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Merthyr Tydfil Politics South Wales

Council owned shopping centre in Merthyr Tydfil faced £135k deficit

St Tydfil's Shopping Centre In Merthyr Tydfil (Pic: Google Maps)

A COUNCIL owned shopping centre in Merthyr Tydfil is predicted to have a £135,000 deficit for the last financial year due to lower than expected rental income and higher than expected repair costs.

A council report said that rental income for St Tydfil Shopping Centre is lower than anticipated due to vacant properties and possible write off rental debt (worth £68,000).

The report also said that there has been higher than anticipated costs for repairs in both the commercial and residential properties, projected to be £69,000 over budget in relation to residential properties, and £5,000 in relation to commercial properties.

The council bought that shopping centre back in December 2021 with the aim of it playing a major role in the council’s 15-year town centre masterplan.

Built in 1970, the semi-covered pedestrian shopping centre was refurbished in 1993 and it includes an indoor market.

In early 2023, the council announced plans for a “21st Century transformation” of the shopping centre which the council has labelled as ST2.

Among the ideas being considered as the council went out to consult with the public were for a a mix of shops, workplaces and places to live, improved market facilities including additional street trading and pop-up opportunitie, more attractive and usable public open spaces mmore high quality food and drink venues and more independent and start-up businesses.

The revenue budget monitoring report which went before cabinet on Wednesday, May 15 also said that as at February 29, a total net revenue surplus of £889,000 is projected for the council for 2023/2024. The equivalent figure at month nine was a surplus of £108,000.

It is mainly due to a projected underspend in social services of £1,595,000, which is a change since month nine when the projection was £957,000.

The education department is projected to overspend by £1,001,000, and the economy and public protection department is projected to overspend by £37,000.

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A surplus of £61,000 is projected for the old bus station and a deficit of £141,000 is projected against office accommodation.

The neighbourhood services department is projected to underspend by £80,000 and the governance and resources department is projected to overspend by £119,000.

Corporate costs are projected to be underspent by £474,000.

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