Councillors have agreed to move ahead with plans to buy and demolish an old police station and create a new college campus in Bridgend.
Bridgend Council aims to buy the current town centre police station on Cowbridge Road and use the land as a new site for a campus for Bridgend College.
Councillor Charles Smith, cabinet member for education and regeneration, said: “I don’t think anybody’s going to lie in front of the bulldozer arguing that this building should be preserved.”
The site costs £650,000 and the council will receive a £910,000 grant from Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme to acquire and demolish the building. It will also contribute £390,000 towards the project.
During a cabinet meeting on Tuesday June 22, members agreed to continue discussions with South Wales Police about purchasing the land and accept the funding from Welsh Government. Another report on the progress of the site in partnership with Bridgend College is expected in due course.
The council’s plan to purchase the police station forms part of its ‘masterplan’ for the town centre; as series of changes including a new town square and undoing previous pedestrianisation.
Janine Nightingale, the council’s corporate director for communities, said council officers “would wholly support” the purchase and demolition of the station, which would lead to “the regeneration of the town centre” and bring “economic benefits” by increaseing footfall from students and teachers.
She said Bridgend College’s campus on Cowbridge Road is “slightly out of date” and staff “would very much like a new town-centre campus”. The college has already secured some funding for a new campus from Welsh Government.
Ms Nightingale said the old police station on Cowbridge Road will be vacant form March 2022.
The police station site is 0.2 miles from Bridgend Train Station. Ms Nightingale said the council can introduce “a really great active travel route” from their to the new campus if it goes ahead.
She said building a college campus on Cowbridge Road would create “a new and modern environment” for students with “significant economic benefits” to the local community.