Work starts on new home for Ysgol Treferthyr, Cricieth

Date: 08/03/2023

A ceremonial turf cutting event was held in Cricieth recently to celebrate the start of construction work on the new Ysgol Treferthyr site.

The ground was cut by Councillor Beca Brown (Cyngor Gwynedd Cabinet Member for Education) and a group of learners from Ysgol Treferthyr. They were joined by the Head and Deputy Head of Ysgol Treferthyr, Chair of Governors for Ysgol Treferthyr, Councillor Elwyn Jones (Chair of Cyngor Gwynedd), officers from the Council’s Education and Housing and Property Departments, the Chair of Cricieth Town Council and Wynne Construction team.

The exciting £8m project, funded by the Welsh Government through the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme and Cyngor Gwynedd, will offer 150 spaces as well as an Early Years Unit and an Additional Learning Assessment Unit.

The new Ysgol Treferthyr, located around 500m west of the current school site, will be delivered by Wynne Construction.

Councillor Beca Brown, Cyngor Gwynedd’s Cabinet Member for Education, said:

“I’m delighted to see work start on the new school which, when finished, will provide modern facilities for the Children of Cricieth and allow them to reach their full potential.

“The new school will feature six classrooms with external access, a hall, kitchen and a multipurpose room. The outside area will have a hard surface space for play, a multi-use games area and a grass playing field.

“Although the old school has been a much-loved feature of the town, I’m confident that the learners, their families and the teaching staff will be excited by the prospect of the new school.”

Karena Owens, Head of Ysgol Treferthyr said:

“School staff were active in the design process of the new building from the very beginning and although the project had to overcome several obstacles over the past few years, it’s great to see that the construction stage of the new building has started.

"Everyone at Ysgol Treferthyr is excited and looking forward to moving to the new site in September 2024. The amazing building will certainly be an excellent resource and a great educational asset for the learners, staff, Governors and the community for the future."

Andy Lea, project manager , Wynne Construction, added:

“We are really pleased to be working, once again, with Gwynedd Council on this prestigious new school for the staff and pupils of Cricieth. As always, throughout the construction process, we will look to leave a lasting legacy, by creating job and training opportunities, working with our local supply chain and engaging with the community and key stakeholders.

“Providing a modern 21st century school facility where young children can learn and develop in an inspirational environment is paramount and reinforces our commitment to delivering a legacy for Gwynedd as a whole. We look forward to getting the project underway."

In 2021 a planning application was submitted to the Council’s Planning Service following Welsh Government approval of the funding and permission by the Council’s Cabinet to build the new Ysgol Treferthyr.

However, due to a combination of reasons the timetable for construction has slipped somewhat from that originally planned. An archaeological inspection of the site was required as well as further work in collaboration with the Council’s Highways and Municipal Department on plans for safe routes to the new school.

Planning permission was granted in September 2022 following the completion of this extra work.

Another factor which contributed to the slippage in the timetable was the fact that there was a steady and substantial increase in the cost of material, energy etc in the building sector during this period, which meant that the original budget of around £5m for the project was no longer sufficient.

Therefore, following the planning approval an application was made to increase the funding to just over £8m which was approved by both the Council’s Cabinet and the Welsh Government. In addition to this the Council has also secured extra funding through various other Welsh Government grants to include an Early Years Unit and an Additional Learning Assessment Unit in the new Ysgol Treferthyr.

The aim is to complete the work by September of 2024.