NEATH PORT TALBOT: The major capital projects during 2021/22
Neath Port Talbot Council has revealed its plans for spending on major projects in 2021/22 such as building new schools, repairs at Margam Park and revamping Neath town centre.
The council plans to spend around £80 million in total on capital schemes in 2021/22.
The authority is proposing a council tax increase of 2.75%, which would cost residents in Band D properties an extra £44.43 per year at a total fee of £1,660.02.
The gross revenue income for 2021/22 is £459.9 million and the net budget is £316.3 million.
Members will make a final decision on the 2021/22 budget and council tax increase on Tuesday March 09.
The funding of these projects is split over the course of the council’s capital investment programme for 2020 to 2024. The council’s total capital investment over the next three years is around £150 million.
Here are some of the major projects for 2021/22 in Neath Port Talbot:
Neath town centre
Neath Port Talbot Council aims to spend £10.5 million on redeveloping Neath town centre in 2021/22. The project includes building a new shopping and leisure complex with a swimming pool, gym, cafe and library.
The council plans to spend £3.4m on developing brownfield land adjacent to Port Talbot Parkway Station that will eventually be available for businesses to build on in future.
Currently home to a mass vaccination centre, Margam Park is set to receive £2.7 million for investment in activities and stonework repairs.
Swansea Bay Technology Centre
In 2021/22, the council plans to spend £5.3 million on building a technology centre at Baglan Energy Park.
The building will operate as a ‘power station’, providing office space for business start-ups other companies in the innovation and research and development sectors.
The technology centre is being funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal, a partnership between Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea councils.
Work is already underway on turning Port Talbot’s Plaza Cinema building into a community hub including a café, gym, office space, conference area, recording studio and shops.
The conversion of the Grade II listed building is being supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the Welsh Government and Neath Port Talbot Council. The local authority plans to spend £3.6 million on the development in 2021/22.
21st Century Schools
The second phase of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools programme will see £80.5 million invested into schools across Neath Port Talbot.
Under the scheme, a new school is being built in Cimla to replace the old Cefn Saeson Secondary School at a total cost of £29 million. With £5.2 million being spent on the project in 2021/22, students and staff will be able to use the new school from June 2021, three months ahead of schedule.
A new primary school costing over £10 million is being built for 520 pupils in Longford, replacing the existing Abbey Primary. In the upcoming financial year, £6 million will be spent on the new school.
The council will also spend £5.2 million in 2021/22 on a new teaching block including six extra classrooms and a 3G rugby pitch at Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera Bro Dur. The project has a total budget of £9m.
Welsh medium education
The council has received a grant totalling £3.814m to improve facilities at Welsh medium schools between 2019 and 2022.
In the next financial year, £1.5 million will be invested across Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pontardawe, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tyle’r Ynn and Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Cwmllynfell.
ICT in schools
A total of £4.2 million will be invested in ICT equipment in Neath Port Talbot’s schools across the duration of the capital programme, with £800,000 being invested in 2021/22.
Crymlyn Burrows recycling facility
The council-run waste facility at Crymlyn Burrows will be remodelled and expanded at a cost of £4.1 million in 2021/22.
Street lights and roadworks
The council plans to spend a total of £2.8 million on streetlighting, highways and engineering maintenance.
A breakdown of the council’s capital income for 2021/22:
External grants – £35.3 million
Welsh Government general capital funding – £19.4 million
Prudential borrowing – £19.2 million
Capital receipts – £3.2 million
Specific reserves/revenue – £1.7 million
Welsh Government additional general funding – £1.6 million
Words: Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV