Loan could help fund Tenbury improvements

TENBURY Town Council is considering taking out a public loan in order to finance a programme of improvements to the town.

A group of town councillors has been considering the option that is expected to be controversial.

Decisions will be made in the autumn when the council has all of the financial information that it needs.

Mark Willis, the mayor of Tenbury, told the most recent town council meeting that the group of councillors is considering the best way to improve facilities. These could include a new pavilion, the possible building of sports changing rooms and the resurfacing of the stake park.

Tenbury Town Council is currently going through the process of obtaining quotations for the projects and only then will it be in a position to decide how the work could be funded.

One of the projects being considered is the children’s play area with the idea to provide new play equipment, landscaping, a path and grassed area.

The scheme for the pavilion that is being looked at would involve a timber framed building with cladding that would also need to be fitted out inside.

Changing rooms are also being considered adjacent to the swimming pool and leisure centre. However, because it has been decided that youths and adults cannot share two buildings would be needed.

The most likely solution if the project goes ahead would be two separate buildings with two changing rooms – one for home and the other for away teams – as well as an area for referees and match officials to use.

A solution would be modular style structures that could effectively be dropped into an area close to the swimming pool and leisure centre.

However, the issue that would need to be resolved is how to fund the projects.

It has been revealed that Tenbury Town Council has a pot of £36,000 of which £19,000 has to be spent on building schemes.

“We have a substantial pot that could get the ball rolling,“ said Mark Willis.

“There is also the possibility of putting in a bid for funding that would involve an element of matched funding.”

If the new projects go ahead then the council believes that it may be able to use some of the funds that have been set aside for maintenance of the existing and ageing facilities.

But the cost of the improvements would be too high to pay for out of existing funds or directly out of an increase in the levy made through the council tax.

Tenbury Town Council has already faced criticism for inflation busting increases in the Council Tax precept.

If the work goes ahead then the most likely option would be to take out a loan over 15 years. The council believes that this might be justified as it would provide much improved facilities in Tenbury and would offset maintenance and repair costs.

When all the tenders are in and more information is available about any grants that might be available the town council hopes it will be in a position to make a decision that could involve a proposal going to full council in September.

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