Council invests further £43m in Plymouth

The City Council is investing a further £43 million in creating jobs, supporting new homes, better schools and making Plymouth a better place to live.

The additional funding is outlined in a report on the Council’s outturn position for the last financial year to be considered by the Cabinet on 9 June.

It shows that last year the Council delivered a total of £52.8m investment in major projects and has committed a further £43.8m over the last few months.

The report also reveals that the Council’s revenue budget for delivering hundreds of local services last year came in at year end a fraction of a per cent from its target – despite huge challenges caused by reduced funding and rising demand.

The Council spent a total of £204.8m on day to day services last year – just 0.05 per cent over its target budget.

The report says this achievement was due in part to the Council being able to collect £1.5m more Council Tax and Business Rates than it originally anticipated despite the difficult economic climate.

Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “It is a major achievement to have delivered an outturn on a budget of this size that is just 0.05 per cent off our target. It involved a massive amount of hard work throughout the year to address very significant challenges resulting from rising costs and increasing demand, not least in areas such as providing care and support for vulnerable elderly residents.  At key points throughout the year we were projecting very large overspends but we managed to turn the situation around and deliver a very sound budget outturn.

“We have also worked hard to secure a huge amount of further investment into major schemes that will deliver jobs, homes and better transport for Plymouth despite the very challenging economic environment and the reducing income streams.

“We are focusing this investment on addressing the key areas that matter most to Plymouth residents and that grow the city economy. These projects will create hundreds of jobs, support the delivery of hundreds of new homes for Plymouth families and make Plymouth an even better city to live in.”

The schemes receiving the additional investment include:

Roads and transport 

  • £304,000 for the development costs for the proposed £33m new Forder Valley Link Road that will connect Brest Road in Derriford with Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road
  • £485,000 for clean vehicle technology upgrades for buses
  • £500,000 for further upgrading of street lighting columns and traffic signals
  • £400,000 for community improvement schemes and 20 mph zones.
  • £3.3m on new on and off road cycling facilities and pedestrian measures on key routes in and out of the Derriford growth area.  The programme is part of a ‘master plan’ of highway improvements that will help unlock development and deliver more than 9,000 new jobs and 3,000 new homes in the north of the city.
  • £2.2m on the Derriford Hospital interchange scheme which will see a new two way bus link through Derriford Hospital, including the installation of real time passenger information.
  • £10m for the Derriford Transport Scheme, involving two major upgrades to junctions at Derriford Roundabout at Tavistock Road / William Prance Road. It will provide additional traffic lanes, new bus lanes and improved traffic signals, as well as improvements to the William Prance Road junction. The scheme will create more road capacity for the extra traffic generated by proposed developments in the area and improve facilities for public transport, walking and cycling along this key route.
  • £3.8m on highway repairs such as resurfacing, patching and micro asphalt treatments. A major resurfacing programme that will repair some of Plymouth’s key arterial routes is now starting.
  • £850,000 for pavement repairs.

Supporting jobs

  • £1.5m towards the £5.6m South Yard Area East direct development. More than 1,200 jobs will be created as part of the Council’s ambitions for Devonport’s South Yard under the City Deal. The 23-acre site is to be transformed into marine industries production campus.
  • £1.2m for the development of a HQ for the new Four Greens Community Trust in the former Whitleigh care home. The building will house 22 business units, five business incubator units and three community spaces. Around 60 new jobs, 22 business units, five new business hubs and three community spaces are now under starter’s orders.
  • £2.2m contribution to the redevelopment of Devonport Market Hall into a high tech facility for the development of digital gaming.
  • £1.4 million for the renovation of Taylor Maxwell House into a new central library.
  • £245,000 for further improvements to Plymouth City Market.

Making Plymouth a better city to live in

  • £290,000 in habitat improvements including weed clearance and hedge restoration at Derriford Community Park. Duchy College and the City Council plan to create a ‘Derriford Environmental Education Hub’ in the 140-hectare community park planned for the north of the city.
  • £370,000 for improvements to Staddiscombe sports fields.
  • £242,000 on cycle improvements at Marsh Mills.
  • A range of projects the improve our environment by creating better green spaces, reducing pollution.

Improving our schools

  • £1.2 million on the expansion of Pomphlett Primary School to provide a new building for the reception classes, a combined year one and two class base with toilets, refurbished changing rooms and circulation area following an increase in numbers from the new housing development at Saltram Meadow.
  • £2.1 million on work at Pennycross Primary School to create much-needed space for growing pupil numbers at the school, following an increase in birth rates and new housing developments in the area. The work will provide a new two-storey extension with eight new classrooms and a new hard play area.