Published on 22nd March 2022

alternative view of municipal offices

To achieve the best for Cheltenham’s residents and businesses, and to maximise the benefit of its assets and resources, the council has revised its strategies for capital, growth and service investments, and treasury management activity.

Plans were approved at full council on 21 March 2022, following the unanimous approval of the new Asset Management Strategy at the previous meeting on 21 February.

Together these strategies bring together the details of the capital and investment programme for 2022/23 and the funding options for the programme, including how these have been appraised to ensure the best outcomes for our town. This includes indirect benefits such as increase in jobs, skills, inclusive growth, increase in tax revenues, place shaping outcomes, climate change deliverables, accelerating delivery of the Cheltenham Plan and the Joint Core Strategy.

Cllr Pete Jeffries, cabinet member for finance and assets, said: “I’m pleased that the council has approved ambitious and innovative strategies which focus on investing and managing our assets and resources to drive economic recovery and growth in the town post-pandemic.

“These strategies put continued investment in local services, tackling climate change, and support communities and residents at the heart of our financial decisions - whilst continuing our commitment to becoming the Cyber Capital of the UK.”

A clear commitment has also been made to long term divestment from oil and gas to balance the council’s climate priorities with ensuring it makes the right financial decisions to safeguard the delivery of services to residents, businesses and communities.

These strategies outline the following proposals for 2022/23 and how they will be funded by the council:

Delivering housing – The council’s joint commitment with Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) to deliver the affordable homes which the market fails to provide, to prioritise those people on our Housing Register. Funding of £100m has been made available to fund mixed tenure housing in the private rented sector and £80m of investment from the Housing Revenue Account to fund affordable housing. The council will also continue to work with the private sector to utilise redundant assets and vacant land to bring them into a useful economic purpose to facilitate regeneration and employment creation.
The 2022/23 capital programme commits a further £4.5m a year for three years to 2024/25 to increase the supply of housing in the town.

Supporting climate ambitions - To demonstrate the council’s commitment to this vision and lead the response to the climate challenge in Cheltenham, £350k of capital funding was committed to the carbon neutrality programme in 2021/22 and carried forward to 2022/23. Additionally, in 2022/23, £75k has been committed to invest in an off-street electric vehicle charging point pilot in council’s car parks. The objective is to identify providers and infrastructure requirements to increase provision across the town.

Cyber investment - The council has committed £5.3m of funding in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 capital programme for the project. This also allows the redevelopment of the Minister Gardens and the launch of the MX in 2022 as the first step to support cyber innovation as Cheltenham works towards its ambition to be the Cyber Capital of the UK.

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