Council considering plan for more than £400m of investment
A council is considering a programme of £420 million investment over the next four years as it aims to generate more ‘long term’ capital growth.
Telford & Wrekin councillors are set to consider their medium term financial strategy for the next four years at their cabinet meeting on Thursday.
The council has identified key areas where they intend to spend £420m between 2024/25 and 2027/28.
“Some of the investments highlighted generate a financial benefit, as well as fulfilling their primary purpose,” says a cabinet report about the financial strategy.
“For example, NuPlace which provides high quality homes for rent from a reliable landlord, mainly at market rent levels and has enabled brownfield sites to be brought back into use and investment in the Property Investment Portfolio (PIP) to attract and retain jobs for local people and to provide other regeneration benefits for our residents.
“An ancillary consequence of both these investments is that it is anticipated they will bring long term capital growth which will strengthen the council’s balance sheet as well as generating revenue returns well in excess of the associated loan repayment charges.
“They will also bring other direct and indirect financial and other benefits to the residents of the borough including additional income from council tax, business rates and new homes bonus which will be used to help front line services such as Adult Social Care, as well as protecting and creating jobs for local people.”
The strategy highlights more than £100m investment to expand Nuplace and Telford & Wrekin Homes ‘providing further high-quality homes’ for local people to rent from a responsible and responsive landlord.
In addition to the Nuplace investment the council plans to spend £9.7m on ‘affordable and specialist housing programmes’ and more than £10.8m on a ‘range of housing initiatives, including affordable warmth, empty properties, rough sleeper, disabled facility grants and temporary accommodation’.
There is £0.9m funding set aside in the strategy to progress the development of “stalled sites”.
Growth Fund initiatives are aimed at bringing new employment opportunities to the borough. A new £20m capital investment fund is part of the strategy to be allocated over the next four for ‘key community priorities’.
Improving services is also part of the strategy with over £31m allocated for transport and highways schemes and more than £40m for education capital projects ‘including investment in school expansion projects to increase pupil places’.
A total of £8.7m is allocated in the strategy for a new swimming pool.
Towns Fund projects are allocated more than £35m, the “Levelling-Up Fund” and Capital Regeneration Fund projects would receive more than £37m and more than £2.7m is allocated for Pride in Your High Street schemes.
The council’s strategy also allocates £1.17m for environmental improvements/enhancements and £2.19m for climate change initiatives ‘to support work to reduce the council’s carbon footprint and partnering with government and others on other climate change projects’.
The council’s cabinet will receive the medium term financial strategy at their meeting on Thursday.