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Bridgend ( ) is a town in the County Borough of Bridgend in Walesmarker, west of the capital, Cardiffmarker. The river crossed by the original bridge, which gave the town its name, is the River Ogmore but the River Ewennymarker also passes to the south of the town. Historically a part of Glamorganmarker, Bridgend has greatly expanded in size since the early 1980s and had a population of 39,429 in 2001.

History

Prehistoric and Roman

Several prehistoric burial mounds have been found in the vicinity of Bridgend suggesting that the area was settled before Roman times. The A48 between Bridgend and Cowbridgemarker has a portion, known locally as "Crack Hill", a Roman road. The Vale of Glamorganmarker would have been a natural low-level route west to the Roman fort and harbour at Neathmarker (Nidummarker) from settlements in the east like Cardiff and Caerleonmarker (Isca).

The Norman invasion

Front view of Newcastle Castle Bridgend.
the Norman conquest of Anglo Saxon Englandmarker in 1066, the new establishment looked westwards in the following decades to create new seats for lords loyal to William The Conqueror. Groups of Norman barons arrived in Wales and in the south and east created what would later become the Welsh Marches, while the north and west remained largely unconquered due to the harsh terrain.

At Coity, the local Welsh chieftain Morgan Gam already had a stronghold. Sometime in the 11th century Norman Lord Payn de Turberville approached Morgan to turn over control of Coity Castle to de Turberville. Morgan Gam agreed, but only if de Turberville either fought Morgan for the land, or took Gam's daughter Sybil's hand in marriage. Turberville married Sybil and became Lord of Coity, rebuilding the castle.

In 1106, Newcastle Castle (on Newcastle Hill, overlooking the town centre) and Ogmore Castlemarker(1116) were built by Robert Fitzhamon and William de Londres respectively. About north-east of Ogmore Castlemarker, Maurice de Londres founded the fortified Benedictine Ewenny Priory in 1141.

These three castles provided a "defensive triangle" for the area. (A quadrilateral if you include Ewenny Priory.)

Early development

The River Ogmore flowing under the Old Bridge, Bridgend.
itself developed at a ford on the River Ogmore, which was on the main route between east and west Walesmarker. Just north of the town, there is the confluence of three rivers, the River Ogmore, the Llynfi Rivermarker and the Garw Rivermarker. South of Bridgend the River Ewenny merges with the River Ogmore and flows into the Bristol Channelmarker. In the 15th century, a stone bridge was built to connect permanently each side of the River Ogmore (later rebuilt). Originally this bridge had four arches but in the 18th century a massive flood washed two of them away. The rest of the bridge still stands and still remains a focal point of the town, with aesthetic restoration taking place in 2006.

Bridgend grew rapidly into an agricultural town important to many of the local farmers. Although still small by today's standards it became an important market town, a tag that remained with it well into the late 20th century.

The industrial era

The discovery of coal in the South Wales Valleysmarker north of Bridgend would have a massive impact on the town. The first coal mining operations opened north of Bridgend in the 17th century, with the Llynfi Valley being the first to be industrialised. Bridgend itself never had coal deposits and remained a market town for some time, but the valleys of the three rivers grew into an important part of the South Wales coalfields. Ironworks and brickworks (notably at Tondumarker) were also established in the same period, by John Bedford, although the ironworks faltered after his death and ceased operating entirely in 1836.

The Great Western Railway arrived and Bridgend was at the junction between the main Londonmarker to Fishguardmarker line and the branch to the three valleys. Coal trains regularly sent coal down the valleys and with the opening of the Vale of Glamorgan railway, coal could be sent directly to port at Barrymarker or through other branch lines to Porthcawlmarker.

Bridgend itself saw several quarries open in and around the town centre, the remnants of which, (near Brackla) can still be seen today. An engine works was opened in the town and a larger farmers' market also opened in the town centre, where it remained until the 1970s.

In 1801, the population of Bridgend County was around 6000. By the beginning of the 20th century this had risen to 61,000. By this time Bridgend was a bustling market town with prosperous valleys to the north, a thriving community and good links to other towns and cities.

The Second World War

Bridgend played an important part during the Second World War. It was home to a prisoner of war camp at Island Farm and a large munitions factory (ROF Bridgend — known as the "Admiralty") at Waterton, as well as a large underground munitions storage base at Bracklamarker (known as the 8 xs). This was an overspill of the Royal Arsenalmarker, Woolwichmarker.

At its peak the Arsenal had 40,000 workers, many of them women. Large numbers of them were transported by bus from the Rhonddamarker and the valleys. At the time the Arsenal was the largest factory (employee-wise) ever in the UKmarker .

The factory complex had three sites in Bridgend, all linked together by a huge network of railways. There are many reminders of the factory sites left to this day Brackla Ordnance Site.

In 1945, 67 prisoners of war from Island Farm managed to escape through a tunnel although all were recaptured. While Bridgend was as important during the war as any other part of Walesmarker, and although it was photographed by the Luftwaffe, it was never "blitz". This was largely due to the area's air pocket, which made bombing extremely hazardous for incoming planes. The close proximity of the P.O.W. camp at Island Farm may have been something of a deterrent as well. Unlike Bridgend, both Swanseamarker and Cardiff did not escape such massive attacks but the area immediately around Bridgend did suffer bombing raids. Had Bridgend been bombed it would have likely been a massive blow to munitions supplies to the allies and could have changed the course of the war in the Axis' favour.

The Admiralty ceased full scale production in December 1945 after 5 years. Two of the munitions storage magazines in the Brackla ROF site were converted to a RGHQ (Regional Government Headquarters) during the Cold War as part of the UK continuity of government plans. It is now in the hands of a private company. See Subterranea Britannica for more information on the Brackla RGHQ.

Post-war

Bridgend remained a solid market town after the war. In 1948, Newbridge Fields (a short distance from the town centre) hosted the 1948 National Eisteddfod.

In 1960, the River Ogmore burst its banks and flooded the town centre. Subsequent floods and extreme weather led the Welsh Water Authority to develop concrete flood defence walls along the banks of the River Ogmore in the town centre. The town centre has not been flooded since. During this time Bridgend was chosen to become the headquarters for South Wales Police. This action was ideal as geographically, Bridgend stands equidistantly between both Swansea to the west and Cardiff to the east.

The Beeching cuts of the 1960s saw the loss of passenger rail links in the Vale of Glamorgan and to the northern valleys. The Vale of Glamorgan link to Barrymarker via Rhoosemarker was re-instated in June 2005.

In the 1970s, Bridgend would begin to see the catalyst of arguably its biggest growth period. The "missing section" of the M4 motorway was constructed around the town, plans were afoot to change the Waterton Admiralty into an industrial estate, and the water supply was improved including new sewage treatment works near Ogmore. Two major multinational corporations, the Ford Motor Company and Sony set up factories in, or on the outskirts of the new Bridgend Industrial Estatemarker (former Waterton Arsenal).

During the 1980s with the development of the Brackla Housing Estate the future of Bridgend seemed bright. By the 1990s the estate had grown to become the largest privately-owned housing estate in Europe. Further new housing developments at Broadlands to the south-west of the town centre and the continuing expansion of Brackla to the north-east has caused Bridgend's population to swell dramatically. Due to this, traffic congestion and a lack of parking facilities within the town have become important issues in the area. In 1997 a new link road/bypass was built to link the town centre directly to the M4 motorway as well as redirect traffic around the town centre.

The closure of the Welsh coal industry brought mass-unemployment and social problems to the valleys to the north. However, this led to a greater general standard of living for many in the areas previously dominated by coal mining but many of the problems stemming from unemployment, including drug-use and economic inactivity still remain today. By the late 1980s all coal mines in the area had ceased operations and the former mine workers either commuted or moved to central Bridgend to work at the newly-developed industrial estates. This was typical for much of South Wales which was at the time moving from a mining-based economy and into a new service, electronic, manufacturing and textile-based one.

A new Securicor operated prison (HM Parc Prison) was built near Coity in the late 1990s. The prison opened in November 1997.

The McArthur Glen Designer Outletmarker opened in 1998.

The New Millennium

Objective 1 investment in regeneration and public realm improvements have led to the pedestrianisation of the town centre and the restoration of some buildings [778703]. Some local traders have argued that this has damaged trade due to a lack of access by taxis and the disabled [778704]. Car parking provision and pricing has also been a concern to retailers with calls for free or reduced price parking to increase town centre visits [778705].

To counteract the dominance of Tescomarker in the area, Asda were granted planning permission for a new superstore near the town centre. The store was opened on March 31, 2008 at 10pm by the Local Mayor, the MP, and players from Bridgend Ravens. Over 1500 customers were thought to have walked through the new doors to take a look around the new store.

In 2004 an award-winning new bus station was constructed and traffic movements around the town centre were altered. Local committees, together with the council started to use the pedestrianisation of the town centre to its advantage, culminating in several fairs including Continental Markets, Celtic Festivals, a small Mardi-Gras and seasonal markets and events. Bridgend Council estimated in 2009 that these events have brough 900,000 visitors to the town and generated around £53million for the local economy[778706].

Future Developments

Riverside walk over the Ogmore 2009.
£2.5million of European Funding was used to create a "riverside cafe culture" by constructing a walkway along the River Ogmore[778707] which was completed in March 2009.

The Brackla Street Centre at Cheapside is due to get a multi-million pound redevelopment by Hawkstone Properties which will include new retail space, architectural improvements and apartments [778708].

Old Cheapside centre due for demolition 2009.
on a 1500-home sustainable "village" at Parc Derwen near Coity is due to begin imminently. The scheme is a collaboration between several house-builders and public bodies including the National Assembly, and has been planned with strict guidelines regarding architecture and the environment. There are concerns from Coity in particular that this development may impact on their villages identity.[778709].

Studies have been carried out by the local council with a view to improving retail provision in the town centre. Attracting bigger high-street chains to the town, such as Marks & Spencer, Next & Debenhams is seen as key to this [778710].

At Elder Yard, a derelict Grade II-listed building in the heart of the town centre is due to be converted to a restaurant and provide the impetus for other improvements there including a public courtyard and extra retail and leisure provision [778711].

A Sporting Future?

Two schemes linked to sport have emerged in recent months, both promising to significantly improve Bridgend [778712]. These developments have been prompted by the Celtic Crusaders wishing to build a new stadium in the town.

The first is a "sports village" at Island Farm by local company HD Limited. It will provide a 15000-seater stadium for Celtic Crusaders, and smaller stadia for Bridgend Ravens and Bridgend Town. In addition to this, parkland, an extension to Bridgend Science Park, an indoor sports/training centre, a specialist tennis centre and facilities for other sports such as boxing. An outline application was lodged with Bridgend County Borough Council in September 2009 [778713].

The second scheme is at a brownfield site to the north east of the town centre at Bracklamarker. It is being developed by Wigan-based developers Greenbank Partnerships, who developed Leigh Sports Villagemarker and Olympian Homes. Their scheme includes a stadium, hotel, leisure facilities and retail outlets. They hope to regenerate areas of the town centre also. [778714].

The site has also been earmarked for the creation of a Business Park by the Welsh Assembly[778715].

Politics

The local Member of Parliament is Madeleine Moon (Labour), the Welsh Assembly Member for Bridgend is Carwyn Jones AM (Labour) along with regional AMs (South West Wales) Alun Cairns (Conservative), Dai Lloyd (Plaid Cymru), Bethan Jenkins (Plaid Cymru) and Peter Black (Liberal Democrat).

Bridgend County Borough Council is led by The Labour Party, who secured victory in the May 2008 Local Elections, ousting the Rainbow Alliance. The current leader of the council is Cllr Mel Nott.

The council is currently made up of 26 Labour councillors, 14 Independents, 7 Liberal Democrats, 6 Conservatives and 1 Plaid Cymru [778716].

Economy

Bridgend's Travel to Work Area has expanded since 1991 and the 2001-based area now incorporates the western part of the Vale of Glamorganmarker.

Bridgend recovered quickly from the decline of traditional industries, particularly coal-mining due to other alternative forms of employment. Wages are generally higher here than in other parts of the South Wales valleysmarker. There are large industrial estates at Bridgend and Waterton (formerly Waterton Admiralty) which host a number of small scale and multi-national companies, mainly manufacturing.

Ford's engine plant near Waterton employs around 2000 workers and is one of the area's largest employers, working on range of low carbon "EcoBoost" engines. The plant has won praise from Peter Mandelson who in January 2009 described it as "a top-of-the-class, world-beating engine production plant." Ford has invested £315million in the Bridgend plant over 5 years [778717].

There are more successes, IT Consultancy Group Logica opened an office in Bridgend (which has since been expanded). German retailer Lidl has also set up its Welsh headquarters and distribution site at Waterton. Zoobiotic, a company specialising in maggot therapy, has its facility near Bridgend town centre. Also, since 1983, famous dart board producer Winmau has based its global headquarters in Bridgend.

Other notable companies with a presence include bio-technology companies Biotrace, Biomet, Bio-Tec Services International & Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics. Stationary company Staedtler, engineering consultancy Skanska, aeronautic maintenance and project management company TES Aviation and home accessories manufacturer Dekor plc also have significant offices and facilities in the town.The Semiconductor Photomask Company, Photronics , has had a manufacturing operation for the last 20 years at the Ewenny Science Park.

However, there have been significant economic blows to Bridgend including Sony's closure of the Bridgend plant and downsizing of the Pencoed plant. Other manufacturers to have pulled out of the area include Wrigley Company and Dairy Farmers of Britain which went into receivership in June 2009.

Bridgend (like Wales in general) suffers from a lack of high-wage service jobs, however the retail sector in particular provides a large proportion of employment in the town and borough. In 2007, 12,800 people in Bridgend County were working in construction and manufacturing while 43,100 were working in the service sector [778718].

Sub-regional GVA for the Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot NUTS3 region stood at £12,402 per capita in 2006 ($23,191 at June 2006 values). This figure represents 65% of the UKmarker GVA per capita, 87% of Welshmarker GVA per capita (£14,226) and 103% of West Wales & The Valleys GVA per capita (£12,071). [778719]

Gross disposable income for Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot in 2006 stood at £3,338million or £12,379 per head. This is 88% of UKmarker per head figure (£14,053) and slightly above the Welsh per head figure (£12,366).[778720]

In 2008, the average full time gross weekly earnings in Swansea, Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot was £484.20 (£531.70 for men, £426.10 for women). This is 97% of the Welsh average (£498.10). [778721]

In December 2008, unemployment in Bridgend County Borough stood at 7.7% [778722] and Economic Inactivity stood at 21.6%.[778723].

The percentage of workless households in December 2007 stood at 15.8% compared to the UKmarker average of 15.3% and the Welshmarker average of 18.3%[778724].

Transport

Bridgend's bus station in 2002
Bridgend railway stationmarker has regular services to Cardiff Centralmarker, Bristol Parkwaymarker and London Paddingtonmarker to the east; Neathmarker, Port Talbot Parkway, Swanseamarker and West Walesmarker to the west; and Maestegmarker to the north. There are also services to Manchester Piccadillymarker. Bridgend is the western terminus of the Vale of Glamorgan Line which reopened to passenger traffic in 2005.

Wildmill railway stationmarker, approximately north of Bridgend railway stationmarker serves the estates of Wildmill, Pendre and Litchard and is on the Bridgend-Maesteg branch line. A park and ride station at Brackla, about south-east of Bridgend railway stationmarker is planned and is due to be constructed once capacity improvements have been made to the South Wales Main Line. Services to a new railway station in Llanharanmarker began in December 2007.

Bridgend bus stationmarker has services to urban and rural areas in South Wales. Most services are operated by First Cymru[778725].

A new east-west cycle route has been constructed from Brackla through to Broadlands and into Cefn Glas. Most roads are safe enough to cycle on although at peak times, most areas near roundabouts in particular are hazardous without due care. Bridgend is on the National Cycle Route and there are off-road spurs from the Celtic Trail to the town centre and a community route in the Ogmore Valley. Glyncorrwgmarker and the Afan Valleymarker about north of Bridgend near Maestegmarker is famed for its mountain bike trails, considered amongst the best in Europe.

For scheduled and chartered air travel for the county, Bridgend is served by Cardiff International Airportmarker, to which there are direct railmarker and bus services.

Education

Bridgend town has 2 comprehensive schools, Brynteg Comprehensive and Bryntirion Comprehensive. Brynteg generally serves the area east of the River Ogmore, while Bryntirion serves the areas west of the river. Brynteg is renowned for its rugby alumni, with many talented athletes in other local schools joining Brynteg for the opportunities offered by playing for the school within the Welsh School Rugby Union Leagues. The school has produced several Welsh rugby union internationals but prominent athletes in other sports have also attended, including top female cyclist Nicole Cooke. Bryntirion has also produced its fair share of sporting talent, notably Gareth Llewellyn and triathlete Marc Jenkins. Bryntirion also has a reputation in the area for the quality of its musical productions.

There are also 3 other comprehensive schools in the Bridgend area, Archbishop McGrath Comprehensive, Ynysawdre Comprehensive and Ogmore Comprehensive. Archbishop McGrath School intends to move to a new base at Bracklamarker in 2011, while Ynysawdre and Ogmore Comprehensive are set to merge at the Ynysawdre site [778726].

There are at least 9 primary, junior schools and infant schools in the town, though several of the junior and infant schools have merged to form single primary schools in recent years.

There are also 2 special educational needs schools; Heronsbridge School which is linked with Brynteg Comprehensive school and at the back of Bridgend College. It is for students of a Primary school age and Comprehensive school age with severe learning disabilities. Another school, Ysgol Bryn Castell, offers education for Key stage 1-4 students with moderate to severe learning disabilities and is linked with Bryntirion Comprehensive school and has also recently opened up a satellite unit at Cynffig Comprehensive school located a few miles west of Bridgend.

Bridgend College is the town's further education and higher education provider which primarily offers vocational courses, access courses, GCSEs and A-Levels. It attracts school-leavers from as far as Swansea and Cardiff. It offers a range of higher education courses such as PGCE, Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma in various subjects and masters programmes on its Queens Road campus on Bridgend Industrial Estate. These are mainly franchised from the University of Glamorganmarker and University of Wales, Newport. There is also the Pencoed Campus with a focus on Sport, Agriculture and Horticulture and Maesteg and Porthcawl Campuses that offer more community based programmes.

Bridgend College has its own residence for students aged 16+ with learning disabilities who come to the college from all over Wales.

Health

Since the closure and redevelopment of Bridgend General Hospital in the 1990s, acute-care and accident and emergency services have been provided by the Princess of Wales Hospital. GP's surgeries are scattered throughout the town, as are dentists. There is also a large psychiatric hospital, Glanrhyd Hospital, near Pen-y-Fai.

Culture

Shopping and visits

Adare Street Bridgend 2008.
the town centre the main retail shopping areas are the Rhiw Shopping Centre (containing Bridgend Market), Adare Street, Caroline Street, Derwen Road, Nolton Street, Queen Street, Dunraven Place, Market Street and Cheapside (home of the Brackla Street Centre and ASDA store). These areas are within close proximity to the bus and railway stations as are pay and display car parks.

Most high street chain store names can be found in and around the town centre, which has suffered during 2009 due to the economic climate. Large gaps have been left in the town centre shopping area, as have many other UK towns. During the first two months of 2009, seven high street shops have closed their doors, most notably Woolworths.

There are out-of-town shopping areas at Waterton, near the A473, which contains a B&Q amongst others, Cowbridge Road, home of the larger (Tesco Extra) of the town's two Tescomarker stores, and at The Derwen, Junction 36 of the M4, home to Sainsbury'smarker and the Bridgend Designer Outletmarker, which has many brand names stores selling products at discounted prices, and Odeon Cinema in the Designer Outlet's Foodcourt, which contains one of Bridgend's three McDonald. Ample free parking is provided at the out-of-town sites.

Nightlife

There are numerous public houses and restaurants within the town centre. There is only one specific nightclub, Elements, formerly Lava-Ignite, although a few of the pubs double up as nightclubs or specifically create a nightclub atmosphere, notably The Roof & Barracuda/Tuskers.

Bridgend town centre is generally safe although there are incidences of alcohol-fuelled binge drinking anti-social behaviour like any other British town of Bridgend's size. CCTV is in operation throughout the town centre and there is usually a South Wales Police presence of some form.

Since July 1987, the streets of Bridgend are also patrolled on Friday & Saturday evenings between the hours of 10pm and 4am by Street Pastors. Street Pastors is an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue.

In December 2008,Bridgend Council introduced its first alcohol-free zone, restricting the consumption of alcohol to pubs, clubs and other licenced premises in the town centre to help address alcohol-related issues [778727].

Music

Bridgend is home to plenty of punk rock, indie rock, screamo, heavy metal & emo music acts that are playing the clubs of the area, making it a prominent part of the South Wales music scene. Metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine and bands like Funeral for a Friend, The Blims, Lostprophets, Hondo Maclean, The Automatic, People In Planes began their careers by playing venues in Bridgend such as the local Recreation Centre, The Football Club and The Tollhouse. There are several smaller venues in and around the town centre including The New Angel Inn (foremly PS Bar and The Angel Inn), The Railway Inn, Barracudas and Sapphires (formally known as Careys), which all host a number of open-mic nights. Bryan Adams played to a 15,000 crowd at Brewery Fieldmarker in the town centre on 2 June 2006. The Recreation Centre has also hosted worldwide acts such as Fall Out Boy and Bring Me the Horizon.The latest new venue is HOBOS which has already seen many acts passing through and had the likes of Funeral For A friend and Kids In Glass Houses' members DJ'ing there.

Eisteddfodau

Bridgend hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1948. The 1998 Eisteddfod was hosted in the nearby town of Pencoed, an outskirting suburb of Bridgend.

Media

Bridgend has its own commercial radio station: 106.3 Bridge FM, and is the base of Celtica radio. The main local newspaper is The Glamorgan Gazette, although a free newspaper, The Recorder, has increased its circulation in recent times.

Twinning

Bridgend has twinning arrangements with:

At the last attempt, no delegates from Langenau were found to undertake a cultural swap with Bridgend.

Attempts to twin Bridgend with the city of Tripolimarker, Libyamarker have sparked debate.[778728]

Sport

Rugby League

Bridgend Ravens, rear view of the Brewery Fields West stand 2006.
For many years, Bridgend was a hotbed of rugby union, but the rugby league code is now the town's primary sport with Celtic Crusaders recently based at the famous Brewery Fieldmarker along side the rugby union side Bridgend RFC. The side are sometimes considered to be a replacement for the Celtic Warriors rugby union side after their controversial disbanding in 2004 but have built up a loyal following in their own right. The Crusaders' application for a Super League licence was granted by the Rugby Football League on 22 July 2008. The decision elevated the club from National League One to compete in Super League XIV from 2009.

The Celtic Crusaders announced they will play at Newportmarker's Rodney Parademarker ground for two seasons starting in 2010, intending to return to Bridgend in the future [778729].

Bridgend's second rugby league side is the Bridgend Blue Bulls, one the UK's most successful amateur clubs having won two UK national amateur titles in four years and Welsh Champions 5 years in succession. The Bulls played at Coychurch Road but following the announcement about the setting up of the Celtic Crusaders they were invited to play at the Brewery Field by the owner Leighton Samuel. Unfortunately one year on they were unceremoniously refused permission to continue playing at the Brewery Field Samuel in the middle of the season. They were helped out at the last minute by Porthcawl RFC and staged the remaining 2006 home games there. Subsequently Porthcawl RFC have become their regular home and have even staged an amateur rugby league international there during 2008 (Wales v Ireland).

Rugby Union

In the regionalisation of Welsh Rugby Union in 2003, Bridgend RFC and Pontypridd RFC merged to form the Celtic Warriors. The area represented was massive and there are obvious communication and transport problems in sharing the respective grounds. The decision was made to move the club permanently to the Brewery Field because current Crusaders owner Leighton Samuel, who then owned the Warriors, was the primary leaseholder. Attendances at Warriors matches had been poor but were showing signs of recovery in 2004. But despite a strong finish to the Celtic League season, the region was disbanded to the shock of everyone involved. Professional rugby union in Bridgend and the valleys ended in an instant. The people of the areas involved now have to identify with teams outside the locality, support their semi professional Welsh Premiership team the Bridgend Ravens or some have even switched to rugby league.

Bridgend Ravens are a new rugby union club in the town. Formed from the original Bridgend RFC in 2004 following Bridgend RFC's owner Leighton Samuel making the decision to withdraw from rugby union. The original company was finally wound up by its owner due to mounting debts in 2006. The Bridgend Ravens side are semi-professional and play in the Welsh Premiership. In a recent development the Brewery Field was sold to Bridgend Town F.C. who then immediately offered 50% to the Ravens. So after a number of years of having to rent their historical home from the rugby league side Celtic Crusaders, Bridgend Ravens now partley own their own home again. Bridgend is also home to other rugby union sides including Bridgend Athletic RFC, Bridgend Sports RFC and South Wales Police RFC.

Football

Bridgend has two main football teams, Bridgend Town F.C., and a Bridgend suburb side Bryntirion Athletic F.C., both sides play in the Welsh Football League First Division. Bridgend Town AFC will from 2009 will play at The Brewery Field (The Football Club purchased The Brewery Field in 2009) as the club sold its ground at Coychurch Road ground due to works in conjunction with the new ASDA store. The Football side reached the semi-final of the Welsh Cup during 2008-2009 losing to the eventual winners Bangor City 2-1 in a tight game.

Bridgend's geographical position means South Wales rivals Cardiff City and Swansea City pick up support from the town, though it is widely believed Bridgend is a "Cardiff City town" overall.

Other Sports

Bridgend also has local cricket clubs, a men's and ladies' hockey club, golf courses and tennis & bowls facilities at the local club, the Bridgend Lawn Tennis and Bowls Association.

In 2009, Bridgend Town Cricket Club completed an unbeaten season and received ECB accreditation.[778730]

Districts of Bridgend



Residents of note



See also



References



External links




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