New Wrexham school cash bid a top priority

Reporter:

Matt Sims

A NEW Welsh language primary school will be the ‘top priority’ for Wrexham as the council prepares to submit a bid for Welsh Assembly money.

As part of the third tranche of transitional capital funding for schools, the local authority is set to put forward a bid for 70 per cent of funding towards the cost of building a new Welsh medium primary school and to refurbish existing primaries and a nursery in Caia Park.

The exact details of the bids will be decided by the council’s executive board at a meeting tomorrow.

Chief learning and achievement officer John Davies said a new Welsh language school remained the authority’s top priority. He said: “We are very, very keen to address the additional demand and anxious to put something permanent in place.”

The transitional funding has been handed out to authorities across Wales in three tranches – this being the last – and is set to be eventually replaced by the 21st Century Schools Programme.

The first tranche saw the authority receive 100 per cent of its bid to the Assembly to build a new school in Rhosymedre, and the second tranche, in which the council received 80 per cent, was enough to build a school in Llay, with the authority making up the rest.

This time councils can only bid for a maximum of 70 per cent of total costs, and must fund the remainder from its own resources.

Deputy council leader Bob Dutton criticised the amount of time the authority had been left with to get its bid together by the Assembly.

Paperwork was sent out by the Welsh Government on April 1, and must be returned completed by May 28 at the latest.

Cllr Dutton said: “I think we would be concerned about the pressure to put in a bid at this stage.

“We want to have the best educational provision but the requirement is very, very short.”

See full story in the Leader

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