Further education provision in a south Powys town looks set to be transformed after the transfer of two prominent town centre buildings.
Brecon’s Watton Mount and the former library on Ship Street have been transferred upon purchase to NPTC Group of Colleges by Powys County Council.
NPTC Group of Colleges was formed in 2013 following a merger between Neath Port Talbot College and Coleg Powys.
The transfer of the listed buildings will allow NPTC Group of Colleges to relocate its Brecon Beacons College into the town centre for a ‘university feel’ campus, leading to highly resourced, fit for the 21st Century education, to be delivered in the town.
This follows an earlier deal between the council and NPTC Group of Colleges which saw the former TIC in the former cattle market car park internally reconfigured and rebranded by the NPTC Group of Colleges as “The Cwtch”, providing multiple learning opportunities for residents, become a drop-in centre, as well as a space to be utilised by community groups and clubs, under a 25-year-lease.
The buildings will be refurbished by NPTC Group of Colleges to house interactive technologies and state-of-the-art spaces for several areas of study.
The two organisations are also working in partnership in the town at Brecon’s showcase attraction y Gaer, which will result in a new College library, some joint teaching spaces and a café while the opening hours of the community library will be extended to seven days a week.
Nigel Brinn, Powys County Council’s Executive Director for Economy and Environment, said:
“The transfer of these prominent town centre buildings will bring considerable regeneration benefits to Brecon, boosting the trade of shops and businesses and breathing more life into the town centre.
“The council will work closely with NPTC Group of Colleges as they deliver their development plans for Brecon Beacons College.”
Mark Dacey, CEO and Principal of NPTC Group of Colleges said he was delighted that progress was being made.
“This project has been in the pipeline for some time, and we are delighted that it is now moving in the right direction with contracts for Watton Mount and Ship Street Library being exchanged.”