A Member of the Senedd has received assurances that plans for a new primary school in Brymbo remain ongoing.

Clwyd South MS Ken Skates wrote to Education Minister Jeremy Miles to ask whether enforced cuts to capital spending in Wales – due to the ‘perilous’ state of the UK economy – would impact the multi-million-pound project.

Mr Skates raised his concerns after Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said the Welsh Government had to address ‘the impact of our budget being worth around £900m less than when it was set in 2021’.

In a letter to him this week, the Education Minister said formal consultation on the proposal is now under way but that Wrexham Council had not yet submitted a business case for the project, which is part of the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning programme.

The Minister said: “This means that the proposal is at too early a stage to have been affected by the reduction in this year’s programme. My officials will continue to work with education representatives at Wrexham County Borough Council to ensure the successful delivery of their Sustainable Communities for Learning programme.”

Mr Skates said: “The combined impact of high inflation, more than a decade of austerity and Brexit have left the UK’s finances in a perilous state. When you then add the UK Government’s economic mismanagement, including their disastrous ‘mini-budget’, to that triple whammy it’s no wonder the Welsh Government’s budget is under unprecedented pressure.

“I’m grateful to the Education Minister for his swift response and reassurance about the Brymbo project, and I hope Wrexham Council will soon be in a position to submit its business case.”


In his response, the Minister said: “The £40m reduction in this year’s programme should be taken in the context of the £300m per annum budget made available to the programme. This represents an increase of nearly 33% when compared to the 2021/22 baseline programme budget.

“A key attribute of the Programme is its shared approach towards investment in new schools. In light of the £40m in-year budget reduction, we will be discussing with all local authorities and further education institutions potential opportunities to temporarily amend project funding intervention rates in order to ensure that the in-year reduction of capital funding does not impact adversely on the continued delivery of pipeline projects.

“Large, complex infrastructure investment programmes like the SCfL Programme sometimes experience some in-year slippage. Where we would typically seek to bring forward other programme priorities to absorb any in-year budget availability due to project slippage, we will instead utilise this against the £40m reduction.”