The Corporate Director Communities presented a report update Cabinet on the progress of securing funding through the Tourism Attractor Destination Programme to take forward a project on Cosy Corner, Porthcawl and sought authority to commence the process of appointing architects to further develop the project detail.
She explained that in October 2020 (BCBC) were informed that Credu Charity Ltd had filed notice of intention to appoint administrators and had been informed by Welsh Government of the withdrawal of funding for what was known as The Maritime Centre project, funded through the Visit Wales Tourism Attractor Destination Programme (TAD). As a result of this BCBC terminated the agreement for the lease relating to the Maritime Centre at the Cosy Corner site. Further background was at section 3 of the report.
The Corporate Director Communities stated that In December 2020 Cabinet authorised the Corporate Director, Communities, to develop and submit a proposal to access possible resources for improvements to Cosy Corner through the TAD programme. Cabinet also agreed to receive a further report relating to the detail of any funding offer if successful and, should it be required, recommend to Council an update to the Capital programme. An agreed proposal was submitted to Visit Wales and the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in January 2021 based on the principles outlined in section 3.3 and the potential outcomes outlined in section 3.4.
The Corporate Director Communities explained that In February 2021 BCBC received confirmation from Welsh Government that WEFO had completed the assessment of six of the nine criteria for assessment of operations /projects and requested that further information be supplied in order to complete the remaining assessment stages, which were cross cutting themes, delivery and financial and compliance. She added that WEFO and Welsh Government requested confirmation of match funding and confirmation of State Aid cover.
The Corporate Director Communities stated that in order to provide the final information required, it was proposed to undertake a procurement exercise to appoint architects and required consultancy support to progress the scheme from the outline options appraisal to RIBA stage 3. A further report would be provided to Cabinet should it be agreed.
The Cabinet Member Education and Regeneration welcomed the report and stated that the plans were rational and it was pleasing to see at an iconic site in Porthcawl whereby it was inviting for all age groups to enjoy.
The Cabinet Member Communities echoed these comments and was excited for the report as it meant the council could move forward with the development on that site and benefit the residents and visitors of Porthcawl.
The Deputy Leader welcomed the report and said that Cosy Corner was a very important site in Porthcawl. He asked if there were opportunity for the wider public to get involved in any design work for the site.
The Corporate Director Communities stated that it was something that was envisaged. She explained that securing the money from WEFO and Welsh government was the next stage which should be in the next few months. Following this, she hoped to provide the early designs for the development around the summer time. She added that a condition of the grant was to include the following:
The Corporate Director Communities explained that once these had been implemented, input from the public would be greatly welcomed as this site was for the community, in the heart of Porthcawl, so input from the public was important.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet: -
1. Authorised the Corporate Director - Communities to proceed at risk with the development of the remaining information required by WEFO and Welsh Government presented in section 4.4 of the report and to utilise the currently agreed direct match funding of £384,615 to do so in order to secure a potential £1m grant; and,
2. Agreed to receive a further report once WEFO and Welsh Government have completed assessment of all nine criteria stages for accessing potential funding before progressing further.