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Company Chosen to Build Cardiff West Community High School

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Another major milestone has been reached to bring the brand new high school to the west of Cardiff.

Following a tender process, the City of Cardiff Council has announced Willmott Dixon as the contractor to build the new home for Cardiff West Community High School.

Under the leadership of head teacher Mr Martin Hulland, Cardiff West Community High School will open this September at its temporary home on the Michaelston Glyn Derw Federation site in Ely, before moving to its new, purpose-built home on the old Glyn Derw school site in Caerau the following school year.

Welcoming the latest announcement, Mr Hulland said:

“The work to bring the brand new school to the west of Cardiff is really gathering pace and this latest announcement brings Cardiff West Community High School’s new home a step closer.

“Since taking up my role as head teacher last summer I have met a lot of parents and pupils, as well as members of the wider community living in Caerau and Ely. For them this school cannot come soon enough, and announcing Willmott Dixon as the company that will build the new school is another clear signal that Cardiff West Community High School is coming.

“Before moving to our new site next to Trelai Park for the 2018/19 school year, the hard work continues to get Cardiff West Community High School ready to open at its temporary home on the current Michaelston Glyn Derw Federation site in September.

“The preparations are going well, with staff recruitment progressing quickly. The school’s name has been chosen and in a few weeks we’ll be unveiling the school’s new badge – after everyone in the area has been given the chance to have their say.

“The excitement is building all the time and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with everyone in Caerau and Ely as we approach the opening of Cardiff West Community High School in September.”

The new school is being jointly funded by the City Council and Welsh Government, as part of Cardiff’s £164m 21st Century Schools programme.

Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said:

“Through our 21st Century Schools Programme we are investing over £164m with the Welsh Government in our schools. As part of that programme the Cardiff West Community High School project represents a £30m investment in secondary education for the west of Cardiff, bringing a state-of-the art school to the area.

“Delivering better education and skills for all is one of the four stated priorities for the council and I am delighted that this project has reached another important milestone. The new facilities that Willmott Dixon will build will help ensure Mr Hulland and his team have the best possible facilities in which to provide the standard of education the children and young people of west Cardiff deserve.

“There should be a close relationship between schools and the communities they serve. Our 21st Century Schools Programme continues to deliver schools like Cardiff West, schools that are not only in the community, but part of the community, providing facilities that can benefit those living in the wider area.”

Cardiff West Community High School is also earmarked to become a ‘pathfinder school’, promoting links forged under a ‘Creative Education Partnership’ – a ground-breaking plan that will see some of the biggest names in Cardiff’s creative sector joining forces with the local authority to promote creativity at the heart of learning.

The partnership will offer the school’s children and young people exciting work experience placements on how to make the most of opportunities in the creative and cultural sector – this could include film, television, digital design, theatre and more.

The ‘Founding Partners’ are Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales; BBC Wales; Cardiff Council; Cardiff and Vale College; Cardiff Metropolitan University, Creative & Cultural Skills; University of South Wales; Wales Millennium Centre; Welsh National Opera.

Cllr Merry added:

“This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen education through putting creativity at the heart of learning and unlocking opportunities in Cardiff’s successful creative economy.

“It is essential that we help the city’s young people to put themselves in the strongest possible position to benefit from Cardiff’s growing economy. I want to make sure that that no one is left behind and that a child’s social background is not a determining factor in deciding whether or not they can build a successful career for themselves.”

Neal Stephens, Managing Director for Willmott Dixon, Wales and the West, said:

“We are looking forward to beginning construction of this fantastic new school. Willmott Dixon are proud to be at the forefront of providing new leisure and education facilities for the people of Cardiff. Our construction will encourage local spend, whilst providing training and employment opportunities, to leave a lasting legacy for the school’s community.”