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Cabinet receives update on investment into community projects

The Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council has received the latest financial update on how it is investing money into community projects during 2021-22.

Members heard that the revised capital investment programme for 2021-22 now totals more than £87m following adjustments to reflect new schemes and grant approvals.

The council will provide more than £53m of the total amount, and external resources and grant funding will make up the remaining £34m.

The updated capital programme features a number of significant changes, including an additional £2.85m from Welsh Government for the active travel fund.

Designed to encourage more people to leave the car at home while supporting health and well-being, air quality, carbon emission reductions and greater access to employment, education, key services, public transport and more, the funding is being invested into various schemes including active travel projects that will link Bridgend to Pencoed and Pyle to Porthcawl.

An extra £198,000 has been provided to the Enable grant funding programme which makes adaptions to people’s homes so that they can continue to live independently, and an additional £810,000 has been provided for carrying out road surface refurbishments.

Welsh Government is providing £462,000 for the purchase of ultra-low emission fleet vehicles, and an additional £120,000 has been added to the capital programme so that three ageing council vehicles can be replaced.

Other changes include a proposed £178,000 scheme to introduce a low-carbon solar energy system capable of supplying renewable power for Bryncethin Depot, and £130,000 to update the heating and electrical system at the Evergreen Hall and install new, low-cost systems.

The capital programme has also been updated to reflect predicted costs that have been submitted to Welsh Government under Band B of the 21st Century Schools programme.

Plans are in place for three new schools, including a replacement special school, to be funded through capital grant, and for a further two new schools to be funded via a mutual investment model.

Several schools are also benefitting from a range of improvements such as a £42,000 external all-weather canopy which is being installed at Cynffig Comprehensive School to provide a new outdoor learning resource.

These additional areas of capital spending are on top of previously announced investments such as £5m for the Maesteg Town Hall redevelopment project, £2.5m for regeneration work in Porthcawl, £2m for a new children’s residential accommodation hub, £2m for carriageway resurfacing, footpath repairs and street lighting, and much more.

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to have an inevitable impact upon the council’s spending plans, we are constantly monitoring and evaluating the situation to ensure that we can maximise the benefits of all available funding.

I am delighted to see that we have been highly successful in our attempts to draw in additional resources and extra funding, and I welcome this latest update as it demonstrates how we are continuing to deliver fresh investment and opportunities for the people of Bridgend County Borough.

Deputy Leader Hywel Williams

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