£100,000 Fundraising plea to save Ystradgynlais playing fields

You would be forgiven for assuming that the Welfare Playing ground in Ystradgynlais was community owned. The place where Adrian Lock made his 500th cap for Ystradgynlais RFC is an integral part of the Town. It is where thousands of local sportsmen and women have had their first taste of football, cricket and rugby.

However, Ystradgynlais, in the Swansea Valley face a fight to keep these fields. They are not community owned but community leased from the Gough estate. And the lease is set to expire in September. Thankfully Ystradgynlais Community Welfare Ground Association is a charity set-up to look after and to save the fields.

Ystradgynlais Community Welfare Ground Association

However they face a tall order in being able to keep the fields as the community have enjoyed for the last 100 years. Their website states:- “For the past 100 years, the Welfare Ground Playing Fields have been the home of our community’s tennis, bowls, cricket, football and rugby facilities, as well as playing their part in hosting many carnivals and festivals. Many enjoy spending their leisure time walking around the beautiful open green space as have generations before.”

“But many of us have never really considered who owns the grounds, assuming it is all owned and run by Ystradgynlais RFC or Powys County Council. But this is not the case. In fact, the land was leased to the community for 100 years and that lease is about to expire.”

“Behind the scenes, volunteers have negotiated a new lease at the very reasonable rate of £2,000 per annum, but there is one catch: the lease must be paid 50 years in advance. It will come as no surprise to learn that the Town or County Councils are unable to fund this cost in the present climate, which means that the community of Ystradgynlais needs to raise £100,000 as soon as possible, or risk losing all of these excellent facilities.”

Need the community

“Unfortunately, grant funding from sources such as the National Lottery etc. is not available to purchase leaseholds. That is why the community of Ystradgynlais need to meet this challenge.

“Undoubtedly, this is a daunting and ambitious task. However we believe that the people of Ystradgynlais can meet this challenge together. To this end, a charity has been set up by volunteer trustees. Specifically to secure and fund the Ystradgynlais Welfare Ground lease.”

“The idea of our town losing this outstanding community sports facility and green space would be a tragedy. Please donate what you can to save our playing fields. We would warmly welcome any fundraising or sponsorship events that we know our vibrant and creative community can devise to help raise these desperately needed funds.”

Collection boxes for donations can be found at various locations throughout town. The charity hope that locals will chip in where possible. They are also asking for donations online at www.ycwga.co.uk or on Facebook @YCWGA. It is also possible to donate by cheque or bank transfer by contacting [email protected]

4 thoughts on “£100,000 Fundraising plea to save Ystradgynlais playing fields

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  • August 11, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    With the current covid fearing countries making holidays abroad such a pain, holiday opportunities in the UK are highly sought after. My wife and I have returned to camping and have just booked a week in Bethesda, Bangor via a pop up camp site on a Rugby Field. One thing going for it are the toilet facilities and showers. We have no electric on our pitch but it still cost about 250 pounds. Maybe that is something that Ystradgynlais could look at until the cash was raised‽

    • August 21, 2021 at 11:01 pm

      no thanks.

      putting up a tent on an active historic league pitch is almost as ridiculously dangerous as suggesting the ground would be taken away from the community.

      Unintentional media spin could slightly misrepresent the Estate’s true view, which I am sure would be in everybody’s best interests.

      The bowls and rugby clubs look well cared for but the soccer and cricket facilities are in much need of improvement; almost threadbare outside. If the owners really are wealthy then perhaps they could be helped to make effort to waive rent, pay the leccy bill and generously contribute to the necessary upkeep of what’s treasured and priceless.

      the tennis courts could do with investment too. Please can Gough and friends enjoy fair game, set and match x

  • August 18, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Would it be possible to borrow the £100k from a financial institution with payback over the same period.
    The cost of repayment would then be added to the annual Community Council charge and paid for by the residences of Ystradgynlais.

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