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CABINET 


Report of: Director of Community Services 
Date: 17 May 2021 


Cabinet Portfolios: Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture 


PROPOSED APPLICATION TO THE LEVELLING UP FUND 


Purpose 


The reason for this report is to comply with Financial Regulations, November 2018, 
Cl. 4.11.1 for bids/applications for external funding exceeding £2,000,000. 


This report seeks authority to submit two separate grant applications to the UK 
Government Levelling Up Fund (LUF). 


e Haverfordwest Town Transformation 
e Pembroke Town Transformation (packaged bid with Carmarthenshire County 
Council) 


Background and Context 


The LUF is a capital only fund, administered by the Ministry of Housing, 
Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Department for Transport (DfT) and 
HM Treasury (HMT) that invests in high-value local infrastructure, focusing on the 
needs of individual places and the strategic case for investment. 


The LUF provides the opportunity for local authorities to bid competitively for funding 
to a maximum value of £20 million per MP constituency that lies within the local 
authority boundary. Bidding authorities are expected to consult local Members of 
Parliament as part of their bid. 


The first application round of the LUF seeks projects relating to transport 
investments, regeneration and town centre investment and cultural investment. 


An additional UK government grant of £125k has been allocated to local authorities 
to develop their bids’ 


The LUF prospectus states that bids are encouraged to include a local financial 
contribution representing at least 10% of total costs. 


The deadline for receipt of first round applications is 18 June 2021. 


Proposed Projects 


Haverfordwest Town Transformation 


The application for Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency seeks to further progress 
Haverforwest’s town centre renaissance by building on completed work such as the 
Glan yr Afon Library and National Gallery and the Western Quayside development, 
currently on site. 


The application will propose a signature bridge that provides a striking focus to the 
centre of the town, acting as a destination for visitors as well as a practical and 
attractive active travel route way. A new, direct approach to the castle from the town 
centre will be enabled via an arcade developed through 16 Bridge Street. The castle 
will benefit from developments to improve its appearance and experience and 
increase visitors. Funds will support the creation of a vibrant outdoor performance 
space in the inner bailey and renovation of the gaol in preparation for a flagship 
visitor attraction, plus perimeter walk and further green infrastructure enhancements. 
This development will strongly underpin the case for further funding to grow the 
Castle as a key attraction for Haverfordwest. Wayfinding elements with consistent 
branding will be deployed to join up all three elements of the scheme cohesively with 
each other and the rest of the town offer. 


The LUF requires that all schemes are completed by March 2024, but within this 
timescale it will only be feasible to deliver elements of the Gaol development to ‘shell 
and core’ stage. There would be a consequential need for PCC to underwrite a circa 
£2 million fit-out in 2024/25 to complete the scheme. This would be a subsequent 
and separate project, delivered following the LUF funding period. 


Commitment to the delivery of the full fit-out during 2024-25, directly following 
completion to ‘shell and core’ would be a critical lever in increasing PCC’s chances 
of acquiring LUF funding. Scoring of the bid will take into account socio-economic 
impact illustrated in this proposal through visitor numbers and visitor spend, which in 
turn reflects overall value for money. As such, the Gaol would need to be presented 
as able to progress efficiently forward to a functional attraction, to present a credible 
LUF proposal. 


We are confident that we will raise the majority of the £2 million for the visitor 
attraction fit-out through external sources such as Lottery, trusts and foundations, but 
cannot guarantee success. 


Consultants have been appointed to develop this project proposal and provide an 
overarching rationale. 


Pembroke Town Transformation 


Where a constituency lies across two or more County boundaries, the LUF requires 
only one of the local authorities to be nominated to lead on the application on behalf 
of all joint applicants. In the case of Carmarthenshire West and South 
Pembrokeshire, Pembrokeshire County Council and Carmarthenshire County 


Council will adopt a town centre focus (Pembroke and Carmarthen) aimed at 
addressing opportunities for improving sites and buildings. Proposed projects will 
need to reflect a coherent set of interventions and consultants have been jointly 
engaged to advise and prepare a joint bid. 


PCC propose to create a community hub in Pembroke within Phase 2 of the South 
Quay development. The scheme will regenerate a derelict building that is currently a 
blight on the townscape, to deliver a public service hub ‘anchor’ facility and public 
realm improvements in a premier location adjacent to a Grade 1 listed Building and 
Scheduled Ancient Monument Castle. 


The scheme would mirror similar development supporting a community hub 
proposed by West Carmarthenshire. 


Main Issues 


(i) The LUF prospectus states that bids are encouraged to include a local 
financial contribution representing at least 10% of total costs. The guidance 
does not specify where these contributions need to come from and 
consequently there are potentially options to source from other grants, public, 
private or third sector contributions. We are exploring all available options but 
at this current time it is unlikely that we will be able to use Welsh Government 
funding as match. With only a short window to find match before the projects 
start in autumn 2021, if both applications are successful, it is likely that match 
of circa £2.34 million may be required from PCC capital funding. 


(ii) Further guidance and clarity is awaited regarding the process for submitting a 
LUF bid for the joint local authority constituency of “South Pembrokeshire and 
West Carmarthenshire’. Accordingly, delegated authority will be required to 
enable a suite of complimentary projects to be submitted under the auspices 
of a ‘lead’ local authority. 


Proposed LUF Applications 


It is proposed that Pembrokeshire County Council submits the following LUF 
applications as set out below. As previously highlighted, match funding is suggested 
in the LUF guidance of 10%. 


The following sets out the total estimated capital funding required. These are current 
estimates which will be revised between now and the submission date of the bid and 
therefore the total amount applied for and consequentially the 10% match required 
for each scheme could change. 


Haverfordwest Town Transformation (Pembrokeshire Preseli) will include 
restoration of the curtain walls at Haverfordwest Castle, development of the Inner 
Bailey event space and refurbishment of the Gaol to shell and core stage. An arcade 
developed at ground level through 16 Bridge Street will create a link from the Castle 
Perimeter Walkway through to Bridge Street, supported by way marking 


enhancements. A Signature Bridge will replace the footbridge access from the rear 
of Western Quayside to the east bank. 


The total estimated cost is circa £19 million. 


Pembroke Town Transformation (Carmarthenshire West and South 
Pembrokeshire) will deliver a Community Hub for Pembroke as Phase 2 of 
developments at the South Quay. 


The total estimated cost is £4.3 million. 


Conclusions 


Each of the proposed capital schemes are funded to up to 90% of full costs. This 
core investment in local landmarks and facilities contributes significantly to the place 
making, economic development, regeneration and transformation of Pembrokeshire. 


New town centre facilities are fundamental to increasing footfall in Pembrokeshire 
towns and promoting community confidence, new growth and prosperity in a post- 
Covid environment. Both programmes are considered to be manageable, deliverable 
and will lever a high value for money return against any matched contribution by 
Pembrokeshire County Council/local partners/further grant sources. 


It is also recognised that, given the timing, delegation of the final sign-off of bids will 
need to be to the Director of Community Services in consultation with the Cabinet 
Member with Responsibility for Economic Development. 

Comments by Director of Resources 

The financial issues are outlined in the body of the report. There could be a match 
funding requirement of up to £2.34 million from the Council which would require a 
separate capital bid(s). Consideration would need to be given as to how this could 
be funded and the effect on the capital financing costs cap should prudential 
borrowing be required. The ongoing revenue implications of the proposed capital 
projects will need to be ascertained in order to ensure that they are affordable and 
can be built into the MTFP. 

Comments by Head of Legal and Democratic Services 

There are no legal issues arising from this report. 

Comments by Head of Human Resources 


There are no human resources issues arising from this report. 


Impact Assessment 


The content of this report has been considered against the five ways of working (long 
term, prevention, integration, collaboration, involvement) in the Well-being of Future 
Generations sustainable development principle. Bidding for LUF for the three 
schemes as described, brings opportunities for further investment in our town 
centres. This is supported by existing masterplans and the delivery of 
Pembrokeshire’s Recovery and Regeneration Strategy 2020-2030, bringing 
increased investment and wealth to the County as well and supporting our ambitions 
as a world class destination. 


The scheme proposals outlined in this report are likely to make a significant 
contribution to the Well-being goals in terms of providing accessibility and 
connectivity improvements that support town centre regeneration and development. 


All the schemes proposed will be designed and delivered in accordance with the 
Equality Act 2010 and all the current legislation and design guidance pertaining to 
these types of projects and improvements. This investment will also bring future 
opportunities to carry out improvements to key buildings so that they can better cater 
for the needs of people with mobility difficulties, or people needing to tend to young 
children. 


This investment is not likely to impact on the Council’s obligations under the Welsh 
Language Standard Regulations 2015, although if the Council purchases all or part 
of the building Welsh language signage will be required. 


RECOMMENDATIONS: 


1. That the applications for the Levelling Up Fund be submitted to UK government 
for consideration. 


2. Inthe event that UK government do not award first round Levelling Up Fund, that 
the Director of Communities has delegated power to revise the proposal/s for 
further submission in a Subsequent round, in consultation with the Cabinet 
Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture. 


3. That delegated approval be given to the Director of Communities, in consultation 
with the Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture to enable a 
suite of complimentary projects to be submitted under the auspices of a ‘lead’ 
local authority in the case of the South Pembrokeshire and West 
Carmarthenshire constituency. 


REASON FOR RECOMMENDATIONS: 


To support revitalisation of Haverfordwest Town Centre and Pembroke Town Centre 
to increase footfall and promote community confidence, new growth and prosperity in 
a post-Covid environment. 


Background Documents: 


Levelling Up Fund Prospectus