Funding for school maintenance work next year agreed by Cabinet
Written by Gavin on 24th March 2022
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Members have agreed the details of an £8.230m funding allocation as part of the Council’s ongoing capital programme across its school estate – to carry out repairs, maintenance and general improvements in 2022/23.
Each year, the Council delivers important enhancements across its schools to ensure the buildings remain safe, watertight and warm – with much of this activity taking place during the school summer holiday. During February 2022, Cabinet allocated £8.230m for this work programme next year, as part of the wider three-year rolling Capital Programme across all Council services.
An officer report to Cabinet on Monday, February 21, put forward a proposed Education Capital Programme for 2022/23, outlining how the funding would be spent. It was informed by several factors including property condition surveys, Estyn reports, health and safety considerations, reducing energy and carbon, creating flexible learning spaces and accessibility needs to promote inclusion.
Roof renewals (£2.55m) will take place across 19 schools as well as rainwater repairs at various schools. Some of the key projects include roof block replacements at Treorchy Comprehensive, Ferndale Community School, Pengeulan Primary, Penrhiwceibr Primary and Ton Pentre Infants – along with roof building replacements at Caradog Primary and Hafod Primary.
21st Century Classroom upgrades (£566,000) are allocated across 11 projects, including traffic management improvements at Ferndale Community School, cladding works at Treorchy Comprehensive, classroom upgrades and external work at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg (YGG) Bronllwyn, and classroom upgrades at Penrhiwceibr Primary, Trehopcyn Primary and YGG Bodringallt.
Toilet Refurbishments (£1.17m) will take place at 23 schools, with those representing an investment of at least £50,000 at Pontypridd High School, YGG Bronllwyn, Ysgol Garth Olwg, Blaengwawr Primary, Brynnau Primary, Cwmdar Primary, Llanhari Primary, Llwyncrwn Primary, Mountain Ash Comprehensive, Trehopcyn Primary, YGG Bodringallt and YGG Ynyswen.
Essential Works (£496,000) are allocated to 10 schools – Dolau Primary, Llantrisant Primary, Penderyn Primary, Pengeulan Primary, Maes-y-Coed Primary, Treorchy Primary, Ysgol Llanhari, Ysgol Nant-Gwyn, YGG Ynyswen and St John Baptist Church in Wales High. Internal remodelling works (£100,000) as part of an Alternative Curriculum and Music Service Hub will take place at the former Pontypridd Library building as part of this investment.
The remaining £3.44m is allocated across other categories including Kitchen Refurbishments, Window/Door Replacements, Electrical Rewiring, Fire Alarm Upgrades, Equalities Act/Compliance Works, Education and Inclusion Access Condition Surveys, Boiler Replacements and IT Hardware/Software Licences.
Further details about this funding is included in Monday’s Cabinet report, including a full list of works in the Appendix. Following Cabinet’s agreement, all work will now be undertaken in the financial year starting April 1, 2022.
Councillor Jill Bonetto, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said:
“Sustaining a significant level of funding to repair, maintain and generally improve our school estate is a vital aspect of the Capital Programme – with focus placed on creating 21st Century learning environments, installing the latest IT facilities, and improving energy efficiency. The funding will ultimately future-proof our schools, so I’m very pleased that £8.230m has been allocated within the 2022/23 financial year.
“This funding forms part of our School Modernisation Programme, as the Council continues to invest in Education as a priority area. In the recently-agreed Budget for next year, our schools are fully-funded with an additional £11.2m, or 6.8% increase, from the current year. Delivering significant new facilities for schools right across the County Borough also continues, with a £252m investment in partnership with Welsh Government’s Sustainable Learning for Communities Programme currently being progressed.
“It is also important to note that the Council will be utilising local supply chains and local construction industries to deliver the £8.230m school improvements, as we aim to support small businesses in our communities. Much of the work will be completed in school holidays to minimise disruption, and I’m looking forward to the 2022/23 programme getting underway from April and to seeing the immediate improvements they make to the fabric of our school buildings.”