New fund for local improvements

By on 21/12/2011 in News, Video News


Work to enhance popular and much-loved facilities across the city is set to begin as part of a £7million programme launched by Birmingham City Council.

The Local Improvement Budget has been established to fund small-scale capital schemes, identified as priority projects by local councillors, for which specific resources are not currently available.

Improved security at Aston Hall, restored sluice gates at Sarehole Mill, a refurbishment of Spring Hill Library and restoration work on the city's South African War Memorial in Cannon Hill Park form the first round of projects for which funds totalling £265,000 have been released.

Cllr Randal Brew, Cabinet Member for Finance, who manages the budget, said: “As the largest local authority in the country, we have many properties and other assets which are in need of work - the Local Improvement Budget will help us to address these issues.

“The individual sums of money being spent on the projects are not big in the grand scheme of things, but their worth is huge.

“The budget we have made available is a great example of democracy in action. People want improved facilities, and we are listening to their wishes, and through requests made by their local councillors.

“I look forward to being able to announce many more projects in the months to come.”

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, has welcomed the first phase of funding, which covers facilities within his portfolio.

“All four of these locations will be enhanced immensely by the work we have planned, so I am delighted the schemes have been given the go-ahead,” he said.

“Spring Hill Library, for example, is a well-used community venue which has further merit as a 19th Century Grade II* listed building.

“We've managed to do most of the external work needed to keep the property at the heart of local life for many years to come, but this extra funding will enable us to overhaul the internal decor, befitting of the building's listed status.”

The library will close on December 23 for staff to pack up books and computer equipment, to provide clear access the refurbishment work, with the venue's re-opening scheduled for February 27. Items borrowed from Spring Hill can be returned to any other Birmingham library during this time.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Hi-res pictures, for media use, can be obtained by visiting the newsroom’s Flickr page.

For more information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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