Council looks to borrow £1.3m

The sea wall close to The Heugh Gun Battery
The sea wall close to The Heugh Gun Battery

COUNCILLORS are being asked to back plans to borrow £1.3m towards the £9m cost of a major scheme to improve sea defences.

Hartlepool Borough Council is looking to strengthen defences at the Heugh Gun Battery and the Block Sands because if no further works were carried out over the next 100 years, 562 commercial and residential properties would be at risk of erosion.

The total cost is £9.645m, the bulk of which is coming from the Environment Agency, but Hartlepool Council needs to put in £1.8m, £500,000 of which has already been set aside.

The finance and policy committee was due to meet this morning to discuss plans to borrow the remaining £1.3m.

A report by Denise Ogden, the council’s director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said: “The scheme is estimated to cost £9.645m and grant funding of £7.120m is being secured from the Environment Agency to partly fund this work.

“The grant requires match funding of £2.525m and partner contributions of £725,000 have been secured to date, leaving a balance of £1.8m for the council to fund.

“£500,000 has previously been approved and set aside from other coastal protection budgets and therefore £1.3m of funding needs to be identified.”

Councillors are asked to approve and refer to council, the proposal to prudentially borrow £1.3m, with the annual £62,000 loan repayment funded from the annual coastal protection maintenance budget.