A capital programme commits more than £230m over the next five years to deliver approved Central Government schemes and progress the aims of Our Island Plan.
Details were revealed today as part of the Treasury Minister’s Budget announcements, including the introduction of a new quarterly approvals process to improve financial planning and accuracy.
Funding in this year’s programme includes an additional £2.3 million to deliver the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, an additional £3.36m for improvements to King Edward VIII Pier, £495,000 for mobile classrooms and a further £780,000 to support the replacement of radiology equipment at Noble’s Hospital.
The Climate Change Adaptation Fund will receive a further £5.4m to help protect the Island and its infrastructure from the effects of changing global weather patterns.
Investment in the Island’s highway network will see £6.125m committed to improvements and refurbishment as part of a rolling scheme, while £1.155m will be available for structural maintenance.
Treasury Minister Dr Alex Allinson MHK said:
‘We have focussed on the creation of a realistic and deliverable capital programme which will be fully funded from revenue in the medium term. Only active schemes have been included in the main programme and those that require further feasibility studies and design have been redirected to the Project Development Fund. The fund has been provided with an additional £8 million to support this change.’
A review of the way the programme is established and funded, aimed at streamlining and modernising the capital element of the Budget process, has now been completed. Along with the results of a Strategic Infrastructure Needs Analysis to provide a full understanding of Government’s asset management commitments over the next 10 to 20 years, the review will enable improved forecasting and financial planning.
Departments previously submitted bids for capital funding in August or September each year for consideration as part of the following year’s Budget. This provided a single opportunity in a year and led to incidents of approved business cases becoming inaccurate through changes to project requirements and costs – most recently affected by a rapid rise in inflation.
From this year, a quarterly approval process will be introduced for capital schemes in February – as part of the annual budget – as well as June, September and November. Schemes that have successfully passed through the design and feasibility process will be eligible for approval, subject to the necessary agreement process.
The Treasury Minister told Members:
‘We recognise that schemes will be developed throughout the year and are therefore proposing a fundamental change to the way that capital schemes are approved. We believe that this will improve our financial planning process and ensure that only fully developed schemes are presented to Tynwald for approval and implementation.’