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Swansea Council hopes sports ground will be new Ospreys home

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SWANSEA CITY COUNCIL says it would like the city’s St Helen’s sports ground to become the new home of top-flight rugby region The Ospreys.

The Ospreys are looking for a new home, having stated that they no longer plan to play at the Swansea.com Stadium after the 2024-25 season.  

A proposal for a new operating model at St Helen’s – currently run by the council – would see it redeveloped as a location for regional and community sport.

The council would want any approved plan to accommodate the successful relocation of Swansea Cricket Club in a manner agreed by them and others.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “St Helen’s needs to be upgraded to offer a modern sports experience, and the Ospreys need a new home and a plan for long-term sustainability.

“We’re prepared to work on the current Ospreys proposal for St Helen’s to become a modern rugby stadium, helping the region to make their home there and remain in Swansea.

“We’re doing all we can to support the Ospreys to stay in Swansea, while also working with all of our sporting stakeholders to provide top-class facilities for them.

“We’ve discussed the option with the Ospreys. We’re already discussing key matters in a positive manner with current St Helen’s residents Swansea CC and Swansea RFC.

“Ongoing discussions to enable these potential changes include implications, timescales and funding to develop improved cricket facilities nearby.”

The St Helen’s proposal would involve agreements with the Ospreys to accommodate other uses. The neighbouring recreation ground does not feature in the current proposal.

St Helen’s would become a rugby stadium for a range of users, including a home for regional rugby, and facilities for community sport. It would be developed in a phased manner over a number of years, increasing capacity, developing facilities and improving the experience of users and visitors.

The proposal would allow rugby use, including – as now – by Swansea RFC and Swansea University. The sports ground would be made available for use by local community groups and schools.

Cricket teams would be offered upgraded facilities nearby, with details and timings to be agreed by key stakeholders. 

A report outlining the proposal was presented to the council’s cabinet by cabinet member for investment, regeneration, events and tourism Robert Francis Davies on May 16.

He said: “We want to work with the Ospreys to improve St Helen’s as a key sporting facility to the benefit of first-class regional rugby and as community sports venue for the city.

“Swansea is a sporting city and we want an active and healthy Swansea with a thriving local economy and infrastructure. This plan would help that.

“The proposal is to develop and enhance St Helen’s as a sports facility over the coming years through a long-term partnership with The Ospreys.

“We’re committed to working in partnership with others to ensure the development and delivery of sport in Swansea at community, student and elite levels.”

St Helen’s has a rich history and has played host to high level sport over the decades.

Current activity there includes home games of Swansea RFC in rugby union’s Welsh Premiership and Swansea Cricket Club home games in the top fight of South Wales cricket.

However, without increased future investment, the council would need to consider other arrangements.

Cllr Francis-Davies said: “The St Helen’s proposal – which would see us work within council budgets at this time of great financial challenge – is to secure investment and revitalise the venue, retaining first class regional rugby close to the city centre.

“We’re talking with Swansea CC about helping them relocate to an alternative facility suitable for their games in the top division of the South Wales Premier Cricket League.

“We’re eager to work to a timeframe agreed by stakeholders and in line with the proposals.” 

Meanwhile Bridgend County Borough Council said it can confirm that talks are ongoing with the Ospreys about the team potentially relocating to the Dunraven Brewery Field from the 2025/26 season onwards.

Earlier this year, the Ospreys announced plans to relocate to a new stadium and their search has now been narrowed down to the Dunraven Brewery Field in Bridgend and St Helens in Swansea.

The move would represent a boost to the local economy by offering many mutual benefits to both the Ospreys and the county borough as a whole.

Bridgend County Borough has been part of the Ospreys region since 2004 and has played host to the team on a number of occasions, including this season’s derby clash against Cardiff Rugby and the memorable European Challenge Cup win over Sale Sharks.

Cllr Neelo Farr, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Economic Development and Housing, said: “We are fully supportive of the Ospreys’ plans to potentially relocate to Bridgend County Borough and we are looking forward to further talks as we continue to discuss the many mutual benefits of any such move, including the massive economic boost that it would bring to the entire area.

“The Dunraven Brewery Field would offer the Ospreys a unique opportunity to base themselves in the heart of a town centre, with Bridgend being perfectly placed on the M4 corridor and having lots of public transport options with nearby train and bus stations.

“The Ospreys already have lots of strong community links throughout the county borough and it’s fantastic that many of their current players are from Bridgend and started their rugby journeys by playing for our local teams.”

Ospreys CEO, Lance Bradley said: “I am happy to share that we have narrowed down our decision to two fantastic grounds, each offering unique opportunities, and we are confident that either choice would be more than suitable as the Ospreys new home.

“It’s been a pleasure working with both the City and County of Swansea Council and Bridgend County Borough Council to get to this point. Both councils have really come to the party and been more than accommodating in our requests, and open to working together to ensure our new stadium is not just a suitable top-flight rugby stadium but offers further opportunities to enrich the local community.

“I look forward to being able to share our preferred option in the coming weeks and working in partnership with the relevant Council to ensure our new home becomes the hub of the community.”

The Ospreys will remain at the Swansea.com Stadium for the 24/25 season, using this time for initial redevelopments to ensure the selected stadium is fit for purpose for the following 25/26 season.

Further updates regarding stadium selection will be shared by the Ospreys in due course.

Crime

Police appeal for information following assault at railway station

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OFFICERS in Pembrokeshire are investigating a report of an assault on a woman that happened outside Haverfordwest Railway Station at approximately 8:10pm on Monday (Jun 17).

One man, aged 49, was arrested on suspicion of common assault and remains in police custody.

Did you witness the assault or have any information that could help officers with their investigation? If so, get in touch:

🖥️ | https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline

📧 | [email protected]

💬 | Direct message us on social media

📞 | 101

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Busy weekend for the rescue team at HM Coastguard Dale

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HM Coastguard Dale said they were paged at 05.35 HRS to assist police in the Milford Haven area on Sunday (Jun 16).

Police received a call at 5am, raising concern for the welfare of an individual.

The individual is now safe they said.

Angle Lifeboat RNLI also attended the incident

Then at 10.13 HRS the team were called on again after a vessel reported a person face down on a cliff near Wooltack point. The team made their way to the scene and rendezvous with NCI Wooltack Point. It was quickly ascertained that this was a false call with good intentions. Team then stood down.

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Tributes paid to ‘much-loved’ couple who died in A477 collision

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THE FAMILIES of a much-loved couple who died in a collision on the A477 on Thursday, June 13, 2024, have paid tribute to them.

Katie Worrell, aged 25, and Adam Muskett, aged 27, were involved in a two-vehicle collision between Llanddowror and Red Roses at around 4pm on Thursday, June 13. Two cars were involved in the collision – a black Jaguar and a black Ford Fiesta.

A statement from Katie’s family said: “Katie was a much-loved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and cousin. She lived life to the full, loving to travel and achieving so much in such a short time, she graduated with a Masters and worked hard. She loved her friends and Adam beyond words. Katie was kind, caring and beautiful and our lives will never be the same without her.”

Adam’s family have issued a statement to say: “Adam, our loving son, brother, grandson and nephew. He loved life, his friends, Tenby, football and Katie very much. How do we move on without you, your big kind heart and cheeky smile. We are heartbroken and forever proud.”

Anyone travelling on the A477, at or near to that location at the time, is requested to contact Police.

Investigating officers would particularly like to speak to any motorists who were in the area at that time who have dash cam in their vehicles.

Anyone with any information can contact the police on 101.

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