Marking the start of construction for £4.5m YGG Aberdâr scheme
Written by Gavin on 16th July 2021
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has marked the start of the construction phase for £4.5m works at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdâr – which will introduce first-class facilities and a new childcare setting at the school.
Cabinet Member Councillor Ann Crimmings, representing Councillor Joy Rosser, Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, visited the Cwmdare school on Wednesday, July 14, for a ‘ground-breaking’ ceremony to celebrate contractor Andrew Scott Ltd formally starting construction work at the beginning of the summer holidays. The scheme will increase Welsh Medium places at the school by 48 to 480.
Full planning permission was granted by the Planning and Development Committee on May 20 for the scheme, which represents an investment split into two parts – £3.69m via Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme to expand the school’s capacity, and £810,000 from the Welsh Medium Capital Grant to create a 30-place Welsh Medium childcare facility on site.
The Welsh Medium childcare facility will also help to further support Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer for Wales, which provides working parents of three and four year olds with up to 30 hours per week of combined Foundation Phase Nursery education and additional funded childcare for up to 48 weeks per year.
The overall project is scheduled for completion in June 2022, in readiness for the 2022/23 academic year – with the childcare facility also due to open in September 2022. Overall, the works to deliver the investment include:
- A split level extension of the school’s eastern ‘wing’ – to facilitate four extra classrooms, toilets, a break-out area on the ground floor and a fully-accessible childcare facility on the lower ground floor.
- An extension to the school’s northern ‘wing’ – increasing the floorspace of the existing hall by 80 square metres.
- An extension of the existing car park on an area of Council-owned land to provide an additional 21 spaces.
- The removal of two temporary classrooms currently being used by the school (resulting in an overall gain of two classrooms in the project).
- An additional hard surface play area to replace an existing grass playing field which is unable to be used for large parts of the year.
- A new dedicated footpath to link the childcare facility with the car park.
Cabinet Member Councillor Ann Crimmings, who visited the school on behalf of the Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said: “I was delighted to visit staff and contractors at YGG Aberdâr, to officially mark the start of the construction phase for the £4.5m works. The Council is pleased to have contractor Andrew Scott Ltd on board, and we look forward to working closely together to deliver this exciting scheme for the benefit of staff and pupils.
“This scheme is part of a significant investment in education for the Cynon Valley, using Band B funding from Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme. Hirwaun Primary School has recently benefitted from brand new £10.2m facilities which have transformed the learning environment from staff and pupils, while construction work to deliver a £12.1m expansion of Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun is also due to begin very shortly.
“The investments at YGG Aberdâr and Ysgol Rhydywaun demonstrate the Council’s continued commitment to improving local Welsh Medium education provision, working towards the outcomes outlined in its Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP). The majority of our Welsh Medium schools have surplus places, but the Council is targeting investment for those areas where demand exceeds capacity, to improve its provision accordingly.
“Further to this, sites will see investments in their play and sporting facilities. Investment in play and sporting facilities has been a key consideration throughout the 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme, ensuring our pupils have access to quality facilities where they can train, improve their sporting skills, and lead active and healthy lifestyles.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the progress made at YGG Aberdâr over the coming months, with the scheme set to transform the current school. The Council will work very closely with the school and its contractor, making it a priority that there is minimal disruption to school life throughout the works. This scheme will provide facilities that the school can be proud of, providing new opportunities for our young people in their education.”