Works start to deliver Mutual Investment Model school investment
Written by Gavin on 14th February 2023
Investment in brand new buildings for primary schools in Pontyclun, Church Village and Llantrisant is now underway, and the Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Education have visited each site to celebrate the start of works.
Councillor Andrew Morgan and Councillor Rhys Lewis visited pupils, staff and the construction teams at Pontyclun Primary, Llanilltud Faerdref Primary and Penygawsi Primary on Wednesday, February 8. The appointed contractor Morgan Sindall started construction work at the three sites through December and January, and works are now well underway. The new buildings are planned to open in 2024 and 2025.
Each project secured planning permission last year for developments on the existing school sites, which will vastly improve upon the current school facilities by providing state-of-the-art, 21st Century buildings. Further details about each project have been summarised at the bottom of this update.
The investment is being delivered by the Council and Welsh Government via the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme. Funding approval for each project was confirmed by Welsh Government in December 2022 through the revenue funding element of the Programme, the Mutual Investment Model.
Cllr Morgan and Cllr Lewis visited each of the schools on Wednesday to celebrate the start of the main construction phase. They also took the opportunity to see the progress made on site to date.
Initial work included setting up the security fencing, groundworks and site compounds in preparation for the main construction phase. Demolition of some buildings at the Pontyclun Primary School site has been undertaken, with work now underway in preparation for the temporary accommodation which is required during the construction phase for this project.
Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Investment, said:
“Investing in new school facilities for young people across Rhondda Cynon Taf continues to be a key Council priority. I was pleased to visit Pontyclun Primary, Llanilltud Faerdref Primary and Penygawsi Primary schools on Wednesday, to see these latest projects progress to the construction phase. The new facilities will open throughout 2024 and 2025, and will make a real difference to pupils each day.
“We continue to welcome the support from Welsh Government to deliver these schemes via the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme – which makes major investment in our schools possible despite the current financial challenges. All of our new school projects include opportunities for wider community use, creating a modern hub in the heart of each community.
“I look forward to seeing each project evolve on site in the weeks and months ahead, and would like to thank each of the three schools, along with our contractor for the projects, for their very warm welcome on Wednesday.”
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Youth Participation and the Welsh Language, added:
“It was fantastic to see the first works towards delivering three brand new school buildings in Pontyclun, Church Village and Llantrisant. These projects will create modern, stimulating learning environments that we can all be proud of, and will help our schools successfully deliver all aspects of the curriculum.
“These projects are just one element of the wider investment planned locally, in partnership with Welsh Government – including a £75.6m investment across the Greater Pontypridd area by 2024, while planning permission was recently granted for a brand new school for Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llyn y Forwyn in Ferndale. These follow the significant projects delivered at Ysgol Rhydywaun, YGG Aberdâr and Ffynnon Taf Primary in time for the current academic year.
“All of our new school developments aim to achieve Net Zero carbon in operation in accordance with the Council’s wider Climate Change goals and commitments. Thanks once again to the three schools and our contractor for accommodating us on Wednesday – I look forward to visiting again soon.”
Below is a summary of what the investments will deliver at each school:
Pontyclun Primary School (by early 2025)
The two-storey building will accommodate two rooms for nursery, two reception classrooms, five infant classrooms, nine junior classrooms, a central ‘heartspace’ area and a main hall with supporting areas. A variety of sports and recreation facilities will be provided externally, including hard play areas, two MUGAs and informal grass areas. Two car park areas will support 40 spaces into total (10% of which will include EV charging) and cycle storage will be provided.
Llanilltud Faerdref Primary School (by spring 2024)
The single-storey building will include classrooms for nursery and reception, three infant classrooms and four junior classrooms. A central ‘heartspace’ and main hall will have various supporting areas. Externally, there will be hard and soft play areas, landscaped areas, two MUGAs, a grass sports pitch (5-a-side) and a 40-metre grass sprint track. A total of 23 parking spaces will be provided (four of which will include EV charging) along with cycle storage.
Penygawsi Primary School (by summer 2024)
The two-storey building will accommodate two nursery, one reception, three infant and six junior classrooms, along with a central ‘heartspace’ area and main hall with various supporting areas. Hard play areas will be provided externally, along with a grass sports pitch (7-a-side), two MUGAs and informal play areas at the southern end of the site. A total of 28 parking spaces (four of which will include EV charging) and cycle storage will be provided.