Excellent progress has been made with the construction of new £4.7m school and childcare facilities at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdâr – with the vast majority of work now complete ahead of the new school year in September.
Contractor Andrew Scott Ltd started work on site last summer, and has now substantially completed the construction phase on schedule – with the project being delivered in time for the 2022/23 academic year. The new facilities for the primary school in Cwmdare will be handed over to the Council this week.
The total £4.706m investment is supported by Welsh Government and is split into two parts. The first is a £3.69m investment benefitting from funding via the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme, alongside a contribution by the Council, to expand the school’s capacity by 72 places. The second element benefits from £1.016m funding from the Welsh Medium Capital Grant, in order to create a 30-place Welsh Medium childcare facility at the school.
The new childcare facility will 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.
In total, the project has delivered a large school extension of four classrooms, cloakrooms and toilet facilities, a flexible studio and breakout area, and a hygiene room on the ground floor. The new childcare facility will be located on the lower ground floor, to be run by Cylch Meithrin Cwmdâr. The existing school’s main hall and car park have also been extended, while a new hard surface play area is provided.
The Council’s contractor will return to the site in the school summer holidays to complete some external works, including the demolition and removal of the school’s current portable classrooms in time for the new academic year. The Council will complete the fitting out of the new facility with its new equipment and furniture so it is ready to use by school staff and pupils from September.
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Youth Participation and the Welsh Language, said: “The new facilities being delivered at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdâr represents the latest major school investment in Rhondda Cynon Taf, as we work closely with Welsh Government to deliver first class education facilities for even more of our pupils, staff and their local communities. This is an investment of more than £4.7m across the school extension and childcare elements of the project.
“The new childcare facility will help meet the identified demand for Welsh Medium childcare places within the local area, while also assisting children in their transition into attending school for the first time. It will also help families take advantage of Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer for Wales.
“The building extension will enable an important increase to the number of Welsh Medium primary places that the school offers, with the school serving a wider area of the Cynon Valley. It will help the Council achieve the outcomes outlined in its Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, making a further contribution to Welsh Government’s ‘Cymraeg 2050’ goal of a million Welsh speakers.
“This is just one part of the £252m investment being progressed in partnership with Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme. The YGG Aberdâr project is being delivered alongside a complimentary investment for Ysgol Rhydywaun, which will benefit from a new teaching block to increase its Welsh Medium secondary school places from September.
“I’m very pleased that the YGG Aberdâr project is now substantially complete, and will be handed over to the Council this week – delivered in time to be brought into use from September. I’m looking forward to visiting staff and pupils enjoying their new facilities during the new academic year.”