Preferred site for major health and education centre

A preferred site has been confirmed for a town “campus” that could bring together health, social care, education and volunteer organisations, in one place.

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

Known as the North Powys Wellbeing programme, it is a collaboration between Powys County Council (PCC) and Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB).

The plan has been described, as a “once in a generation opportunity to bring together organisations to enhance and transform the way services are delivered to the community.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, work on the scheme had stopped, as staff were redeployed to deal with the crisis.

But since July the team have been back developing the business case submission to the Welsh Government.

At PCC's cabinet meeting on Tuesday councillors will receive a report that outlines proposals for the site – at The Park in the town.

Options being considered include a new-build school, health and care centre, library and specialist housing.

And depending on their size, they could cost anywhere between £64 million and £83 million.

The document explains why the area has been chosen.

The report states: “A good location, accessible to centre of the town, to the Open Newtown programme, recent housing initiatives and to other transport and amenities.”

"It is also the right size and with potential for expansion, and is also seen as having therapeutic properties that are “ideal for promoting well-being; open green spaces, views, on the banks of the Severn.”

Building it in Newtown also means that there are opportunities of working with the arts organisations, voluntary sector and business.

According to the business case, having it close to the town centre could also help support economic growth and regeneration in the area.

While the Programme Business Case, provides “high-level options”, more detailed work will be done as the project progresses.

If cabinet approves the business case, it will be presented to the Welsh Government on Friday, October 23.

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