Major funding secured for brand new school in Glyn-coch

Written by on 4th April 2023

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has announced that they have secured full funding from Welsh Government to deliver the brand new school for the community of Glyn-coch – which will include innovative green technologies and establish an on-site civic hub. 

On Friday, March 24, Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles announced the new school for Glyn-coch is one of only three successful entries to the Sustainable Schools Challenge. The projects, which will be funded by a combined investment of £44.7m, demonstrated innovative ways to collaborate with communities in the design, delivery and management of the schools.

Following a six-week public consultation in early 2022, the new school for Glyn-coch was approved by Council Cabinet Members in June 2022. It will see the amalgamation of Cefn Primary and Craig yr Hesg Primary schools by 2026. The larger school development will serve the two existing schools’ combined catchment area, and will be located on the current Craig yr Hesg Primary site and the land adjacent to it (the former Ty Gwyn Pupil Referral Unit). The school will accommodate separate Welsh and English medium childcare provisions on the school site, in order to meet the needs of the community.

Key features of the new school – highlighted by Welsh Government in its announcement on Friday – includes green roofs, rain gardens and nature-based solutions to surface water management. It will create an educational, well-being and civic hub under one roof, while providing an active learning zone to teach engineering principles, ecology and land management.

A series of artist’s impression images, which were submitted as part of the Council’s funding bid to Welsh Government, shows how the school could look.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Youth Participation and the Welsh Language, said:

“It is fantastic news that the brand new school development for Glyn-coch has now secured full funding from Welsh Government, via the Sustainable Schools Challenge. The larger school site will help transform the learning experience and opportunities of local pupils by 2026, replacing two older buildings which require significant maintenance with a first class, state-of-the-art learning environment.

“The new development, like all other new school investment projects in Rhondda Cynon Taf, will target Net Zero carbon in operation, supporting our wider Climate Change goals and commitments. The development will be innovative in this respect, leading the way with green roofs, rain gardens and sustainable drainage solutions, as well as having an on-site allotment.

“The Council’s funding application was praised for the way in which the wider community is a key consideration in the development, and how the project will create a hub in the heart of Glyn-coch that everyone can be proud of.

“We also welcome the continued support from Welsh Government to deliver new education facilities across the County Borough, through the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme. Brand new 21st Century facilities have been delivered in Hirwaun, Cwmdare and Penywaun recently – while several more key projects will be progressed in the years ahead. These include a joint investment of £75.6m across Greater Pontypridd, as well as new primary school buildings for Ferndale, Pontyclun, Church Village and Llantrisant.”

Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said:

“Schools are much more than bricks and mortar. Well-designed buildings can play their part in tackling the climate emergency, supporting staff and learners with education, as well as delivering high standards and aspirations for all.

“These three projects are extremely exciting as well as a blueprint for our future school developments. They offer an opportunity to learn about sustainability, but also for learners to have an opportunity to be involved with the design and delivery of these buildings, to shape the environment they will learn with and to understand how decisions taken today have an impact on their future.

“Learning about sustainability is mandatory within our new Curriculum for Wales. The three projects present a great opportunity to inspire learners and realise the Curriculum’s aim to develop ethical, informed citizens.”


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