29 February 2012>
Work is about to start on a state-of-the-art Welsh school in Caerphilly as part of Caerphilly county borough council's ambitious 21st century Schools Programme.
The council is developing the former St Ilan Comprehenisve site as an exciting new Welsh Medium school. The scheme will form part of an overall strategy to develop a 3-16 campus on the site, as well as the opportunity to offer some post-16 provision.
At present, the county borough only has one Welsh medium secondary school – Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni in Fleur de Lys – and forecasts have shown that there will be an overcapacity of almost 1,000 pupils by 2021.
Year 5 pupils from Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Caerffilli met CCBC cabinet member for education, Cllr Phil Bevan at the site this week and were shown a large computer generated image of the new facility. They were all very impressed with the scheme and look forward to benefitting from the new facilities.
"The imminent work at the former St Ilan site in Caerphilly will help to accommodate the increasing demand for Welsh places across the entire county borough," said Cllr Phil Bevan. "Meeting the children who are set to benefit from this development has further convinced me that the investment into Welsh medium education is the right move and we now look forward to the scheme progressing."
Over recent years there has been a steady increase in the demand for Welsh secondary school places, and the council's '21st Century Schools' programme allows the vision of turning the site of the former St Ilan Comprehensive School into a state-of-the art Welsh school, to become a reality.
The first phase of the development is anticipated to be ready for the school year beginning September 2013. The completion of this first phase will allow admissions of new Year 7 pupils from the Caerphilly basin area with more work planned over the coming years to build a campus fit to alleviate the strain currently placed on Welsh medium schools in the borough.
The St Ilan scheme forms part of a wider £92million 21st century Schools programme. The Welsh Government is providing £46million and this amount is being matched by CCBC. It is expected that the funding will be made available over a seven year period from 2014.
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