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Library conversion to cost an extra £90k

Created on 28/09/2020 @ 12:04
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

It will cost an extra £90,000 to convert Welshpool’s much-loved library into offices for Powys County Councl, it has been revealed.

This Thursday, portfolio holder for Education and Property, Cllr Phyl Davies is expected to agree to the increase and allow the money to be moved between PCC accounts.

The process is called a “virement,” and will see the cash moved from other property and maintenance budgets to the library conversion.

The library issue has caused uproar in the town with thousands of people signing a petition and hundreds taking part in a protest march through the town.

But public opinion fell on deaf ears as Powys moved ahead to downsize the library and squeeze it into a new shared facility with Powysland Museum called Y Lanfa/The Wharf.

In the report, project manager, Gareth Richards, said: “This virement is required to complete the former Welshpool Library conversion to a new front facing office building replacing Neuadd Maldwyn as the front facing office for Welshpool.

“The project is key to providing agile office space for the north of Powys.

“An initial budget of £175,000 has been found to be substantially inadequate for the project.

“A total budget of £265,000 is required to complete and furnish the new office.”

To fund the project in Welshpool, £50,000 is to be taken away from the refurbishment of the Park office in Newtown.

The report adds that the Park office refurbishment has now been “downgraded”.

The other £40,000 comes from savings found in other projects including £9,960 from the County Hall Lift at the PCC headquarters in Llandrindod Wells, and £12,600 from the Neuadd Brycheiniog guttering schemes.

Converting the library into an office was part of a move to allow Neuadd Maldwyn to be refurbished as an extra care facility.

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