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Welsh communities invited to build innovative new schools

Welsh local authorities have been invited to bid to build two new schools, the Welsh Government has announced, as it launches its Sustainable Schools Challenge.

The projects will be expected to be innovative and demonstrate collaboration with local communities, including pupils and families, in the design, delivery and management of the schools.

The Welsh Government will provide up to £15m for each school, totalling £30m, to cover the costs of each project.

Bids have been invited from all 22 Welsh local authorities, with one school to be built in northern Wales and one in southern Wales.

The designs will be expected to make a positive contribution to the local environment and their surrounding landscapes, including promoting active travel. Local natural materials will be used where possible.

The designs will need to meet a range of environmental criteria, such as using recycled or natural materials, providing high levels of natural daylight and low energy and water consumption.

Since January, the Welsh Government has mandated that all new school and college buildings or major renovations must be net zero carbon.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said:

“Schools are at the heart of our communities. We must be ambitious in how we build new schools, enabling their design to make a positive contribution to learners and staff, local communities and to the natural environment

“These projects will act as a blueprint for all schools in future, so they are at one with their natural surroundings, strengthening our commitment towards decarbonisation and environmental protection.

“Learning about sustainability is mandatory within our new Curriculum for Wales. The projects present a great opportunity to inspire learners and realise the Curriculum’s aim to develop ethical, informed citizens.”

The successful projects will be announced in early 2023.