CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council is set to invest almost £255million in capital projects to boost the economy, create jobs and enhance residents’ quality of life.

Executive Board has this week (February 24, 2020) agreed its ambitious five-year capital programme detailing how it aims to spend a quarter of a billion pound in a variety of schemes to deliver strategic priorities and aspirations for the county.

If approved by Full Council in March, the council will commit £126million of its own funding to add to a further £129million it plans to secure from grants.

The programme includes a further commitment of £86million to build or transform even more schools as part of its 21st Century Schools investment programme, which has already seen over £200million invested in new or improved primary and secondary schools over the last ten years.

As well as funding to improve Carmarthenshire’s roads and bridges, the council has some exciting plans to develop a cultural quarter in Carmarthen, with £1.9million committed to the regeneration of the Oriel Myrddin Gallery in King Street, which will complement existing programmes including a purpose-built archive just opposite.

To further enhance people’s leisure opportunities, the council is planning to invest a further £650,000 in Carmarthen Leisure Centre, and has re-committed its promise to deliver a new leisure centre for Llanelli as part of the Wellness Village which is pushing ahead.

£4million will be spent transforming Llandeilo Market Hall, and £847,000 has been earmarked for further investment in Glanamman Industrial Estate.

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Half a million has been committed to kick-start the council’s efforts to become net carbon zero within the next 10 years – followings its 2019 climate emergency declaration – alongside new monies of £6.5million to maintain and improve the council’s operational estate, including essential works at County Hall, Carmarthen, and Ty Elwyn in Llanelli.

Money has also been set aside to make good on the council’s promise for a changing places facility for disabled residents and visitors in Llanelli.

Cllr David Jenkins, Executive Board Member for Resources, said: “The proposed capital programme anticipates an estimated spend of nearly £255million over the next five years, optimising funding opportunities and maximising the funding from potential external sources. “It is comprehensive, exciting and ambitious – a combination of existing and new schemes will develop the local economy, create jobs and enhance the quality of life for our citizens.”

Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said the programme reflects the authority’s ambitions, whilst Deputy Leader Cllr Mair Stephens said it ‘sets a path for the future’ with investment in all areas of the county.

The full proposed capital programme, which will now go to Full Council next week, can be found as part of the agenda for the Executive Board meeting at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales.

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