POWYS County Council (PCC) could be looking at the “disposal” of an iconic Llandrindod Wells building, as it faces up to “additional pressure” on its finances.

In the draft budget that is set to be voted on by PCC’s cabinet next Tuesday (January 16), the local authority has published its medium-term financial strategy for 2024-2029.

The budget position in the current financial year is being managed, with PCC revealing it is committed to reducing the amount it spends on running The Gwalia by £30,000 in 2024/25 and by £100,000 in 2025/26.

Almost a year ago, in February 2023, PCC announced it was seeking a partner that was “interested in giving the building a new focus and long-term future”.

The local authority says “all options” are currently being explored, which includes disposing of the Ithon Road facility – which was formerly a spa town hotel.


In a report drafted for next week’s cabinet meeting, county councillor David Thomas, the portfolio holder for finance and corporate transformation, said: “The council is again developing its financial plans in an extremely challenging economic context and while the budget position in the current financial year is being managed, inflation and increased demand for our services continues to create additional pressure on our finances for next and future years.

“This, coupled with the outlook for public finances nationally, the situation across local government is described by the Welsh Local Government Association as ‘extremely bleak and the options for many local services will be unpalatable’.”

In a brief description of how the council plans to reduce costs in an accompanying document, the future of The Gwalia is headed ‘Dispose of the Gwalia office’.

PCC’s proposals for 2024/25 include reducing its backing for the building by £30,000 – as part of overall plans to reduce £10.6 million in costs.

A PCC spokesperson said: “The council’s strategic property team are currently exploring all options including the potential re-use and/or disposal of The Gwalia building.”

Last February it was announced that some back-office council services had already been relocated from the Grade II-listed building to other sites.

The Gwalia is currently used for council services including a public library and registration services, with meeting rooms and offices over four floors. The council has not yet said what the impact of the plans would be on these council services.

The council then said its plans were part of its county-wide review of assets to ensure buildings are fit-for-purpose for both public and office functions, and to support the council’s new models of service delivery.

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New service delivery practices have already resulted in accommodation changes in Welshpool, Newtown and Llandrindod, which and has seen the council and Welsh Government utilise the same office buildings.

“We want to work with partners and other organisations to deliver an exciting new future for this building which has a significant heritage having also been a hotel in the past,” cabinet member for a Connected Powys, Councillor Jake Berriman, had said.

“The council wants to help bring a new life to The Gwalia and will work with interested parties who can develop a scheme to provide a sustainable future for the building.”

If you would like to contact PCC to discuss this building, contact the strategic property team for an initial discussion, either via email at property.sales@powys.gov.uk or by phone on 01597 826773.