Cardiff University students and sports teams will get unprecedented access to some of the best, state-of-the-art, floodlit all-weather and grass pitches thanks to a unique link-up with Cardiff City House of Sport (HOS) and Cardiff Council.
The three city partners have come together to agree a land transaction deal which would see the University transfer land in return for access to additional grass pitches as well as three purposed built floodlit, all-weather pitches at the University’s Llanrumney Sports Fields site.
As part of the deal, Cardiff City’s academy would also permanently locate to the site and secure exclusive use of parts of Llanrumney playing fields to build a new academy and training pitches for the club’s exclusive use.
The investment will also offer access to all-weather and grass pitches for local sports clubs.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said: “We are delighted to have worked with Cardiff City HOS and Cardiff Council to secure a major financial investment in our Llanrumney Sports Fields site.
“Once completed, it will create a Centre of Excellence and see our students benefit from unrivalled access to some of the best floodlit, state-of-the-art outdoor sporting facilities. Just as importantly, it means that the local community benefits with local teams having access to our new and improved facilities and Cardiff City’s academy permanently located on our site.
“Given the extremely challenging financial environment, this is an excellent example of what can be achieved when Cardiff-based partners come together to work innovatively for their own individual benefit and for the benefit of the wider sporting community of Cardiff.’
In total, the investment will see the University secure:
- Three new floodlit, all-weather pitches, giving students access to pitches that can be played on during all weather, playing back to back fixtures all day, 7 days a week and 365 days per year
- Some eight acres of amenity land laid out as grass pitches for student sport and income generating community use.
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, Claire Morgan added: “We’ve recognised for some time that our outdoor sporting facilities needed an upgrade.
“That’s why I am absolutely delighted that we’ve secured this investment in our outdoor sporting facilities at Llanrumney, which will see them transformed into some of the best sports pitch provision in the UK.
“It also offers a much-needed boost for our students’ sporting experience. It means more students will be able to benefit from sport which we know can help enhance and maintain mental health, boost academic achievement, and increase employability prospects.
“Once completed, our all-weather pitches will have the capacity to service the outdoor student sport capacity, almost doubling current capacity at the site.’
Subject to final approvals, it’s hoped the work on the site will commence in late 2020 with the all-weather pitches expected to become available to our students and the wider Cardiff community by the end of 2021.
The planning application was submitted to Cardiff Council today (Wednesday 18 November 2020).
This initial phase is part of ambitious University plans to further invest in sports facilities at the Llanrumney site.
Subject to securing additional funding, it’s hoped that the next two phases will see the development of an additional all-weather pitch for hockey and the total redevelopment of the Pavilion and changing facilities.