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Council set for £100m of capital spending on key projects

MILLIONS of pounds are set to be ploughed into upgrades for city schools, road improvements and community projects.

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Cabinet is recommending approval of more than £100m of capital spending on key projects that will help create jobs, revitalise the city centre and improve our schools.

The first round of £149m of spending on a new generation of school facilities, including construction of two new primary schools, is to be seen  by Council on March 5 which would see investment of £25m taking place in the next financial year.

On top of that £42m of spending on the building of the Swansea arena project due for completion next year would be released so that construction company Buckingham can get on with the job.

In addition a further £42.1m has been earmarked for projects including £7m for road improvements, £2.9m for the ongoing revitalisation of the former Hafod Copperworks and investment on community projects like upgrades for St Helen's Road and Oxford Street and seawall repairs in Mumbles.

The Capital Budget report agreed by Cabinet also includes almost £1m for 3G sports pitches, including the completion of the upgrade for Cefn Hengoed Comprehensive School, £5m for maintenance projects in schools and elsewhere and £500,000 for leisure centre upgrades with the council's partner, Freedom Leisure. 

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said: "This coming financial year is going to be a key time for the future of our city. A lot of the headlines have been about the building of a new arena which will help create jobs and transform the city centre.

"However, the council is also planning to invest in our schools, our communities and our roads as well. Work has already started on Gorseinon Primary School and EOTAS in Cockett. Pupils from Tan-y-Lan and Tirdeunaw will see work start on new homes for them as well.

"On top of that work is also planned for upgrades at YG Gwyr in Gorseinon, YG Bryntawe and Bishopston and Gowerton Comprehensives.

"We have boosted the roads budget to £7m and a community capital fund has been set up with a pot of £1m for smaller-scale projects that will make a difference in city localities."

Almost £2.5m has been allocated to the Palace Theatre redevelopment, £1.7m for further improvements in Wind Street.

The report agreed by Cabinet will now go to Council for final approval.

The report said the main £42.1m capital programme is being funded through a mix of Welsh Government grant, capital receipts and borrowing.

The majority of the £149m of schools' funding is being provided by the Welsh Government with the remainder coming from the council. The arena project is being funded by the Welsh and UK governments in partnership with the council.

Cllr Stewart said: "We promised we would build a better Swansea, and that is now well underway, no one can ignore the step change investment and development that has taken place across Swansea.

"With inward investment at levels not seen before, it important to keep the spend local and ensure wherever possible local firms and businesses benefit from the investment. The council is doing that by, for example, inviting local firms to tender for work at the new arena and creating more local jobs and more opportunities for the people of Swansea."

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