Wales

University blames Welsh Government delays for financial pressure

Developments have included a new home for the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (Face) on Swansea waterfront Image copyright UWTSD
Image caption Developments have included a new home for the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (Face) on Swansea waterfront

Financial uncertainties surrounding a university are due to Welsh Government delays over the Swansea Bay City Deal, its vice chancellor has claimed.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) said there was "significant doubt" over future operations.

But Medwin Hughes said that - despite "unprecedented pressure" - the university's future was "not at risk".

The Welsh Government said it aims "to make an announcement shortly".

In a letter to stakeholders seen by Newyddion9, Prof Hughes said delays in receiving money from the Swansea Bay city deal had placed "unprecedented pressure on the university."

Referring to a BBC Wales report, Prof Hughes claimed it concerned a specific issue whereby the university was awaiting "one-off" capital sums.

He wrote: "At the close of the last financial year, these sums had not yet been received because of external factors outside the control of the university.

"The University's future is not at risk. It continues to manage the financial position and respond to external constraints as do all other higher institutions in Wales.

"A key issue associated with the current position is the ongoing delay for financial approval from the Welsh Government in relation to our commitments contained in the Swansea Bay city deal."

Waterfront development

UWTSD said it had received assurances from the Swansea Bay city deal on "several occasions" that the release of the funding was "imminent".

Yr Egin, a creative hub for the creative industries in Carmarthen, and a development on Swansea's waterfront are part of the university's bid for city deal funding.

It has now emerged that the university has asked for £3m for phase one of Yr Egin from the city deal, a different funding model from that which was presented to a committee of Welsh MPs in 2017.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "The Swansea Bay city deal partnership has submitted a five-case business case for the Yr Egin project, which is currently being considered by both Welsh and UK Government. We aim to make an announcement shortly."

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