One of Britain’s richest men has been given nearly £300,000 in taxpayers’ money for letting a footbridge be built across a riverbed.
Protesters yesterday hit out at the payout from public money to the Duke of Beaufort, who already has a £130million fortune.
The footbridge across the River Tawe in Swansea – given to the duke’s ancestors by King Charles II – links a new shopping centre with Liberty Stadium. Council chiefs needed the duke to approve an "easement order" for the project.
The £281,431 payment – which includes legal costs – to the duke, 80, was revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.
Councillor Ioan Richard said: "It’s crazy that taxpayers are having to fork out to a man who is worth millions of pounds".
And shopper Liz Leyshon, 42, said yesterday: "It is obscene, really." But a council spokesman said: "Any developer looking to build on or over privately owned land has to pay a sum to the landowner for a legal easement, if required."
A spokesman for the duke’s estate said: "We do not want to comment on a private transaction."