Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Leader has announced ambitious plans to invest over £300m of additional funding to continue to transform the County Borough.
As part of a statement to all Council Members last week, Council Leader Andrew Morgan announced his intention to bring the plans forward in the early part of 2018, which would deliver “the largest capital investment programme in the history of Rhondda Cynon Taf and most certainly for a generation.”
County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said:
“Plans will shortly be considered that will outline an additional round of investment, totalling over £300m, for the future of Rhondda Cynon Taf, over and above the Council’s normal Capital Programme.
“If agreed, these ambitious plans would see the delivery of the largest capital investment programme for a generation, ensuring we transform service provision across a range of areas and a number of key services. This funding will be on top of the investment already approved to take the County forward through the £200m #RCTInvest programme.
“The approval of our plans will ensure that we are able to transform the delivery of social services to meet the demands of an ever increasing older population with different needs, requirements and expectations, by expanding our Extra Care facilities.
“We will also use this funding to increase the pace of school transformations, under the Welsh Government’s 21st Schools Programme, which has already seen almost £200m invested in RCT – representing the largest investment in education anywhere in Wales.
“This funding will also ensure that we continue to future proof key infrastructure across the County, and will ensure that our highways and transportation network supports the future economic potential that Rhondda Cynon Taf has to offer through our part of the £1.2bn Cardiff Capital Region City Deal.
“We have already demonstrated what this approach to strategic investment can achieve through the £200m #RCTInvest programme, which has seen unprecedented levels of capital expenditure on improving our highways, play and leisure facilities, and schools across Rhondda Cynon Taf.
“This proposal will seek to build upon this momentum. We have already set the tone and demonstrated what can be achieved through this ambitious approach on projects such as the redevelopment of the Taff Vale site.
“This was once a project which many believed was destined never to be achieved, yet in January we will see work on this major development – which is set to transform the future for Pontypridd – commence. This flagship project demonstrates that regeneration and prosperity can only be brought about through strategic investment, and we want to create similar opportunities across RCT.
“Last week’s Budget announcement made it clear that austerity and funding cuts are here to stay, at least for the next four years, so it is clear that the only way that we can take Rhondda Cynon Taf forward is by investing wisely to secure the best opportunities for residents and services moving forward into uncertain, and no doubt challenging, economic times. Thanks to our proactive approach to addressing the budget cuts placed upon us, we have created opportunities to deliver these kinds of one-off capital investments, which will strengthen and transform services for these future challenges.
“We have made a public commitment to be ambitious for our County and this plan, if approved when reports are brought forward to facilitate this funding, will ensure that we honour this commitment by delivering the largest capital investment programme in the history of Rhondda Cynon Taf and most certainly for a generation.”
Plans on how this kind of investment could be delivered for the County Borough will begin to be considered by the Council’s Cabinet early in the New Year. The Council is currently consulting on its investment priorities with residents as part of its 2018/19 Budget consultation.