Denial over cash 'ring-fencing' for new city marina
THE Welsh Govern- ment has said no money has ever been ring-fenced or put in a pot for a new £19million marina at Swansea's Prince of Wales Dock.
It was responding further to comments made by Liberal Democrat politicians in the city, who had expressed anger that money from land sales at SA1 since 2008 had gone to Cardiff Bay to be redistributed, rather than going towards the marina.
A Welsh Government spokes- woman yesterday described the Lib Dems' claims as "mis- leading".
She added: "There has never been a pot of money specifically allocated or ring-fenced budget for a marina at SA1. Prior to 2008, the only funding for SA1 came from land sales or European funds, with income only being available to be spent in the year it is generated.
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"Since 2008, SA1 has benefited from the removal of ring-fencing as the Welsh Government has invested £9.3m in SA1, which is almost £6.4m more than was received in land sales income in the same period."
She added the decision to end budget ring-fencing in SA1 had been taken by the previous Labour-Plaid coalition.
South Wales West AM Peter Black said last week that he would be pressing Business Minister Edwina Hart for an assurance that the £19million required for a 400-berth marina at the Prince of Wales Dock would be found as soon as possible. He and fellow Swansea councillor Chris Holley said people and firms had invested in SA1 on the basis that the marina project would go ahead.
Mr Holley claimed the situation was evidence that Swansea continued to be short-changed by the Welsh Labour Government, while Mr Black alleged SA1 investors had been "fooled by a false Government prospectus".
Swansea's maritime quarter currently has 550 moorings, the vast majority of which are used all year round.
Swansea Council spent £1.2 million on marina maintenance and running costs last financial year, including a £300,000 barrage lock gate refurbishment. It received £1.01 million in mooring fees.