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Caerphilly council gives green light for £40 million school investment

CAERPHILLY’S council’s Cabinet has approved an exciting package of investment totalling over £40 million, to help transform schools across the Caerphilly county borough.

The Cabinet met Wednesday (April 7) to consider a number of key reports that set out ambitious proposals for the next phase of the authority’s multi-million pound 21st Century Schools programme.

First to gain approval were major plans to completely transform the future of two key school sites under Band B of the 21 Century Schools proposals:

Trinity Fields Special School – £12.5 million expansion of the existing school and resource centre, including a new building extension and outdoor play space. The investment would provide additional capacity at this flagship school for pupils with significant needs. The cabinet also agreed to spend £300k on new sporting facilities in Ystrad Mynach to mitigate against the loss of a sports pitch adjacent to the Trinity Fields site. The plans will result in a net gain in sports provision for the town and include significant investment at the nearby Sue Noake site.

Ysgol Gymraeg Cwm Gwyddon – £9.6million relocation of the current school to a new purpose-built Welsh-medium provision facility to be situated on the vacant site of the former Cwmcarn High School.

Leader of Council, Cllr Philippa Marsden said;

“We are delighted to give the green light to these proposals which are the latest phase of our hugely successful 21st Century Schools programme. We have already delivered fantastic school schemes totalling £56.5million through the programme over recent years and we look forward to building on this success.”

“We will now focus on the next steps in the delivery process and I look forward to the many benefits that these schemes will bring to our pupils in future.”

Cabinet also agreed to progress the next phase of the Band B programme to the business case stage. There are 3 projects that have been identified as part of Phase 2 and these are:

£5.5m Centre for Vulnerable Learners – A proposal to adapt and refurbish an old grammar school building (former Pontllanfraith High School), to accommodate a new fit-for-purpose centre for vulnerable learners across the area.

£4m Llancaeach Junior School and Llanfabon Infants School – A proposal to amalgamate both schools via the expansion and refurbishment of the existing Llanfabon Infants site. The new Primary School could offer places for 275 pupils plus nursery.

£9m Plasyfelin Primary School – The proposal is to build a new and enlarged replacement school in the grounds of the existing school site, to accommodate future projected demand within the area. The new school could provide 420 pupil places plus nursery.

Cllr Ross Whiting, Cabinet Member for Education said

“We have bold ambitions to provide every learner with the best life chances and we are committed to doing this through the provision of high-quality teaching, learning and leadership across our school settings.”

The 21st Century Schools programme is a major, long-term, strategic capital investment programme jointly funded by the Welsh Government. The programme also contributes to the Council’s Wellbeing and Place Shaping Framework of investment across Caerphilly county borough.

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