MONMOUTHSHIRE councillors have approved the inclusion of the 3-19 age new Abergavenny School in the Council’s Capital Programme.

The proposed school is being developed through the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme, which is a One Wales commitment and a unique collaboration between Welsh Government and councils. It is a major, long-term and strategic capital investment programme with the aim of creating a generation of Sustainable Schools in Wales.

Partly funded by Welsh Government, the proposed 3-19 school is a redevelopment of the existing King Henry VIII Secondary School site, combining with Deri View Primary School to create Monmouthshire’s first all-through school.

The all-through school will include facilities for 1200 secondary age pupils (11-16), 200 post-16 places, 420 primary school places, 30 full-time equivalent nursery pupils, including accommodation for over 70 pupils with complex neurodevelopment and learning needs within the school.

It will also be a community-focussed school, providing a range of services and activities beyond the school day to help meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community. The school site is shared with the existing Abergavenny Leisure Centre and will continue to provide facilities for community use both during the school day and after school hours.

In accordance with Monmouthshire Climate Emergency commitments, the building will be the first operationally net zero carbon through-school in Wales, using low energy in both construction and operation, with a focus on significantly reducing pressure on future planned and reactive maintenance budgets.

Monmouthshire County Council’s Leader, Cllr. Mary Ann Brocklesby, said:

“It is wonderful news that Full Council has approved the funding for the all-through school. The new school will bring many social benefits to the town of Abergavenny. It is an important investment for the whole community and for the futures of the students who will be the main beneficiaries of this development.

“We want to build sustainable and resilient communities that support the well-being of current and future generations. This ethos is at the heart of everything we do to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Monmouthshire. There are nine schools that will feed into this all-through school, so for Abergavenny residents it will be ‘our school’.”

Cllr. Martyn Groucutt, Cabinet Member for Education, added:

“I’m over the moon that this project has now been given three green lights and is ready to move on to the next step. It’s also hugely reassuring to see what facilities have been considered for pupils with complex neurodevelopmental and learning needs.

This is an extremely exciting time for not only the young people of Abergavenny, but the town itself. The surrounding community will benefit greatly from the all-through school, and I am incredibly excited to see the project develop over the next two years.”

 

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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