Mid Wales

Ystradgynlais £36m schools plan given final approval

Plans to close 10 Powys primary schools and build four new replacements at a cost of £36m have been given final approval by the Welsh Government.

Powys council said it had received approval to shut the schools in and around Ystradgynlais.

The proposals include a new Welsh-medium school, but there have been objections to its location, with an action group claiming it is too small.

The council has said it is large enough to accommodate the pupils.

Stephen Hayes, the Powys cabinet member for learning and leisure, said: "The long-awaited decision paves the way for work to start on building four new schools in the catchment area and will trigger massive investment in education.

"The four new schools will provide a terrific boost to educational facilities for all pupils in the area and provide buildings fit for the 21st Century.

"Work will start later this summer with three English medium schools scheduled to open in September 2012 and the Welsh medium school scheduled to open no earlier than January 2013."

But the action group Say No to Bryn Deri said it was disappointed with the Welsh Government's decision.

A new school at Bryn Deri in Ystradgynlais is earmarked to replace Ysgol Ynyscedwyn and Ysgol Cwmtwrch.

The group argues that Bryn Deri will be the largest of the four new schools, but it will be on the smallest site.

It handed a petition with more than 1,800 signatures to the Welsh assembly in February.

Spokesman Geraint Evans said: "We're very disappointed with the decision. We're working through the decision (document) at the moment and will take it from there."

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