The Corporate Director – Communities presented a report, the purpose of which, was to seek approval from Cabinet to accept a revised funding offer from Welsh Government and enter into an agreement and associated legal charge with Linc Cymru (Linc) to support the delivery of the Transforming Towns – Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity for the Green Infrastructure elements of the Sunnyside Wellness Village.
She explained that the Transforming Towns - Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity grant, forms part of the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns (TT) programme. The TT programme is intended to build on the achievements of the 2014-2017 Vibrant and Viable Places programme, but takes a wider approach to regeneration by including ambitions of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the priorities identified in Local Well-being Plans and other local and regional plans, for enhancing economic regeneration and community well-being.
The TT programme was intended to run until March 2022, and would look to invest in projects which can deliver realistic economic and community outcomes. Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) will be looking to deliver these outcomes over the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 financial years. Applications for funding had to be made by local authorities on behalf of themselves or another public, private or third sector organisation.
The Corporate Director – Communities advised, that Linc Cymru approached BCBC to ask that an application be made to Welsh Government for Green Infrastructure funding to support the green infrastructure elements of the Sunnyside Wellness Village development.
The Sunnyside Wellness Village is a proposed integrated social housing, health, and green open space project situated on the edge of Bridgend town centre that is being developed by Linc Cymru. The wider development comprises a new Healthcare Facility and 59 new affordable homes. Green infrastructure is a fundamental element of the Wellness Village concept, with key features including a communal growing area, natural play area, engineered tree planting, protection and cultivation of existing treescape.
The funding approved for the Green infrastructure elements at the Sunnyside development was £315,268, and it was a condition of the Welsh Government funding letter that BCBC must put in place appropriate grant terms and conditions in line with their funding conditions when passing Green Infrastructure funding on to any third party recipient.
The Corporate Director – Communities concluded her report, by advising that Linc Cymru as developers of the Sunnyside development will be acting as third party recipients to this funding and, as such, BCBC are required to enter into a funding agreement with Linc Cymru.
The Cabinet Member – Communities welcomed the report.
The Cabinet Member – Education and Regeneration advised that he was very attracted by the green infrastructure element of the proposals and wondered if further funding of this kind could be used for similar works to be provided in conjunction with those planned at the Eastern Promenade, Porthcawl as part of the Public Realm works in the town. If this could be achieved it would also he felt be a good idea to involve local people in such works.
The Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help was excited by the Sunnyside Wellness Village, as its location near the town centre, was crying out for added green space that the development would bring about. The project she felt allowed for huge potential for social prescribing activity opportunities for individuals, as well as contributing to the de-carbonisation of what had been a problematic area in this regard.
The Cabinet Member – Wellbeing and Future Generations agreed that the project would assist in alleviating air quality management issues as it was located near Park Street, where there had been problems with emissions from vehicles in the last few years. She was also pleased to see social housing being an element of the development proposals. She asked if the Sunnyside development would link in with the themes of the Bridgend Masterplan to which the Corporate Director – Communities replied that it would and she gave some examples of how the two would marry-up.
The Leader was also encouraged by the green infrastructure proposals at the Sunnyside site, that through the partnership between Bridgend Town Council and BCBC in the re-development of Ty Ardd, could be taken advantage of by the people that resided there, which would be of some benefit to them and their wellbeing.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
(1) Accepted the revised funding letter dated 13th January 2021 in relation to the Transforming Towns: Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Grant from WG for 2020-21.
(2) Delegated authority to the Corporate Director - Communities, in consultation with the Section 151 Officer and Head of Legal and Regulatory Services, to negotiate and enter into a funding agreement for delivery of the above and to enter into a legal charge with Linc Cymru on the development.