Posted: Fri 12th Apr 2024

Agreement Reached on Sports Field Lease for Blaenau Gwent Football Club /

TWEAKS to a leasing agreement for sports field to a football club in Blaenau Gwent has been agreed by senior councillors.
Six months after they had originally agreed it, member of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Cabinet were asked at a meeting on Wednesday, April 10, to revisit the proposal.
Back in October, the cabinet approved for £1 the transfer of sports pitch at Windsor Road, Six Bells to accommodate the expansion of the Abertillery Bluebirds AFC junior section.
The community asset transfer had returned to cabinet for a decision due to concerns by the football club over the continued expectation that the public have access to the pitch.
This had been a condition placed in the original lease.
At the meeting cabinet member for Social Services, Cllr Haydn Trollope asked whether other sports clubs would still be able to rent and use the pitch if they wish to.
Team leader estates and valuation Louise Horner said: “In the case of the Bluebirds, they are such a big club they need the additional space as they have over 200 children, so there’s not going to be huge availability of the pitch.”
“We don’t get requests now to rent it out, all we do is cut it, it’s just a piece of open space.”
Ms Horner explained that the use of the facility had waned following the demise of Six Bells junior football club.
Ms Horner said: “I don’t see there being demand to rent it.
“The issue was public access.”
She explained that the pitch is fenced and has a gate for entry.
Ms Horner said that the Abertillery Blubirds wanted: “The ability to be able to lock the gate if they are about to play a match to avoid situations of somebody having a picnic in the middle of the pitch, that sort of thing.”
Ms Horner added that it had been difficult to put together the legal wording in the agreement to cover this sort of situation.
Ms Horner said:  “We’ve insisted that they allow public access, but they want to be able to lock that gate to ensure nobody takes it over.”
Cllr Trollope said he fully supported the compromise as it’s “sensible” and would safeguard against vandalism.
Council leader Cllr Steve Thomas said: “Best wishes to the club it’s great to see them becoming bigger and more youths using the facility.”
Cabinet members unanimously agreed the changes to the lease.
In July 2019, following completion of the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process, Abertillery Bluebirds signed a 50-year lease for the football facilities at Cwm Nant-y-Groes.
The club have successfully run the facilities since then.
According to the club website, Abertillery Bluebirds was founded in 1989 playing in Cwm-Nant-y-Groes.
The club initially started off in the North Gwent League, they were Division One Champions in 1994-95 and have won the Tom Perkins Cup.
They are currently in the JD Cymru South Division which is one rung below the Welsh football top flite – the JD Cymru Premier league. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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