Great Yarmouth Borough Council spent more than £3m on consultants and agencies
PUBLISHED: 12:22 08 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:33 08 July 2019
A Norfolk council paid more than £3m to consultants and agencies over five years.
The spending by Great Yarmouth Borough Council included £266,660 on interim Chief Executive Officer support for two years.
A further £230,000 was spent on consultants developing a plan which aims to regenerate the town centre.
Like other high streets around the country, Great Yarmouth's town centre has suffered from setbacks, with a decline in footfall and retailers leaving units empty.
The plan, unveiled in May 2017, includes proposals for improving the marketplace and transforming the Conge, which is hoped to have taken shape by 2025.
Last week the town was granted up to £150,000 from a government fund to further develop the plan.
In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "For some specific pieces of work such as the Marina Centre Redevelopment or Town Centre Regeneration, or to provide short-term management support during periods of internal change, consultants are still occasionally used where they bring, on a temporary basis, specialist expertise and extra resource which would not be cost-effective or useful to employ internally.
"Sometimes these consultancy fees are covered through external grants for projects," it said.
The council received external funding from the Norfolk Business Rates Pool towards the total cost of the plan.
Trevor Wainwright, leader of Town Hall's Labour Party group, said: "There has been a lot of time devoted to finalising the town centre master plan.
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"A huge amount of work has gone into developing a robust plan, which gives us the opportunity to bid for funding from various pots.
"In that respect it's very well spent, but some people will disagree with that.
"The plan will stand us in good stead.
"There has been money spent but it's all to the greater end, enabling us to hit the ground running when bidding for government funding, because without a plan, you won't get anywhere," Mr Wainwright added.
Spending on consultants to develop the plan was:
- 2015/16 - £79,236
- 2016/17 - £73,080
- 2017/18 - £52,975
- 2018/19 - £30,158