COUNCIL leaders have earmarked a £100,000 study looking into an Ammanford bypass as part of the capital funding budget.

As well as the bypass, the budget also includes an extra £700,000 in 2020/2021 towards the upgrade of Amman Valley Leisure Centre and an additional £450,000 in 2019/2020 for the ambitious Towy Valley Path.

The main chunk of the £261 million capital programme is a £129 million Welsh Government-backed scheme to upgrade and replace schools.

Other capital project funding includes an extra £1.5 million for road maintenance each year for the next three year, £16.4 million for a leisure centre at Llanelli's proposed Wellness and Life Science Village, a £2.2 million IT project over the five-year period, £1.4 million for Burry Port harbour wall works in 2019/20 and £4.8 million towards a new museum of speed and hostel at Pendine, with £2.5 million coming from external sources.

The council’s contribution to the schools’ scheme has gone down from 50 per cent to 35 per cent.

Executive board member for education and children, councillor Glynog Davies, said: “This is excellent news.

"We can now hopefully build more (schools), and do this work quicker.”

Refurbishments are also to take place at the county museum at Abergwili, Parc Howard and Kidwelly Industrial Museum, and £45 million will be spent maintaining council housing stock over the next three years.

The council will contribute around £133 million towards the £261 million capital programme from its reserves, from borrowing and from the sale of surplus assets, among other things.

The capital programme was approved by the executive board and will now go for debate at full council.

Councillor Hazel Evans, executive board member for environment, said the Towy Valley Path linking Carmarthen and Llandeilo will be a huge boost for people who would otherwise not cycle to work at the two towns.

“It’s not just for recreational cycling – it’s for people to get to work,” she said.