Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet - Thursday, 28th April, 2022 12.00 pm

Contact: Anne Jenkins, Governance Team Leader  Email:


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:


None received.


Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:


None received.


Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 418 KB

Additional documents:


The Minutes from 6 April 2022 were agreed as a true record.


Transporter Bridge Funding Uplift pdf icon PDF 419 KB

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The Leader presented the report to colleagues, which had been previously discussed at Cabinet.  The Transporter Bridge project was to protect and showcase the iconic structure and ensure the sustainability of its future so that it remained accessible for future generations. 


After securing over £8.7m of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cabinet Members recalled the disappointment felt in July last year when the appointed contractors for both the bridge repairs and the new visitor centre had gone into administration and the proposed plans were on hold.


In the face of adversity, however, officers started the tendering exercise again and against a global backdrop of increasing costs and labour shortages, which were well documented and debated, unsurprisingly the tenders returned costs considerably higher than those originally agreed with the previous contractors. 


The cost of the visitor centre saw a rise of 18% but the bridge repair package showed an increase of 100%.  In real terms this meant that the project cost base had risen by £5million.


The National Lottery Heritage Fund was sympathetic to the plight of this project and also acknowledged that this situation was not confined to Newport; similar issues with significant cost rises were seen in other lottery grant funded projects.  The Lottery Fund indicated that they would consider an application for a funding uplift provided the request could be kept below £2 million and they subsequently approved a request for an additional £1.95million. 


A comprehensive value engineering review was also carried out and £680k in savings were identified.  Nevertheless, as it stood, a gap of just over £2.9 million remained in the overall project.


If this project was to proceed, the Council needed to be prepared to underwrite this shortfall. This would require the re-allocation of the funding that was previously set aside in the capital headroom to cover match funding for the ultimately unsuccessful Levelling Up bid submitted last year for the Northern Gateway area of the City Centre.


This would increase the Council’s capital headroom to £3.89 million, and therefore sufficient to support this project should additional funding not be secured from other sources.


The Council however did not intend to stop looking for sources of additional funding, and would continue to work with the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge, who had been incredible and passionate supporters of this project, to identify fundraising opportunities.  It was hoped that Welsh Government would also positively consider a request to increase their current £1.5 million contribution.


The tender period for both contract packages had expired and although both contractors remain engaged, there was a considerable risk of further cost increases if we do not formally agree these contracts without further delay, as there was no other option available. 


The Transporter Bridge belonged to the City and continued repair and maintenance of the structure was required to ensure that it remained both operational and safe to use.  Basic maintenance of the bridge structure alone, involved substantial costs because works were being carried out at height - these  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.