THREE former south Ceredigion schools and a former sewage treatment works are to be put up for sale by the county council as its battles a huge budget deficit.

Cabinet members will be asked to approved plans to sell off the former schools in Beulah, Cilcennin and Cribyn, along with the former sewage treatment works in Pontgarreg, at a meeting on 23 January.

At the same meeting, Cabinet members will be asked to recommend the approval of a draft budget that will see huge tax and fee increase while slashing services budgets in a bid to fill a black hole at the heart of the council’s finances.

A report says that there is “interest from local businesses” in buying the former Beulah school for commercial use, with a recommendation it be put up for sale on the open market.

The play area, currently leased to the community council, and an area of bare land adjacent to the school will be “reviewed later on.”

In Cribyn, the closed primary school has been used by local community groups for events and meetings, as there is “an absence of any other community facility in the village,” a report said.

“There is significant interest from a local community group in purchasing the asset from the council and a development plan is being developed by the group,” the report added.

The report recommends offering the site “for sale at a fair market value” for community use.

Any sale should pull in around £175,000.

The former primary school in Cilcennin has been empty since 2019 and a “number of options have been considered for the site, including its development of a live-work unit,” the report said.

“Whilst this is still a possibility, the priority work programme for asset development will be focused on other assets in four Ceredigion towns, where external funding opportunities are available, therefore it is unlikely that proposals for Cilcennin will be developed in the coming 12 months,” the report added.

“In the meantime, there has been interest shown by a local community group in purchasing the assets, and the group is looking at options for raising funds.

“It is recommended that the site is put on the open market with similar conditions to those outlined for Cribyn School.”

The site has been valued at £160,000.

The former sewage treatment works at Pontgarreg is land that has “limited value” to Ceredigion council, the report said.

Discussions to sell a field nearby for residential development means there is interest from developers in acquiring part of the plan for access to the mains sewer.

It is recommended that the land is put up for sale for around £15,000.