REDEVELOPING Welshpool’s Neuadd Maldwyn into flats for older people needs to be done quickly in case grants of nearly £6.7 million earmarked for the project, are lost.

At Powys County Council’s (PCC) Health and Care scrutiny committee on Monday, October 19, councillors looked at a report for transferring the former headquarters of Montgomeryshire Council over to Clwyd Alyn housing association.

Plans to turn the Grade II listed building into 66 one and two-bedroom apartments were submitted by Clwyd Alyn earlier this year.

Two other planning applications for listed building consent and conservation area consent have also been submitted.

Committee Chairman Cllr Gwilym Williams (Disserth and Trecoed – Conservative) wondered what would happen if Clwyd Alyn went bust, and whether it would mean the building being returned to Powys Council.

Head of Social Services Commissioning Dylan Owen, assured Cllr Williams that there would be caveats in the contract for a “number of decades” which would see Neuadd Maldwyn return to PCC ownership should the company fail.

Mr Owen, explained that the principle of transferring Neuadd Maldwyn had already been agree by cabinet, and this latest report needed to be agreed when the project was deemed to be “viable and practical.”

Mr Owen said: “There is some urgency for us to move this forward, we have money from the Welsh Government that needs to be spent this financial year.

“Hopefully we will have a planning decision and when we have that we will be taking this quickly to cabinet to get it signed off as soon as possible, that’s the purpose of this report."

Adult Social Services portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Banw – Independent) said: “This is a great scheme, it’s an iconic building but it’s totally unsuitable for the council’s requirements as office space anymore.

“The task for us was to find a new purpose for that building.

“The notion for older people that you can have accommodation where your needs are met gradually as they increase but it’s your home is very popular.

Cllr Alexander added that other options for Neuadd Maldwyn had been explored, including a hotel.

Cllr Alexander said: “The property team explored several alternatives and there was no interest.

“It’s good value for us as a council, it deals with a number of problems all in one go for what would have been a white elephant and albatross for us.”

The redevelopment is set to cost in the region of £11.6 million.

Estimated to be worth around £660,000, Clwyd Alyn will receive the building for free as PCC’s contribution to the project.

According to the report, the costs of the scheme will be covered by grants of over £6.7 million in from the Welsh Government.

This would be:

  • £4,158, 040 from a Social Housing Grant,
  • £2,562,750 from the Integrated Care Fund

The remaining £4,866, 779 will come from Clwyd Alyn itself.

It is expected that the planning applications will be dealt with in November.