MORE than £10 million will be invested in long term projects by the Isle of Wight Council — and council tax will increase by 5.99 per cent.

The finalised budget proposals will see the average Band C taxpayer pay £78 a year more from April 2018.

Adult Social Care and Children's Services have been largely protected in recent years but were asked to review their needs and find savings.

As decided by councillors in January, council tax support for those of working age who qualify will fall from 80 per cent to 70 per cent, but a hardship fund has been set up to help anyone in difficulty.

Here are the main points:

• Three per cent of the council tax rise - equivalent to 75p a week - will go towards funding Adult Social Care on the Isle of Wight. The rest will be used to fund other services, including a pay rise for council staff.

• £1.24 million is earmarked to maintain and improve schools' infrastructure across the Island, including a further £850,000 to extend Shalfleet Primary School to offer 35 more places.

• The multi-use games area (MUGA) at Queensgate Primary School in East Cowes will receive £70,000 to improve its playing surface.

• £1.7 million will be provided as grants to individuals to adapt their homes so they can live independently. Money will also be used to upgrade council residential homes, including substantial work at Gouldings in Freshwater and Adelaide in Ryde.

• £300,000 will be spent repairing harbour walls and £240,000 on coastal defences.

• £214,000 will be spent reconfiguring the ground floor of County Hall with a one-stop shop facility.

• £940,00 on a programme of fleet replacement and thermal protection equipment for the Island's fire and rescue team.

• £515,000 on improvements at Heights Leisure Centre, Sandown, extending the Tone Zone gym and converting one squash court into a new spin studio.

• £75,000 upgrading the Islands public footpaths, bridleways and byways.

Council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: "Tough decisions have had to be made in this budget but it is a balanced budget, it's a lawful budget and one that will protect and improve services while allowing us to invest in our Island's future."

For more on the budget, see this week's County Press.