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Llanelli’s Ysgol y Strade to get £4.4m expansion

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To mark St David’s Day, Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles has announced 11 new capital projects to support the growth of the Welsh language.

One of the projects includes £4.4m investment at Ysgol y Strade in Llanelli to deliver a dedicated ‘Welsh Language Immersion Centre’ and capacity for 228 additional Welsh-medium places, raising the school’s capacity to 1,500 places.

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Ysgol Caer Elen in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire will also see a £2.5 million project to fund an additional 60 Welsh-medium places for children in the long term.

The naming of the projects follows a bidding process which will now see them proceed to the next stage of the business case process and apply for funding from the Welsh-medium Capital Grant, totalling over £30 million, following the announcement of the funding last year.

The funding is aimed at increasing capacity in Welsh-medium schools, establishing new Welsh-medium provision and supporting early language immersion as well as helping learners of all ages improve their skills and confidence in Welsh.

The projects will be within nine local authority areas across Wales: Bridgend; Cardiff; Carmarthenshire; Ceredigion; Conwy; Flintshire; Gwynedd; Pembrokeshire; and Wrexham.

The plans include establishing new Welsh-medium primary schools, increasing capacity at existing Welsh-medium primary schools, establishing new Welsh Language Immersion Centres and extending existing Welsh Language immersion.

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An additional £1.2m will also be provided to the Urdd for the new financial year, to support the youth organisation to continue its activities, which have been disrupted by Covid-19.

The funding will support a network of Urdd development officers across Wales, as well as provide new support for Welsh-medium apprenticeships within Wales’ most deprived communities. The funding is in addition to the Welsh Government’s funding to provide free entry to the Eisteddfod in Denbighshire this summer.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “Widening opportunities to access Welsh-medium education is absolutely central to growing our language and using Welsh more in our day-to-day lives.

“This investment will help meet the demand for Welsh-medium education by increasing capacity in schools and supporting the increase in Welsh-language immersion. The investment will complement our plans to increase the number of Welsh-medium teachers and develop the Welsh language skills of staff in English-medium schools.

“Creating opportunities to use Welsh outside the classroom is also important, whether competitively in the arts or sports, or just visiting the Eisteddfod. I’m therefore pleased to support the Urdd next year with continuing its fantastic work in opening up a wide range of opportunities for young people.

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“All of these activities will help us achieve our goal of a million Welsh speakers and doubling the daily use of Welsh by 2050.”

(Lead image: Ysgol y Strade)

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