GRANTS received from the Welsh Government for building projects, mean that Powys County Council needs to borrow less money to fund them.
At the council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, July 27, councillors were given an update on the forecast annual spend of the capital programme after the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year
The report showed that Powys has received a total of £4.81 million in various grants during the first quarter including £1.59 million to be spent on the roads.
A grant of £1.26 million had also been jointly awarded to Powys and Ceredigion County Council to be spent on town centre projects in Mid-Wales.
As well as noting the report, councillors had to approve moving £1.59 million of borrowed money, out of the already agreed Highways Asset Management Plan (HAMP) funding for the year and replace it with the grant.
This movement of money between accounts is known as a “virement.”
Money in the budget each year has to be set aside to be used to pay the interest on borrowing for council projects such as building schools or road maintenance.
Finance portfolio holder, Cllr Aled Davies said: “Great news for the HTR (Highways Transport and Recycling) services, it has received £1.6 million to help support highways refurbishment and there are significant other grants there as well.”
Head of finance, Jane Thomas said: “The funding we’ve received replaces the need to borrow which is really good news for us and helps against the cost of our revenue budget.
“As we see these grants coming in, we can use them where we can offset borrowing.
“It’s really good news for us and it keeps costs to a minimum and helps the affordability of the overall capital programme which is really good.”
Council leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, said: “It’s very important that we do acknowledge all these grants we are getting, without them it would be very difficult for us to move forward.
“We’ve got the biggest highways network in Wales and one of the biggest in the UK, and we’re grateful for this.”
Funding for 2021/22 building projects was originally agreed to be £101.53 million.
This has been increased to £115.3 million as projects have been re-jigged and funding from previous years is added to it because of delays to projects due to the covid pandmic.
So far £12.49 million, representing 11 per cent of the total capital budget has been spent in this financial year.
Cabinet approved the report and the virement.