Plans for a new £6.2 million Welsh medium primary school take big step forward
Emily Gill, local democracy reporter
Plans for a new £6.2 million Welsh medium primary school will progress to a second consultation.
The proposal for a new 210-place school on a site at Chartist Way in the Tredegar/Sirhowy valley will be subject to a 28-day statutory notice where stakeholders can raise formal objections.
The Welsh Government has awarded £6 million for the new school, along with a £200,000 grant.
Blaenau Gwent is currently the only authority in Wales with just one Welsh-medium primary school.
The initial consultation ran between December 17 and January 29. An online survey was conducted as part of the consultation, which received 190 responses. Of these, 93 per cent said they supported the proposals, one per cent partially supported the proposals and six per cent did not support the proposals.
In an executive committee meeting, the council leader Cllr Nigel Daniels said he was heartened by the responses.
Concerns were raised in the initial consultation over traffic, loss of green space and the effects on other primary schools in the area.
The new Welsh medium school is proposed to act as a ‘seedling’ school, with a childcare facility, nursery and reception years beginning in September, 2023.
Additional year groups would then be introduced each year, with the school in full operation from nursery to Year 6 by September 2029.
The school’s governance and leadership structure would be developed as an extension of Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg, in Nantyglo, with one governing body across the two schools.
The executive member for education, Cllr Joanne Collins, said: “The Welsh Government has an aspiration to reach one million Welsh speakers by 2050 and in Blaenau Gwent, through our Welsh education strategic plan, we have an ambition to grow education through the medium of Welsh.
“We are seeing a growing demand for local Welsh education places and early years’ provision, and a new school with on-site childcare will give parents more options when choosing an education path for their children.
“Thank you to everyone who took part in the consultation which has enabled the executive committee to make an informed decision today and agreeing unanimously to take this proposal forward.”