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Council may fund ‘borrowing and top slice costs’ of multi-million pound Swansea Bay City Deal

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council will fund ‘borrowing and top slice costs’ of the multi-million Swansea Bay City Deal marine energy project if necessary, it has been agreed.

The borrowing costs could be around £2.35million over 15 years a report to full council on Thursday, October 10 stated. The councillors heard top slicing, for running the City Deal scheme, costs could hit £450,000.

The business case for a £28million SBCD funding bid for the Pembroke Dock Marine Project was given the go-ahead for submission to the City Deal joint committee and Welsh and UK Governments at its meeting on October 10.

In recent negotiations council leader Cllr David Simpson has made clear that the council should not have to contribute financially by funding borrowing costs.

He told members that the “potential loss of European grant funding has now become a real risk” for the project, worth around £6 million, with decisions needed before the end of the year.

A recommendation to include the provision that borrowing and top slicing costs are met by the Pembroke Dock Marine project partners and/or alternative ‘third party’ funding was amended to add “and/or the council.”

The amendments came after a lengthy debate where support for the project which had the potential to create hundreds of high quality jobs for the area and support economic regeneration was expressed.

“This deal is not going to fail by our doing, we are supportive, we want it to happen and we are determined to deliver it and in the right way,” said Cllr Paul Miller, as he highlighted the hard work of the leader.

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