A former commercial trampoline studio in the town centre in Cwmbran has been converted into a purpose-built college for young people on the autistic spectrum. Priory College South Wales has been providing high quality education since 2010, and will be moving to the new location at the end of January. Priory’s Kath Lawler explains the new site is “ideally situated” to provide support to students at the nearby Coleg Gwent Learning Centre.
The move is a prime example of how commercial spaces are being repurposed, reinvigorating town centres in the aftermath of the pandemic. Locating the site in the town centre takes full advantage of the excellent existing road and rail transport links, to make the college as accessible as possible for learners from the surrounding area, particularly those attending other further education institutions who would like some extra support. The college has been praised by parents for its “friendly dedicated staff”, who already provide “amazing support” to young people on the autistic spectrum. The move will mean this high quality care is available to more people across the region.
The new site will be equipped with a dedicated information technology suite, high quality art facilities and even provision for a student run café. Taken together they provide the best possible experience for both the in-house learners, and for the students who are studying in other further education colleges.
Priory College South Wales is the only specialist college for young people on the Autistic Spectrum in the area. It will support learners aged 16 to 25 in achieving many different goals, including preparing them for employability, independent living, mainstream education, or the fulfilment of further education qualifications and the progression to university. Kath explains; “The ethos is to provide the skills and tools to enable the students to be the best they can be.”