A £90 million investment in Denbighshire’s schools has seen more than 3,500 pupils benefit from improved facilities.
The first phase of the Denbighshire County Council and Welsh Government funded 21st Century Schools programme has seen new schools built as well as major re-developments of existing sites with a quarter of the county’s pupils having their educational experience transformed.
The first phase of the programme has seen a new £24million replacement school of 1200 places for Rhyl High School and Ysgol Tir Morfa, a £16.5m extension and refurbishment for Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph and a new £10.5 million joint site for Rhos Street School and Ysgol Pen Barras in Ruthin.
Other work includes a £3.5m seven-classroom extension and refurbishment with new reception area and hall at Bodnant Community School, Prestatyn as well as a £1.4m three-classroom extension and refurbishment at Ysgol Bro Dyfrdwy, Cynwyd.
Work has now started on the last three projects of the first phase, a £5m new school building for Ysgol Carreg Emlyn, Clocaenog, a £5.3m new school building for Ysgol Llanfair along with the new £23m 3-16 Catholic school in Rhyl.
The second phase of the national programme, scheduled to start in April next year, is currently in the development stage after the strategic outline was approved by Welsh Government in November.
The focus will now be on developing individual projects for funding.
Cllr Huw Hilditch-Roberts, the Council’s lead Member for Education, Children and Young People, said:
“This investment has radically altered the learning environment for thousands of pupils. They are no longer being taught in outdated classrooms, they are now in state-of-the-art, bright and fit for purpose areas.
“The evidence is already showing this has changed pupils’ approach to learning and helping them achieve even more at school.
“Making sure young people have the right skills is a key priority under our Corporate Plan and we will continue to invest in the county’s schools as we look towards the next phase of the 21st Century Schools programme with the Welsh Government.”
Contractors working on the schools, Willmott Dixon, Read Construction, Wynne Construction and Kier Construction have been using local supply chains and employees for the work. As part of this there has been an emphasis on seeking a high percentage of spend within the local area and a large number of local sub-contractors based in North Wales have been employed to assist in the delivery of these projects.