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£19m New School Secures Future of Welsh Medium Education


Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur, the £19m new Welsh medium secondary school in Sandfields, Port Talbot, has been officially opened by the Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Rob Jones.

The new school, built over 68 weeks by contractors Bouygues UK, forms the southern campus of Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera Bro Dur and secures the future of Welsh medium education in the county borough.

The project was jointly funded by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Strategic School Improvement Programme and the Welsh Government, as part of its 21st Century Schools initiative.

The school will eventually accommodate up to 650 pupils aged 11 to 16. The new facility has been built on the site of the former Sandfields Comprehensive and Traethmelyn Primary schools.

It boasts digital age teaching and support resources with sports facilities and pitches which can benefit the wider community, together with features including underfloor heating and biometric (fingerprint) technology.

Cllr Jones said at the official opening earlier this month “This new school represents our commitment to ensuring our children have the best and most modern education they can possibly have and it also represents our commitment to the Welsh language.”

Cllr Peter Rees, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture added:

“Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur underlines another key landmark in Neath Port Talbot Council’s ambitious plan for creating the best environment for teaching and learning. It will help us continue to improve standards, making sure the right schools are in the right place, and that they are fit for 21st Century learners.

“This new Welsh medium campus together with the completed redevelopment of the existing Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera site in the north will form a key part of the Council’s plans to strengthen the provision of Welsh medium education across the county borough”.

Aled Davies, a former pupil of YGG Tyle’r Ynn (Briton Ferry) and Year 7 pupil of the new Welsh medium campus came up with the new school name during a competition. Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur roughly translates as ‘steel community’ school.

Since Neath Port Talbot Council pledged to modernise educational provision across its schools a decade ago, more than £123m has been ploughed into modernising the Council’s educational estate – a massive investment in the County Borough’s next generations and the biggest of any Council in Wales outside of Cardiff.

The Council’s Strategic School Improvement Programme is gathering pace and 2018 has seen four school projects completed: the second phase of Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera Bro Dur (£3.5m), Ysgol Cwm Brombil (£30m), Ysgol Bro Dur (£19m) and Ysgol Carreg Hir (£7m).

The Council is now developing its next phase of schemes for its Strategic School Improvement Programme with the Welsh Government and has indicated approval ‘in principle’ for capital grant support for projects including Cefn Saeson Comprehensive (ca.£29m) Ysgol Newydd (Cwmtawe) (ca.£14m) Ysgol Newydd Coed Darcy (ca.£9m) and Abbey Primary School (ca.£9m).