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Governors await primary school update

Created on 14/01/2020 @ 14:17
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Two school building projects in Machynlleth and Welshpool that were affected by Dawnus’ collapse last year are still in limbo.

Earlier this month, Shropshire-based builders Pave Aways was announced as the contractors to finish the half-completed Welshpool Church in Wales Primary School.

But school governors at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen’s all through (3-18 years) school in Machynlleth and Welshpool’s Welsh medium primary school – Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng, are still waiting to find out what will happen to them.

All three were affected by the collapse of Dawnus in March, 2019, with Welshpool CIW school building being delayed by a year.

Powys County Council (PCC) has said that it is still “fully committed to the projects”.

Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng currently operating at the former Ardwyn Nursery and Infants School, opened in September 2017, but is supposed to move to a refurbished and renovated Maesydre school building (pictured).

The Welsh-medium school is part of a drive to see the number of Welsh speakers in Powys increase.

Even before the collapse of Dawnus, the project ran into problems. Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic building and environment service, had been contacted by people concerned that Maesydre would be demolished as part of the schools building project.

In March 2018, Cadw confirmed the site had been given Grade II listed status which meant that new plans would be needed for the relocation.

Chair of Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng school governors, Lindsey Phillips, said: “We’ve seen the announcement – but we don’t know anymore.”

Mrs Phillips said that plans to meet PCC officials before Christmas had fallen through.

“We are hoping to be given an update on the situation very soon,” she added.

Over in Machynlleth, the £23 million new school building for Machynlleth was supposed to be completed by September 2020, but no new date has been given yet.

Ysgol Bro Hyddgen chairman of school governors, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, said: “We need to continue to put pressure on PCC to get things moving as quickly as possible.

“At the moment Ysgol Bro Hyddgen is split on two sites, one primary and one secondary, and a new building is needed to accommodate both campuses in order to be more cost effective and to make the schools work more easily.”

A spokesperson for PCC said: “The council is fully committed to completing these three projects. We are now preparing to start the tender process to appoint a contractor for the Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng and Ysgol Bro Hyddgen projects and anticipate to make appointments early this spring.

“Once a contractor has been appointed for both projects, we will be submitting new planning applications later in the spring.”

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