Community football club could consider leaving ground
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
A community football club may have to move from its ground of more than 50 years due to constant flooding.
Llanrwst United FC has played football at Gwydir Park since before the 1970s, but frequent flooding is costing the club thousands of pounds a year.
Whilst the River Conwy has always flooded, global warming is exacerbating the situation, making storms and unpredictable weather more frequent.
Earlier this week, Cllr Aaron Wynne said it was vital the Welsh Government invested more money into protecting the town.
His plea followed the banks of the River Conwy bursting and causing cars to be submerged at Glasdir car park.
Chris Williams, chairman of Llanrwst United, a not-for-profit community club, said the club could end up having to move from Gwydir Park.
“Obviously we are used to flooding because it happens a lot in the winter,” he said.
“For it to happen at this time of the year is ridiculous, isn’t it, especially with it being so dry.
“To be honest, with climate change, the way it’s going, who knows? Ideally, I’d like to move.
“I don’t think a long-term future here is viable.
“For the past few years, it’s costing thousands of pounds a year – we’ve bought goals, barriers, pitch barriers.
“We’ve just spent £4,000 on the pitch, not long ago, to reseed and sand the pitch to try and improve the playing conditions, and then one night of rain, for it to flood, is disheartening for us as a club because that money has been wasted, and it is money we haven’t got.
“I’m pretty annoyed with it really because it tends to be that field and the field between us and Gwydir Castle that seems to get the brunt of all the flooding, and the water lies for a long, long time, so it is very disheartening.”
Chris said the constant damage to the pitch had also cost the club committee members.
“Every time it does flood, it leaves silt, and obviously we are always having problems with drainage issues there anyway,” he said.
“The pitch does deteriorate a lot, and it (the silt) lays on top of the field. It’s not good for drainage.
“It’s a constant, constant battle. I’ve been at the club a long time, and it’s not getting any better.
“Our committee members get fed up. I’ve lost a lot of committee members over the years who are fed up with clearing debris. Obviously, a couple of years ago, we had a big storm, and we lost goals.
“We had to buy new goals for £800 and new fencing for £1,500. It is constant every year, and we don’t get any support.
“All our money is raised through fundraising. I’ve lost a lot of committee members over the years because they get fed up with all the tidying up and the hours.
“You are just fighting a constant battle, especially in the winter.”
Earlier this week, Natural Resources Wales said it had invested £9m in protecting the Conwy Valley from floods but admitted global warming had made the situation worse.
The Welsh Government said it had invested £71m on flood defences across Wales.
Conwy County Council was contacted for a comment.
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