Gwynedd schools to receive £3.3m funding for remodeling and improvement works
A £3m funding boost is on the way to improve the condition of some Gwynedd schools as seperate plans for a new £5m primary take a vital step forward.
While a formal consultation will take place on a new 150 pupil school in Cricieth, Gwynedd Council was recently been successful in securing grant funding through the 21st Century Schools programme, allowing improvements to another seven schools across the county.
The schools to benefit from the £3.3m cash injection will be the primary schools at Bethel, Llanrug and Ffridd y Llyn near Bala.
Also receiving a slice will be the secondary schools; Eifionydd (Porthmadog), Botwnnog, Glan y Môr (Pwllheli) and Syr Hugh Owen (Caernarfon).
The work on the seven schools includes internal remodelling and enhancement of existing buildings to make suitable as 21st century teaching and learning environments.
Construction is expected to start in the schools in the new year.
Cllr Cemlyn Rees Williams, the council’s cabinet member for education, said: “This is great news for many of our pupils and staff.
“This funding enables us to modernise some of our buildings to make them suitable to effectively deliver the curriculum, to benefit our children today and for the future.
“These projects offer value for money by improving our existing buildings to be able to adapt to the long term needs of schools.”
Councillor Craig ab Iago, who hold the housing and property portfolio, added: “Maintaining the condition of schools is financially challenging and therefore attracting this funding to improve the standard of school buildings will be of great assistance.
“We will also look forward to opportunities to attract further grants with the aim of delivering improvements to more Gwynedd schools in the future.”
Meanwhile, Tuesday saw the council cabinet vote unanimously to proceed with a formal consultation to build a replacement for Ysgol Treferthyr in Cricieth.
The cabinet report highlighted significant issues with the current building, describing it as “significantly impairing the staff’s ability to deliver the curriculum” due to the “very poor” and “beyond repair” 1970s-built facility.
Plans for the new 150 pupil school, with a site earmarked just off the A497 on the western approach into Criccieth, will now go to formal consultation with hopes that the new building will be up and running by the summer of 2023.
Ysgol Treferthyr had 114 pupils on the books in September 2019, just short of the school’s capacity of 119, but a formal consultation is needed as the new building would increase its capacity by more than 25%.
Having also successfully secured the bulk of the funding thanks to the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme, the authority looks set to contribute the remaining £1.89m of the estimated £5.4m cost.
The cabinet was told that the capacity would be increased following patterns seen elsewhere where new buildings tend to attract more pupils than was previously the case.
The local councillor, Eirwyn Williams, said: “Cricieth really needs a new primary school and following being part of the discussions, I agree that the favoured site is a very good choice as a location.”
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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