West Lothian approves £50m capital programme and £123m housing spend
West Lothian Council is to spend nearly £50 million in local services this year through its capital programme - taking the total amount of capital investment since 2013 to over £257m.
Unanimously approved by councillors this week, the council’s capital programme provides funding for projects and improvement programmes for school buildings and other council properties, open spaces upgrades, IT assets, road improvements and investment for town centres.
As part of the £50m investment, £2.5m will be spent on improving the school estate and a further £6m will be spent on general school projects including work on the new £32m West Calder High School and extensions to Torphichen Primary, St Mary’s Primary, Bathgate, new nursery accommodation at Mid Calder Primary, and £600,000 to extend Boghall Primary nursery.
An additional £4.1m will be spent on improving West Lothian’s roads with over £3m being spent on flood prevention and drainage works - £1.2m will be invested in the Broxburn Flood Prevention Scheme. Over £550,000 is being invested in West Lothian’s cycling, walking and safer streets projects with £270,000 being spent on road casualty reduction schemes.
A total of £2.3m will be spent on improvements to West Lothian’s bridges and £1.5m will be invested in improvements to West Lothian’s town centres and villages.
Over £3m will be spent next year in improving West Lothian’s open spaces, sports facilities and children’s play areas including Drumshoreland Park, Craigspark and Marrfield Park.
A significant £6.3m investment is being made in improving the council’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, including £1.3m in school ICT infrastructure, improving connectivity within schools and upgrading ICT hardware.
Over £12m is being invested in community buildings and council depots, including ongoing delivery and development of Partnership Centres throughout the area (Linlithgow, East Calder, Whitburn, Armadale and Blackburn) and completion of a new service centre at Whitehill, Bathgate which will include a new fleet maintenance garage, waste transfer facility and salt store.
In addition to the infrastructure funding, the council has announced plans to spend over £123m next year on housing.
The investment includes the council’s largest ever investment of £77m on the council’s housing capital programme, which is currently building 1,000 new council homes spread across all nine council wards including 117 new homes at Deans South.
Planned improvements in existing council housing will total over £6.7m whilst investment in major refurbishment and repairs will total over £5.3m, including a £1.2m investment at Mayfield in Armadale. There will also be major works at Bathville Flats, Armadale and at Harrison House, which forms part of the Loch Scheme in Whitburn.
Planned programmes also include investment in energy efficiency measures and replacement of central heating systems to help reduce fuel poverty. These works are in addition to planned maintenance programmes, as well as kitchen and bathroom replacements and window refurbishments.
A total of £100,000 will be spent to enable a pilot District Heating project in Westfield for a Heat Exchange Pump system.
Consideration will also be given to providing additional homeless accommodation in the Livingston and wider West Lothian areas.
Council leader John McGinty said every citizen in West Lothian will benefit from the capital programme.
He added: “The council has invested over £207m in capital investment over the past four years and this additional £50m for 2017/18 will ensure that our ambitious and exciting capital investment programme will result in more improvements to important local services.
“Our programme is firmly based upon the needs and priorities of our communities. We are investing in West Lothian and the outcomes will continue to shape our communities for generations to come.”