Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

109m due for education buildings

Jane Hutt with pupils and head teacher at a primary school
Jane Hutt sees new toilet facilities at Ysgol Gymraeg Evan James, Pontypridd, with pupils and head Moira Greaney. Photo: Roger Donovan/MediaPhotos

Nearly £109m is to be spent on building work at 40 schools and colleges in Wales over the next three years.

Education Minister Jane Hutt said the plans included 12 new schools and 10 "significant refurbishment schemes".

Ms Hutt said the money would allow facilities "more akin to the needs of the 21st Century learner" to replace "sub-standard accommodation".

But the Lib Dem education spokeswoman Jenny Randerson warned "our children's education is facing a savage cut".

Eight further education colleges will also receive funding for "significant improvements to their estate", including a new campus for Coleg Morgannwg in Nantgarw, near Pontypridd.

There will also be extra funding for the energy and fabrication centre at Coleg Menai in Bangor.

Coleg Morgannwg, Nantgarw - new build £20m
Pembrokeshire College - new build and engineering refurbishment £3.6m
Coleg Menai, Bangor - new build, energy and fabrication centre £3.89m
Neath Port Talbot College, Llandarcy - new sports science academy, £5.6m
Ystrad Mynach College - block replacement and courtyard redevelopment, £7.17m
Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Dolgellau - heating upgrade and refurbishment, £302,000
Coleg Llandrillo - new institute of health and refurbishment of student welfare facilities, £3.59m
Bridgend College - new library and multi-use theatre, £8.23m
First tranche funding for further education colleges

Ms Hutt said the money would benefit "the whole range of education provision from early years/flying start, through to primary and secondary and SEN (special educational needs) provision, whilst ensuring that we have excellent post-16 education for all our learners".

"This targeted investment will enable local authorities and colleges to replace sub-standard accommodation and to provide facilities more akin to the needs of the 21st century learner," she added.

Details of £78.7m school building spending for the next three years include more than £9.3m for refurbishments at six primary schools in Cardiff, and £13.5m for schools in Carmarthenshire.

Other spending proposals include £2.5m for a new primary school at Ynysowen, Merthyr Tydfil, £5m for redeveloping Cowbridge Comprehensive in the Vale of Glamorgan and £2.1m for a new primary school at Rogiet, Monmouthshire.

But Ms Randerson said the figures provided indicated investment was being reduced sharply by the assembly government.

She said: "I believe that although the (assembly) government claim this is just the first tranche of funding, we won't see much more this year.

"Last year, schools capital funding was £168m.

"It is clear that this year our children's education is facing a savage cut in funding."


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