Significant funding agreed to maintain school buildings next year
Cabinet has approved a £5.808m programme of maintenance, general works and repairs across local schools next year – as well as details of additional school improvements using separate £4.052m Welsh Government funding.
Each year, the Council delivers important enhancements across its schools to ensure the buildings remain safe, watertight and warm – with much of this activity taking place during the school summer holiday. Funding of £5.808m was previously allocated by Full Council for next year’s capital programme.
An officer report to Cabinet on Monday, March 27, put forward a proposed Education and Inclusion Services Capital Programme for 2023/24, detailing how this £5.808m funding could be allocated. It also noted additional £4.052m capital funding from Welsh Government’s Capital Funding Grant, which can be used next year for priorities that are identified by each Local Authority.
Programmes for both funding avenues are now agreed by Cabinet for delivery in the financial year starting April 1, 2023. The full list of projects are included in Appendices to Monday’s Cabinet report, with a summary included below:
£5.808m Education and Inclusion Services Capital Works
Kitchen refurbishments (£280,000) will take place across six schools, with the larger schemes at Ysgol Ty Coch (Buarth y Capel site), St John Baptist Church in Wales High School (Aberdare) and Mountain Ash Comprehensive.
Window or door replacements (£110,000) will be completed at Maes-y-Coed Primary School, Ton Junior School and Parc Primary School.
Essential works (£420,000) are required at the Alternative Education Centre in Pontypridd, Maes-y-coed Primary, Penderyn Primary, Parc Primary, Ysgol Garth Olwg, Gwauncelyn Primary, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Abercynon and Glenboi Primary. The works range from retaining wall repairs to drainage work, canopy replacements, hall refurbishment, and external masonry repairs.
Toilet refurbishments (£250,000) will be undertaken at five local schools – Gelli Primary, Maes-y-coed Primary, Ton Pentre Infant School, Ton Pentre Junior School and St Margaret’s Roman Catholic Primary School.
Boiler replacements (£412,000) will be completed at four local schools – Cwmlai Primary, Caradog Primary, Hafod Primary and Bryncelynnog Comprehensive, along with emergency works required at various schools.
Roof renewal works (£844,000) are required at Miskin Primary (phase 2 works), Hafod Primary, Ton Infant School, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Evan James (phase 2 works), Cwmlai Primary and Ffynnon Taf Primary.
Universal Free School Meals works (£1.824m) will include refurbishment or relocation of kitchens to support the universal roll-out of the provision. Work will take place at Gwauncelyn Primary, Llanhari Primary, YGG Evan James, Parc Primary, Aberdare Park Primary, Pengeulan Primary, Cwmdâr Primary, Penrhiwceiber Primary, Trehopcyn Primary and Maes-y-Coed Primary.
Other categories within the capital programme include classroom upgrades at Penrhys Primary, fire alarm upgrades, electric rewiring, Equalities Act/Compliance works and IT hardware/software and licences.
£4.052m Welsh Government Capital Funding Grant
Maesgwyn Special School (£1.5m) will benefit from a new extension built on the current school site, to cater for its significant growth in pupil numbers.
Hawthorn High and Hawthorn Primary schools (£900,000) will both be remodelled and refurbished to complement the Welsh Government Band B investment creating a new 3-16 ‘all-through’ school for Hawthorn.
Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic Comprehensive School (£300,000) will receive improved facilities and learning environments.
Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Ynyswen (£150,000) will receive a Multi-Use Games Area, and outdoor space which will be available for community use.
Ferndale Community School (£250,000) and Ysgol Gynradd Gymunedol Gymraeg Llantrisant (£150,000) will have roof replacements (phase 2).
Coed-y-Lan Primary School (£100,000) will receive improved facilities.
Brynnau Primary School (£50,000) will have remedial works to its roof.
Learner Travel Route improvements (£500,000) will be delivered to local highway and pedestrian routes, supporting our new and existing schools.
Energy efficiency and carbon reduction initiatives (£152,000) will be delivered across various school sites.
The Cabinet has now agreed the details of the Council’s capital works programme for local schools in 2023/24, as well as the extra Capital Funding Grant from Welsh Government. Combining these funding avenues, our schools will benefit from almost £10m in improvements next year.
“Much of the capital programme will take advantage of the summer holiday to deliver the improvements with no disruption to pupils’ learning. Works focus on ensuring our school environments are safe and fit-for-purpose, ranging from renewing windows, doors, fire alarms, boilers and toilets. It complements the wider Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme, which will invest £75.6m in schools across Greater Pontypridd in the coming years, as well as new primary buildings in Ferndale, Pontyclun, Church Village and Llantrisant.
“The Welsh Government Capital Funding Grant will also target a wide variety of local schemes. Notable investments include a new extension for Maesgwyn Special School in response to its growing capacity; refurbishment and remodelling at Hawthorn High and Hawthorn Primary schools to complement the community’s new 3-16 school being delivered in 2024; and a new MUGA and community outdoor space at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Ynyswen.
“The combined investment of almost £10m is now agreed by Cabinet and will continue our track record of making significant enhancements to the quality of our school premises each year. This funding will help our schools deliver the Curriculum for Wales and represents a key part of our School Modernisation Programme. The work will also utilise local supply chains and construction industries where at all possible, to support community-based businesses.”