NEARLY £3 million a week will be spent on capital projects in Carmarthenshire next year, including new schools, a health and life-science complex, and a community hub.

Council leaders have outlined a £144.8 million capital budget for 2022-23, with the authority contributing £52.2 million and most of the rest coming from central Government.

It’s the equivalent of £2.78 million every seven days, assuming projects aren’t held back as they have been by Covid in the last two years.

Just over £53 million is allocated to the long-awaited Pentre Awel health and life science development at Delta Lakes, Llanelli, which includes a new leisure centre.

And £9.2 million is earmarked for a new community hub in Carmarthen, although the project also comprises a new hub across the border in Pembroke.

Most of the hub money has come via the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, which is also the main source of a £9.5 million allocation to continue the Towy Valley cycle path linking Carmarthen and Llandeilo.

Introducing the report at a cabinet meeting, Cllr David Jenkins, who has the finance portfolio, said he was “particularly delighted” to seek colleagues’ approval of the cycle path funding.

The scheme has been delayed, with only a small section at the Carmarthen end completed to date.

Cllr Jenkins said it would bring significant economic, employment and health benefits.

Meanwhile, £3.1 million will be spent on schools’ maintenance, and £1 million is to be spent on a new 3G pitch in Ammanford.

The state of the existing pitch, at the rear of Ammanford Leisure Centre and Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, has been criticised in recent months – and it was temporarily closed in November following an inspection.

Clly Glynog Davies said: “We desperately need this 3G pitch.”

Council leader Emlyn Dole said there was “so much to be welcomed” in terms of the capital schemes outlined, many of which roll into future years.

The report before cabinet said “disappointingly” there was no Welsh Government funding for road refurbishment – this after a £1.5 million allocation for the current financial year.

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