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£29m Cefn Saeson Comprehensive rebuild gets official opening

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Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, Cllr Peter Rees, has officially opened the £29m Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School in Cimla, Neath.

Also at the official opening of the school (Friday, March 18th 2022) were Welsh Government Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS, Neath Port Talbot Council Leader Cllr Ted Latham and Deputy Leader Cllr Leanne Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council Chief Executive Karen Jones and Director of Education and Lifelong Learning Andrew Thomas and the Mayor of Neath Port Talbot, Cllr John Warman.

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Completed ahead of schedule by contractors Morgan Sindall last year, the new Cefn Saeson Comprehensive is part of the council’s growing portfolio of modern schools acquired as part of the Welsh Government led Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme.

The new school and sports facilities now stand on the site of the dated former Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School which was demolished to make way for its modern replacement.

More than 800 pupils started lessons at the 97,000 sq ft building last June. The new school has 48 state-of-the art classrooms comprising creative workplaces, art facilities and a bespoke learning support centre for pupils with additional learning needs.

Neath Port Talbot Council commissioned the project as part of its Strategic School Improvement Programme (SSIP) and it was procured through the South West Wales Regional Contractors’ Framework.

Building of the school was 65% funded by Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme which aims to give young people the best and most up to date education facilities possible. The council paid the remaining 35%.

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Interior of the new Cefn Saeson school (Image: NPT Council)

Cefn Saeson Comprehensive now boasts impressive sports facilities with four MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) courts an activity studio and a 3G pitch. Importantly it will include adaptable ICT facilities with integrated mobile technology which will help equip pupils with vital digital skills.

The new Cefn Saeson school (Image: NPT Council)

Officially opening the school, Cllr Rees said: “The new Cefn Saeson replacement building is now one of our many modern schools aimed at ensuring our pupils are taught in up-to-date, high quality, airy buildings.

“Our school building programme ensures places are available to serve local pupil demand, to reduce surplus capacity and to promote sustainability. Of course it also means our young people get the best possible start in life when it comes to education and I’m delighted to formally open Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School today.”

Neath Port Talbot Council Leader, Cllr Ted Latham, added: “We are extremely grateful to our colleagues in Welsh Government as together we are improving education in Neath Port Talbot for generations to come with a growing stable of modern schools fit for the 21st Century.”

The total spend to date (Bands A and B) under the 21st Century Schools programme in modernising Neath Port Talbot’s school estate has now reached £169m – a massive investment in Neath Port Talbot’s next generations and the biggest of any council in Wales outside Cardiff.

(Lead image: NPT Council)

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