St David’s Day: Major new projects announced to grow Welsh language
To mark St David’s Day, Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles has announced 11 new capital projects to support the growth of the Welsh language.
The naming of the 11 projects across Wales to expand Welsh-medium education follows a bidding process which will now see them proceed to the next stage development.
They will be able to apply for funding from the Welsh-medium Capital Grant, totalling over £30 million, following the announcement of the funding last year.
The funding is aimed at increasing capacity in Welsh-medium schools, establishing new Welsh-medium provision and supporting early language immersion as well as helping learners of all ages improve their skills and confidence in Welsh.
The projects will be within nine local authority areas across Wales, which are Bridgend, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Pembrokeshire, and Wrexham.
The plans include establishing new Welsh-medium primary schools, increasing capacity at existing Welsh-medium primary schools, establishing new Welsh Language Immersion Centres and extending existing Welsh Language immersion.
An additional £1.2m will also be provided to the Urdd for the new financial year, to support the youth organisation to continue its activities, which have been disrupted by Covid-19.
The funding will support a network of Urdd development officers across Wales, as well as provide new support for Welsh-medium apprenticeships within Wales’ most deprived communities. The funding is in addition to the Welsh Government’s funding to provide free entry to the Eisteddfod in Denbighshire this summer.
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “Widening opportunities to access Welsh-medium education is absolutely central to growing our language and using Welsh more in our day-to-day lives.
“This investment will help meet the demand for Welsh-medium education by increasing capacity in schools and supporting the increase in Welsh-language immersion. The investment will complement our plans to increase the number of Welsh-medium teachers and develop the Welsh language skills of staff in English-medium schools.
“Creating opportunities to use Welsh outside the classroom is also important, whether competitively in the arts or sports, or just visiting the Eisteddfod. I’m therefore pleased to support the Urdd next year with continuing its fantastic work in opening up a wide range of opportunities for young people.
“All of these activities will help us achieve our goal of a million Welsh speakers and doubling the daily use of Welsh by 2050.”
‘The 11 capital projects’
The 11 capital projects that will proceed to the next stage of the business case process and apply for funding from the Welsh-medium Capital Grant are as follows:
Ysgol I D Hooson, Wrexham – £6.3 million
Extension to the existing Welsh-medium primary school, with seven additional permanent classrooms, creating a further 105 pupil places.
Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth, Ceredigion – £5.7 million
A new Welsh Language Immersion Centre and new classroom block, adding an additional 30 pupil places at the Welsh-medium primary school.
New Welsh-medium primary at Buckley / Mynydd Isa, Flintshire – £5.6 million
A new Welsh-medium primary with capacity for 150 full-time pupils, as well as 30 nursery and 30 early years’ places, as well as Welsh-language immersion activities and adult learning to support the Welsh-medium start up provision.
Ysgol y Strade, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire – £4.4 million
A dedicated Welsh Language Immersion Centre and capacity for 228 additional Welsh-medium places, raising the school’s capacity to 1,500 places.
Porthcawl, Bridgend – £3.25 million
A Welsh-medium ‘seedling’ or starter school for the Porthcawl area, co-located with a proposed Welsh-medium childcare facility.
Ysgol Caer Elen, Pembrokeshire – £2.5 million
Project to fund an additional 60 Welsh-medium places for children at Caer Elen in the long term.
Increasing school capacity in Gwynedd – £1.875 million
Increase Welsh-medium school capacity in order to support Welsh-medium communities of linguistic significance to thrive (communities with over 70% Welsh speakers). The project will focus on extending capacity in three schools within areas of linguistic significance, namely Llanllechid, Penygroes and Chwilog
Language Centres in Gwynedd – £1.15 million
To fund Phase 2 of the project, to increase the capacity and relocate the Llangybi and Dolgellau Language Centres to strategic locations of linguistic significance, and increase the capacity of the Maesincla Language Centre in Caernarfon. Llangybi Language Centre will relocate to Ysgol Cymerau, Pwllheli and Dolgellau Language Centre will relocate to Ysgol Bro Idris, Dolgellau which is a larger site.
Ysgol y Creuddyn, Conwy – £914,000
Extension to Ysgol y Creuddyn. Increased provision for immersion pupils for transition from primary to secondary in the local catchment area.
Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Ogwr, Bridgend – £270,000
Double mobile classroom to address the immediate demand for places until the new school is completed, expected to be in 2025-26.
Ysgol Bro Edern, Cardiff – £100,000
An Immersion class will be provided through adaption of existing classrooms. The project will also enable support for 20 to 30 pupils with Additional Learning Needs.
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