Getting hold of extra cash to fund a massive overhaul of the Mid Wales economy could be made more difficult because of the coronavirus crisis, a meeting has heard.

The Growing Mid Wales Board met on Thursday, July 23 to look at the next steps in securing funding for the £165 million, multi-faceted scheme.

Legal frameworks should be completed by November, with the full agreement set to follow by the end of March, before the Welsh Senedd elections.

But questions arose at the meeting over the remaining £55 million, which is intended to come from private investment.

The board which is made up of Ceredigion and Powys County Council (PCC) cabinet members, discussed the next steps in securing the funding for the deal.

Ceredigion Council leader, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, said: “We have to look at where that third funding strand will come in.

“Everything is tight due to Covid-19 and it’s unclear whether there will be money available to invest from the private sector in the short term at least.”

Ceredigion Council’s growth and major development service manager, Carwyn Jones- Evans, said: “We need to make it clear that the document that we expect something from the private sector, this isn’t going to be free funding.”

He added that now is not the time to stipulate what that amount should be, and that projects would need to be for the “wider benefit of the region” and not for a business or individual.

Powys Council leader Councillor Rosemarie Harris, who chaired the meeting, said: “Although we have this promise of £110 million I don’t think we should stop there, we should keep pushing for more.

“There are still European funding pots around. There’s a huge amount left in the rural development pot and I just wonder if it’s worth making those enquiries.”

Cllr ap Gwynn told the board that she understood that the Welsh Government is putting together a programme of work to help the kick start the economy.

That could affect match funding bids as the Welsh Government could put all different funding streams into one pot.

“Things are changing and we need to be fleet of foot to grab funding packages,” said Cllr ap Gwynn.

Paul Griffiths of Powys Council said: “We need to make sure the business community see we are making progress.

“Inevitably there is a level of bureaucracy we have to pass to accept significant public funding.”

The report was noted and approved by the board members.

The growth deal, which will be shared between Powys and Ceredigion councils, is intended to drive future economic growth through investment in skills, innovation, connectivity and more productive jobs supporting prosperous and bilingual communities in Mid Wales.