Capital strategy

Appendix: the Newcastle capital investment programme

Our capital expenditure requirements can be split over a number of different headings:

  • improving housing in the borough
  • investing in community facilities
  • community centres
  • safeguarding the borough's heritage
  • investing for the future
  • vehicles and plant

Improving housing in the borough

We have statutory duties relating to housing provision and management. We have historically allocated significant sums in our capital programme to undertake a range of activities to support these objectives. Over the next five years we wish to deliver a range of programmes to continue to deliver affordable housing for people in the borough, to ensure that private rented stock is maintained in a good condition and that support is provided to the most vulnerable households in the community. This will continue to require support through capital investment to enable the Council to allocate resources to the following areas.

  • Disabled facilities grants - expenditure in excess of grant from government: £300k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£1,200,00)
  • Warm zone affordable warmth: £30k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£120,000)
  • Emergency repair assistance: £50k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£200,000)
  • Empty homes: £20k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£80,000)
  • Home improvement agency: £20k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£80,000)
  • Landlord accreditation: £5k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£20,000)
  • Total: £1,700,00

Investing in community facilities

We manage a large number of parks and open spaces. These facilities are valued greatly by the community and are significant resources for formal and informal recreation. Continuing to invest in the parks and open spaces and the facilities within them makes a considerable demand upon our capital programme. Our officers have formulated a programme of works, should resources be available, relating to each of the major parks and open spaces which will maintain a good standard of recreational amenity of these facilities.

  • Footpath repairs: £75k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£300,000)
  • Play area refurbishment: £75k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£300,000)
  • Railing-structures repairs: £50k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£200,000)
  • Queen Elizabeth Park-Castle Motte: 2015-16 (£100,000)
  • Tree preservation order: £50k 2015-16, £25k p.a thereafter (£125,000)
  • The Wammy Neighbourhood Park: 2015-16 (£25,000)
  • Chesterton Park: 2015-16 (£50,000)
  • Pool Dam LNR: 2015-16 (£25,000)
  • Lyme Brook Greenway: 2015-16 (£300,000)
  • Kingsbridge Avenue: 2015-16 (£50,000)
  • Bradwell Lodge: 2015-16 (£50,000)
  • Bradwell Woods: 2015-16 (£25,000)
  • Thistleberry Parkway: 2015-16 (£10,000)
  • Bateswood LNR: 2015-16 (£10,000)
  • Westomley Wood: 2015-16 (£50,000)
  • Westlands Sports Ground: 2015-16 - 2016-17 (£100,000)
  • Silverdale Park: 2015-16 (£50,000)
  • Bathpool Park: 2015-16 (£25,000)
  • Wye Road District Park: 2016-17 (£500,000)
  • Clough Hall Park: 2015-16 (£50,000)
  • Memorial survey: £10k each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£40,000)
  • Alexandra Road changing rooms, Wolstanton: 2015-16 (£22,000)
  • Silverdale park pavilion: 2016-17 (£17,000)
  • Ski slope car park and path replacements: 2015-16 (£14,000)
  • Birchenwood sports complex - pavilion shower replacement and tiling: 2016-17 (£21,000)
  • Queen Elizabeth Park - door and frame replacements: 2016-17 (£12,000)
  • Westlands sports ground - treatment of bowls pavilion: 2015-16 (£3,000)
  • Clough Hall Park - pavilion roof repairs, repointing and path repairs: 2017-18 to 2018-19 (£23,000)
  • Chesterton Park pavilion - minor refurbishment: 2018-19 (£14,000)
  • Bradwell Park - toilets repairs and minor refurbishment to pavilion: 2018-19 (£12,000)
  • Westlands sports ground - footpath and external works: 2017-18 (£5,000)
  • Roe Lane pavilion - shower refurbishment: 2018-19 (£5,000)
  • Wolstanton Marsh pavilion and changing rooms: 2017-18 (£21,000)
  • Total: £2,554,000

Community centres

Our recently completed review of community centres has confirmed the significant financial liabilities which exist for these facilities. Our stock condition survey identified that these facilities collectively require investment in maintenance and repair works totalling in the region of £870,000 over the next five years. Whilst the condition of individual facilities varies, nonetheless this is a significant maintenance liability.

The review itself has suggested that it is desirable for management committees to take greater responsibility for the running and operation of community centres, recommending management committees take on full repairing leases. However, in practical terms where facilities have a significant maintenance backlog it is understandable that management committees will be cautious about taking on such liabilities. However, if capital investment could be made in these facilities to bring these up to a good condition, then the option to encourage management committees to take full repairing leases could more realistically be pursued.

  • Crackley: major alterations to roof & parapet walls 2015-16 and 2017-18 (£67,000)
  • Chesterton: 2015-16 (£168,000)
  • Wye Road Clayton: window replacement and major roof replacement 2016-17 (£35,000)
  • Clayton: re-roofing 2016-17 (£43,000)
  • Knutton: roof and windows 2015-16 and 2017-18 (£98,000)
  • Poolfields: car park fencing and internal decorations 2016-17 (£26,000)
  • Silverdale social: 2016-17 (£153,000)
  • Silverdale: 2017-18 - 2018-19 (£132,000)
  • Butt Lane: brickwork and roof repairs/repointing 2016-17 - 2017-18 (£31,000)
  • Audley: kitchen and toilet refurbishments 2016-17 and 2018-19 (£20,000)
  • Westlands: 2016-17 (£14,000)
  • Marsh Hall: 2016-17: 2017-18 (£15,000)
  • Apedale Road, Wood Lane: 2016-17 - 2017-18 (£17,000)
  • Ramsey Road community centre - internal and external redecoration, boiler replacement and electrical refurbishment 2016-17 - 2017-18 (£30,000)
  • Bradwell Lodge: window replacement and electrical refurbishment 2018-19 (£100,000)
  • Total: £949,000

Safeguarding the borough's heritage

We are responsible for a number of key heritage features. Whilst these provide a significant community resource and enrich the area’s cultural heritage, by definition these facilities are costly to maintain. It is considered that a prudent level of capital funding spent on these facilities over the coming four years could safeguard these facilities for the future. Further, such capital funding could help reduce the level of revenue budget demand which these facilities make.

  • Museum: 2016-17 (£83,000)
  • Audley churchyard: boundary wall 2016-17 (£40,000)
  • St Giles churchyard: 2015-16 (£15,000)
  • Mucklestone churchyard: 2015-16 (£15,000)
  • Brampton aviary: 2016-17 (£15,000)
  • Newcastle cemetery: retaining wall 2016-17 - 2017-18 (£60,000)
  • Newcastle cemetery: path and ground works 2016-17 - 2017-18 (£15,000)
  • Newcastle cemetery chapel: stonework repairs 2016-17 (£75,000)
  • Loomer Road cemetery: 2016-17 (£12,000)
  • Knutton cemetery: 2016-17 (£12,000)
  • Guildhall: re-roofing 2016-17 (£120,000)
  • Guildhall: repairs to brickwork 2016-17 (£50,000)
  • Guildhall: damp treatment 2015-16 (£30,000)
  • Victoria Hall/Kidsgrove Town Hall: window replacement and electrical refurbishment 2015-16 - 2018-19 (£185,000)
  • Chesterton cemetery: 2018-19 (£4,000)
  • Closed churchyards (All Saints Madeley, Attwood Street Cemetery, Holy Trinity Chesterton, St Andrews Porthill, St Georges Brampton, St Lukes Silverdale, Loomer Road Cemetery, St Thomas Mow Cop): 2016-17 and 2018-19 (£75,000)
  • Public railings: painting 2015-16 - 2018-19 (£250,000)
  • Total: £1,056,000

Investing for the future

We own a significant number of buildings. Many of these are let out commercially. A significant part of our commercial property estate is managed to support economic regeneration objectives. We also deliver a significant number of our services through buildings. These, like all properties, need continuous investment to ensure that they remain fit for purpose. A number of our primary properties are now reaching a stage in their operational life where they need significant capital investment. Our property stock condition survey indicates the level of investment required in these buildings. A comprehensive review has been undertaken to assess the options for these premises. In some cases there will be a business case to make capital investment in these buildings in order to give them a longer operational life, for others the analysis will indicate that a particular building should be disposed of as it is no longer economic for it to be retained. As part of this strategy there may be a business case for us to acquire some additional properties or to build or rebuild certain facilities. Additionally there may be cases where investment in energy efficiency measures in some buildings would be advisable to not only reduce carbon emissions but help to keep energy costs down (see the carbon management plan).

  • Commercial portfolio: 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£3,476,000)
  • Civic Offices - window replacement: 2016-17 (£270,000)
  • Civic Offices - refurbishment: 2017-18 to 2018-19 (£662,000)
  • Knutton Depot - reroofing, window replacement baling shed-garage, refencing compound: 2015-16 to 2017-18 (£400,000)
  • Jubilee Baths/Knutton Recreation Centre site clearance: 2015-16 to 2016-17 (Knutton) 2018-19 (Jubilee) (£286,000)
  • Engineering structures: 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£2,100,000)
  • Carbon management plan: £100,000 each year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£400,000)
  • Other: 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£931,000)
  • Total £8,525,000

Vehicles and plant

There will be a need for some items of capital investment to be made in order to ensure continued service delivery. Current indications are that the following investment will be required.

  • Streetscene vehicles: 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£1,436,000)
  • Waste vehicles: 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£2,166,000)
  • Other vehicles and plant: 2015-16 to 2018-19 (£73,000)
  • Waste bins: 2015-16 to 2018-19, £100,000 per annum (£400,000)
  • Total: £4,075,000

Funding

Councils fund capital expenditure in a number of ways. As significant owners and users of land and buildings, councils carry out regular reviews of their assets and make decisions about which are surplus to their needs. The Audit Commission has produced a number of studies on councils' stewardship of assets and recommends that councils keep their assets under review. In Newcastle, a comprehensive asset management system is operated and through the annual Asset Management Strategy, land and property is identified for disposal. The majority of councils fund their capital development requirements through the disposal of assets. Where there is a shortfall of available assets to dispose of, councils will use borrowing as the alternative mechanism for funding capital development. Councils may also use grant funding from a range of sources to supplement their own capital funding for particular schemes. Receipt of funding from section 106 agreements and other schemes such as the 'new homes bonus' may also provide sources of funding for capital expenditure. Our most recent asset management strategy has identified a schedule of surplus land assets which can be disposed of over the medium term and which can be used to fund the capital requirements set out above.

Timescales

The capital funding requirements set out above indicate the following capital requirements over the next four years:

Improving housing in the borough

  • 2015-16: £425,000
  • 2016-17: £425,000
  • 2017-18: £425,000
  • 2018-19: £425,000
  • Total: £1,700,000

Investing in community facilities

  • 2015-16: £1,168,000
  • 2016-17: £835,000
  • 2017-18: £276,000
  • 2018-19: £275,000
  • Total: £2,554,000

Community centres

  • 2015-16: £314,000
  • 2016-17: £326,000
  • 2017-18: £101,000
  • 2018-19: £208,000
  • Total: £949,000

Safeguarding the borough's heritage

  • 2015-16: £180,000
  • 2016-17: £578,000
  • 2017-18: £98,000
  • 2018-19: £200,000
  • Total: £1,056,000

Investing for the future

  • 2015-16: £1,594,000
  • 2016-17: £1,763,000
  • 2017-18: £2,342,000
  • 2018-19: £2,826,000
  • Total: £8,525,000

Vehicles and plant

  • 2015-16: £948,000
  • 2016-17: £2,302,000
  • 2017-18: £419,000
  • 2018-19: £406,000
  • Total: £4,075,000

Totals

  • 2015-16: £4,629,000
  • 2016-17: £6,229,000
  • 2017-18: £3,661,000
  • 2018-19: £4,340,000
  • Grand total: £18,859,000