Health centre plans to be resubmitted to government

Proposals for a new health and wellbeing campus will be resubmitted to the government, councillors have been told.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s health and care scrutiny committee councillors were given an update on the North Powys Wellbeing Programme.

Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) and Powys County Council are working together on the project for the new Newtown facility.

In November 2020 they submitted a Programme Business Case to the Welsh Government for approval before funding bids are made.

The Park area of Newtown has been earmarked for the campus – which include bring health, social care, education, voluntary sector and even housing.

Carly Skeets of PTHB, told the committee: “We submitted our Programme Business Case (PBC), and we have received some positive feedback from Welsh Government colleagues.”

She explained that the PBC had been looked at by various government departments which could provide funding.

Ms Skeets added: “We’re just about to resubmit it in the next week and we hope to have some fairly quick feedback from the Welsh Government.”

“We’re moving into a more positive place now. We’ve been commissioning some external companies to help with the demand, capacity and financial modelling.

“Making sure what we propose to progress as affordable and sustainable is really important, that work needs to be robust.”

Councillor Mike Williams, who represents Machynlleth, asked for assurances that there would be a “fair distribution of resources” for the peripheral areas of North Powys.

Portfolio holder for adult social care, Councillor Myfanwy Alexander, said: “You will notice we tend to avoid calling it Newtown and there is a reason for that.

“It’s not a project for just for Newtown but to trial and develop ways of working across the whole county.

“It’s very important we recognise what you say, I’m conscious especially after Covid, the local resources of our communities are more important than ever before.

“This is a devolutionary project about bringing health and care closer to people, it’s a philosophy of localism.”

She added that you “have to have the centre somewhere”.

Councillor Williams added: “I wasn’t questioning the location at all, it’s about people from the periphery not missing out on this superb project.”

Former adult services portfolio holder, Councillor Stephen Hayes, had been in the cabinet when the project first appeared, and said: “This is a huge programme and I’m tremendously supportive of it. It’s about doing services differently not buildings.”

In May 2019, the Welsh Government announced that £2.5 million of funding has been made available to start the project.

Depending on the size of ambition, the campus which is expected to be completed in 2026 could cost in the region of £60 million to £85 million.

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