by Lewis Smith
HERONSBRIDGE School in Bridgend could be set to move from its current location on Ewenny Road to a new site approximately one mile away on Island Farm.
The Cabinet of Bridgend Council met on June 14, to discuss consultations to relocate the school, concluding that the move would have a positive impact for all learners and staff.
Council bosses say the benefits of the proposal would include an increased number of places for pupils with additional learning needs, as well as the introduction of new facilities such as a swimming pool, library, running track and coffee shop.
Due to its location and size the Island Farm site in Bridgend was deemed to be the most suitable for the development, in an area which once held a prison of war camp during the 1940s. However, the relocation would not have an impact on the Hut 9 which is a listed building.
Speaking during the consultation, Heronsbridge headteacher Jeremy Evans said even though change was scary it was still a very exciting opportunity for them moving forward.
“The current Heronsbridge School building has served Bridgend well. The building will stand the test of time, but it is not 100% suitable for the pupils we have here right now.
“I want to take the values, ethos and culture that we have here to the new school. I want to take all the facilities to the new school. I want warm, dry, safe classrooms and big corridors where pupils can move around safely. I want to ensure we get the best of everything. Change is scary, but this opportunity is exciting.”
Cllr Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, added:
“The relocation and rebuild of Heronsbridge School will make sure pupils get the help, support and education that they both need and deserve.
“The school modernisation project is a fantastic opportunity to move away from the approach of retro-fitting an older listed building, and to provide a purpose-built Sustainable Communities for Learning school suitable for modern needs.”
The relocation of Heronsbridge is part of the £68 million school modernisation programme which will see new schools and improved educational facilities built around Bridgend County Borough.
The future use of the existing Heronsbridge School site would be subject to an options appraisal and a future Cabinet decision. The main school building has also recently been listed by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.
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