The funding will be spent before the end of March on a number of schemes in health, education, transport, housing, tourism and flood defences.
It further shows the resilient response of the Assembly Government to the worst funding settlement from the UK Government since the advent of devolution.
Minister Jane Hutt said:
“Despite the 40% cut in capital funding imposed by the UK Government’s Spending Review, careful and prudent budgeting by the Assembly Government in this financial year has freed £47million for capital projects. Many of these projects will provide much-needed support to the construction industry as Wales continues its fragile economic recovery.
“These important projects are only possible because of the release of our central reserves and the use of departmental underspends in our capital budgets for 2010/11.
“We reached difficult decisions on where to spend these resources which were based on two objectives: to help support jobs in these difficult economic times; and to help ensure that the vulnerable in our society are protected.
“These changes demonstrate that we are committed to making the most of the resources that we have available to us, and that we continue to take forward the principles contained in One Wales.”
Ms Hutt made the announcement on a visit to University of Wales Hospital Cardiff with Health and Social Services Minister Edwina Hart. They saw an MRI scanner, an example of previous capital funding provided by the Assembly Government. The 40% cut in capital funding imposed by the UK Government’s Spending Review – a reduction of £667million by 2014/15 – will have a big impact on spending on equipment like the MRI scanner.
Visiting UHW Minister Edwina Hart said:
“I am delighted that this capital funding will continue to provide funding for health and social services which the Assembly Government has given continued priority to in our Draft Budget.
“The NHS and the Assembly Government both have to work more efficiently and by doing so we are able to further protect frontline services and ensure that the most vulnerable people in society continue to have access to the services they need, when they need them.”
The capital schemes are:
- £16million for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning - This allocation will ensure that our commitment to improving schools and Further Education facilities is continued. This is an investment that not only protects the employment in construction, but also invests in the future of our young people.
- £13million for Health and Social Services - this investment will provide firms with work in adapting facilities for the planned equipment purchase and will also ensure that the best modern equipment is still available to those in need of treatment.
- £8.3million for Economy and Transport - £3.5milion to improve rolling stock of trains on the North/South rail link. £4.8 million is proposed for improvements to the road network. Both investments will make an important contribution to protecting jobs through both the initial investment and the improvement of our transport infrastructure.
- £7.7million for Environment, Sustainability and Housing - £3million for the Welsh Housing Investment Trust; £800,000 for flood protection; £2.9million for energy efficiency; and £1m for the Extra Care programme. These projects will not only help some of the most vulnerable in our society but also help to protect our environment and provide valuable employment.
- £2 million for Heritage - £1million for improvement works at St Fagans and £1million to support other tourism projects. These investments will provide an immediate fiscal stimulus and will also protect employment in the tourism sector of the Welsh economy.