THE OLD Penarthians rugby club is hoping to relaunch itself as a family friendly community club after undergoing a £70,000 redevelopment.

The rugby club, which launched a mini’s and juniors section three years ago, has finished upgrading the bar, replacing parts of the roof and improving other areas of the clubhouse.

Mel Jones, chairman of Old Penarthians RFC, thanked everyone that had already donated towards the cause and said the club still had further plans to improve the clubhouse.

“The original idea was to raise enough money to put a new roof on, but then we thought if we are going to do that we may as well look at doing the whole club,” he said.

“The Raise the Roof fund, which raised nearly £29,000, then became the development fund.”

He added that the future of the club had now been secured and that they were hoping to improve their growing youth section and see them progress to the senior team.

“It was built in the early 1960’s and now it’s ready for the next generation,” he said,.

“We have now got mini’s and junior’s playing here and, with seven sides, we are now looking to the future.

“It’s gone from strength to strength and we couldn’t be more pleased with the attitude of the boys and girls as they are really enjoying it here.”

He added that they had originally estimated that to replace the whole roof would cost £140,000 and that wasn’t practical, so instead they used galvanized steel to keep it water tight.

Local businesses Lubec Joinery, Maz Builders and Keith Brito Building and Roofing were all used on the roof in a bid to support local employers.

The development fund was boosted by grants of £15,000 from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) that aim to help grass roots clubs strive and progress, club members donating towards the development fund and a donation from a wealthy benefactor that wished to remain anonymous.

The bar area has been redesigned and “brought into the 21st century”, while the cellar floor has also been replaced with new equipment added too.

“The future plans are to modernise all the toilets, and then we will look into modernising the lounge area too,” added Mel.

He added that they were hoping to welcome new members to the club after the redevelopment.

“We have always had a good reputation of being a fun club, but now we want to be a community club,” added Mel

“Every mini and junior parent is a member of the Old Penarthians and they all enjoy being part of the club.

“It’s not a separate section; they are all part of the same cause.”

If you would like to donate towards the club contact club secretary Tony Crimp on 02920 707121.