Town regeneration project cash blow

A MAJOR regeneration project in an Essex town needed extra funding of more than £300,000 after a council failed to finish the work in time.

James Hore

A MAJOR regeneration project in an Essex town needed extra funding of more than £300,000 after a council failed to finish the work in time.

Colchester Borough Council has been upgrading the seawalls and repaving King Edward Quay in the Hythe part of the town in a bid to improve the area and encourage more investment and development.

The council was given more than £2million from the Government towards the cost and was told that all work had to be completed between April 1 last year and the end of this March.


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But it has now emerged that the council was unable to complete the job in time and had to find £327,000 to pay to finish the paving project.

It has now chosen to use Section 106 regeneration funding - money set aside by developers as part of planning agreements to be spent on community projects - for the remaining work.

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A council report blamed the Department of Communities in Local Government for the problem because it did not announce Colchester had won the funding until the end of June last year.

The troubles coincided with increasing demand in the world steel market which meant there was a five-month delay acquiring the crucial steels piles needed for the sea walls.

Although the sea walls were eventually finished by the end of March, there was not enough time to complete the paving section of the project.

The failure also meant there was not enough money remaining to install “street furniture” such as bins, benches, lighting and cycle racks which have already been purchased.

The borough council has been warned by Essex County Council that the road will have to be restored unless the problem is sorted out by September.

A Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “Communities and Local Government provided £2m in growth funding for this vital project in Colchester, which has now been successfully completed.

“We have to consider all bids fully to ensure value for money.”

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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