SPENDING on big projects like new schools and leisure centres is likely to be higher in Carmarthenshire next year than had been anticipated.
The local authority is planning to spend £133.3 million for 2021-22 in its draft capital budget, up from £127.1 million a month ago.
The biggest share – £65 million – is earmarked for regeneration schemes like the new Llanelli Leisure Centre at the planned Pentre Awel well-being and life sciences village.
The council hopes to invest £13.9 million into the £18.4 million leisure centre in 2021-22, with the remainder spent the following year.
Meanwhile, £30.5 million is proposed on new school builds or upgrades in 2021-22.
And £4.2 million is being targeted at businesses to help them recover from the Covid pandemic.
Introducing the capital budget proposals at a meeting on February 22, Cllr David Jenkins, executive board member for resources, said it was it was “right in these uncertain times to focus on economic stimulation and recovery”.
Just over £6.5 million is earmarked for the replacement of council vehicles, while £750,000 is proposed for phase two of the Cross Hands economic link road.
The council will fund £63.8 million of the £133.3 million capital expenditure through borrowing, the sale of land and buildings, reserves and grants, if budget proposals are approved at a meeting of full council next week.
The remaining £69.4 million is to come from external sources like the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire’s Plaid-Independent leaders repeated their calls at the meeting for Welsh Government “active travel” funding for the Towy Valley cycle path.
Ministers have said it doesn’t meet active travel criteria.