New primary school planned for Newtown

A new 300-pupil Welsh medium primary school will be built in Newtown under plans to transform education in the region. A new 300-pupil Welsh medium primary school will be built in Newtown under plans to transform education in the region. Powys County Council said today an area project board set up to review Welsh medium education in the area has recommended a new school is built in the town to meet the demand and a list of potential sites are being drawn up. Council chiefs will discuss the issue at a cabinet meeting in the coming months. The move comes as many schools in Powys face an uncertain future with many underpopulated primary schools facing the axe.

New primary school planned for Newtown

A new 300-pupil Welsh medium primary school will be built in Newtown under plans to transform education in the region.

Powys County Council said today an area project board set up to review Welsh medium education in the area has recommended a new school is built in the town to meet the demand and a list of potential sites are being drawn up.

Council chiefs will discuss the issue at a cabinet meeting in the coming months.

The move comes as many schools in Powys face an uncertain future with many underpopulated primary schools facing the axe.

Sixth form education in the county is also under review, with dwindling pupil numbers meaning learning establishments could close.

Councillor Stephen Hayes, cabinet member for school, said talks for the new Welsh language school were in early stages, but the plans are in motion.

He said: "I can confirm that an area project board established to help review Welsh medium primary school provision in the Severn Valley is recommending a new Welsh medium primary school for 300 pupils in Newtown.

"As part of that work the council is compiling a list of locations in the town large enough to accommodate the project.

"The work is at a very early stage and no decisions have been made on possible site.

"The area project board's recommendations will be considered by a future meeting of the cabinet."

Councillor Hayes said no details on the timescale or cost of the project had been decided on. The location of the proposed school is expected to cause debate in the town, with a number of potential sites understood to be on the list.

It is rumoured that possible locations include current primary school or high school land in the town, sports pitches, or the town hall gardens. The soon-to-close Focus site in Pool Road is also being considered, as well as Powys County Council-owned sites.

It is understood the school would just be for children from the Newtown school catchment area.

A Welsh medium school delivers Welsh language education to pupils. It is believed 25 per cent of children in Wales now receives their education in the language.

By Andrew Morris

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