21 September 2022
Revised plans to construct a replacement building for a north Powys all-through school are to be considered by Cabinet, the county council has announced.
Powys County Council has been planning to provide a replacement building for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, an all-through school in Machynlleth, since 2017.
In November 2020, the council’s combined Strategic Outline Case and Outline Business Case for the learning and leisure campus, which was estimated to cost £48m, was approved by Welsh Government and this allowed the council to progress to the Full Business Case stage of the project.
However, given the current economic climate, plans for the campus are no longer affordable.
The council’s preferred option now is to build a new 540-place all-age school at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen’s secondary school site to replace the current primary and secondary school buildings.
It has prepared a new Strategic Outline Case/Outline Business Case to develop a new all-age school building for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, which will be considered by Cabinet on Tuesday, October 11.
The preferred option incorporates early years facilities, a community room, an additional learning needs centre, wellbeing areas as well as external areas and a 3G pitch.
The design could also include a space for a public library if required. This would be subject to public engagement.
The building will have excellent environmental credentials and will be the council’s first all-through Passivhaus building, with the aim of achieving Net Zero in operation and with a target of <800kg/CO2m2 of embodied carbon.
The preferred option does not include leisure facilities, which will continue to be provided from Bro Ddyfi Leisure Centre. However, it is being recommended to Cabinet that the council seeks additional funding from alternative sources to support leisure centres across the county, including Bro Ddyfi Leisure Centre.
Cllr Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said: “We are committed to providing a new building for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen but the previous plans for a learning and campus are no longer affordable.
“We have carried out a cost review of the original learning and leisure campus, which has now reached an estimated £66m. This has meant that the proposed scheme is no longer affordable within the council’s Sustainable Communities for Learning (formerly the 21st Century Schools Programme) funding envelop.
“We believe that the preferred option will provide excellent education facilities for the next generation of learners. This option remains affordable within the current available funding envelope and protects the planned investment in other school sites elsewhere in the county.”
The council’s Learning and Skills Scrutiny Committee will be considering the Ysgol Bro Hyddgen Capital Project report on Wednesday, 28 September.