The Corporate Director Communities presented a report which sought approval from Cabinet to enter into a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council as lead authority for the South East Wales Local Authorities to progress the Transforming Towns (TT) programme: Business Fund within the County Boroughs 3 Town Centres of Bridgend, Maesteg and Porthcawl.
She explained that in September 2021 Cabinet report gave an overview of the success of the TRI / TT programme to date and sought approval to extend the programme to March 2022. Following approval of the recommendations set out in that report, progress has been ongoing to bring a range of projects to fruition. She added that Welsh Government had provided a grant of £1,166,000 funding to be shared between the 10 South East Local Authorities.
The Corporate Director Communities provided details of notable schemes to date which included:
The Corporate Director Communities explained that Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (RCT) were acting as the lead body for the South East region and will report to WG and the South East Wales Regional Regeneration Board, which will comprise the Cardiff Capital Region Regeneration Board. RCT require BCBC and the other local authorities making up the South East region to enter into a Service Level Agreement with RCT to facilitate the drawdown of the grant funding and ensure compliance with the WG grant funding terms and conditions.
She alerted Cabinet to the risks that needed to be aware of which were that there was not a set amount allocated to each South East Local Authority. As such projects will only be awarded when ready to go and if funding is available. Robust monitoring by both BCBC and RCT officers is required.
The Leader stated that it was pleasing to see the progress being made to several buildings in Bridgend which were landmark buildings that benefited many of the residents. The Corporate Director Communities added that from March 2022 onwards, there had already been 19 applications for the fund which shows how popular and successful the scheme had been in improving areas throughout Bridgend, Maesteg and Porthcawl.
The Cabinet Member Education and regeneration echoed the comments and stated that it was positive to see so many retail establishments making use of funding for improvements as many of the buildings throughout Bridgend take time to improve due to the sensitive nature of them.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
· Delegated authority to the Director of Communities, in consultation with the Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change and Chief Officer - Legal, HR and Regulatory Services, to:
· negotiate and enter into a service level agreement with Rhondda Cynon Taff; and