.

These changing rooms, housed within a new pavilion, have been designed to Football Association of Wales standards and are fully compliant with the requirements for women and girl’s football, the fastest growing sports activity in the Vale.  At present, with the exception of Jenner Park, there are no changing rooms in Barry that meet these standards.

They will replace the outdated facilities at Colcot Sports Centre, which is also set for improvement work.

An area for bike riding, known as a cycle pump track, is to be created there, together with a new playground and potentially a multi-use games area.  All three of these facilities would be free to use by the local community.

The work will be financed partly through grant funding and by building properties on land currently occupied by Colcot Sports Centre’s changing rooms, car park and the former Artificial Turf Pitch, many of which will be much-needed Council homes.

That pitch hasn’t been used for five years and is no longer needed given the facilities available at nearby Barry secondary schools and Jenner Park following extensive Council investment.

By relocating ATPs to school sites, maximum use can be made of these valuable resources, by pupils during the day and the public at other times.

The surfaces at Whitmore and Bro Morgannwg are best suited for football and rugby respectively, with Pencoedtre offering a club standard hockey pitch, although each surface is suitable for various sports.

Cllr Lis Burnett, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “This significant upgrading of sports facilities in the Colcot area will see ageing changing rooms make way for ultra-modern replacements located close to the pitches they serve.

“This is a far better arrangement than the one currently in place which involves players crossing a busy road after changing in dilapidated surroundings.

“We are also hopeful that by upgrading facilities at the Buttrills site, we can secure grant funding to support the rapidly growing women’s and girls’ football scene in Barry, money that is not available without such work.

“In addition, this project will help deliver a new Council housing development to meet unprecedented demand for this type of accommodation, with waiting lists at an all-time high.

“The Council’s challenging financial position has been made clear over recent months in relation to the budget-setting process.

“We must be shrewd and creative in how we deliver community projects. These proposals are a perfect example of that innovative approach.”

The public can find out more about the project at a drop-in session at Colcot Sports Centre between 4pm and 7pm on Thursday, April 18.

Any interested parties will also be able to share their views through the Council’s Participate Vale page and as part of the planning process once proposals have been submitted.

Vale of Glamorgan Football League chairman Mark Harvey said: “I can confirm that as a league, who I am reliably informed has the largest membership of any voluntary organisation in the Vale of Glamorgan, we are fully supportive of these proposals.

“We are extremely proud that at present we have approximately 4,000 registered football players and that number continues to grow.  In recent years, the growth of women and girls’ football in particular has been incredible and as a league we have been keen to embrace this.

“I don’t think too many would argue that the Sports Centre and the ‘Butts’ are the home of grassroots football in the Vale.  Yet we have facilities at this site that date from the 1960s, are in a poor condition, cannot meet current regulations and are, in the main, located on the wrong side of the Colcot road that divides the two sites.

“The current facilities mean clubs are blocked from higher leagues due to ground criteria regulations. We would like to see a women’s league operating in the Vale in future years but would need facilities that allow this to happen. The proposals at the Buttrills would provide these.”