New schools plan for Neath Port Talbot following landslip fears
A number of major school building and refurbishment projects have been given the green light by Neath Port Talbot Council this week.
Early stage proposals at a cabinet meeting on 20 November include a new-build replacement for Godre’rgraig Primary School which was evacuated in 2019 because of landslip fears.
The project is part of a long-term investment for schools and colleges from the Welsh Government, aimed to develop them as hubs for learning and to reduce the amount of buildings in poor condition.
While the plans were approved unanimously by members in attendance, officers were keen to note that this was a submission for the early stages of the overall plan to Welsh Government, adding that details of individual projects would also have to be submitted and approved at a later date.
The most notable proposal, to build an English-medium school worth £17 million, to replace the closed Godre’rgraig Primary School on Gnoll Road will provide 210 full-time and 30 part-time nursery places.
The school has been at the centre of debate in recent years after it was closed in 2019, following fears of a landslip from a nearby quarry spoil tip which forced students to relocate to temporary portable classrooms on the sports field adjoining Cwmtawe Community School.
Labour leader for Neath Port Talbot Rob Jones stressed: “I think it’s very important we emphasise that whilst it may be approved by cabinet today, its still got to be approved by Welsh Government and then there’s a lot of water that’s got to go under this bridge before any formulation or recommendations come back to council to further pursue these.”
Three other funding requests included within the proposals will also go to Welsh Government ministers for approval before funding is granted, including a £10 million extension added to Ysgol Maes Y Coed Special School in Bryncoch.
There was also a £9 million proposal for a complete refurbishment of the vacated Education, Library and Resource Service (ELRS) building at Reginald Street, Port Talbot and a £17 million replacement single-site school for Ysgol Hendrefelin Special School, which is currently based on three sites.
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