A £8.37m investment into Tenby’s primary school shake-up has been given the thumbs up by the Welsh Government.
Education chiefs at Pembrokeshire County Council are celebrating at the approval of the proposals, which will result in two new schools in the town‘s Heywood Lane.
The current junior school would become a new Welsh medium Community Primary School, with a new English medium Voluntary Controlled primary school built on an adjoining site.
The existing Tenby Inftants School would be demolished, and the land used to create a grassed sports pitch.
The total cost of the new developments will be shared between the county council and the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools programme.
“This is amazing news for Tenby,” said Councillor Ken Rowlands, cabinet member for children and schools.
“These two new schools will provide children in the area with the very best educational start in life.
“It also demonstates the investment which the county council is determined to continue to make into the education and future of our young people.”
The proposals were approved by Welsh Government education minister, Huw Lewis, following consultation with parents, staff and governors of the two existing schools and the publication of a statutory notice.
Five objections were raised, which the minister was satisfied had been dealt with ‘satisfactorily’ by the local authority.
Planning permission will be sought from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority for the new-build English medium school, which will have capacity for 318 pupils.
Fronted by a car park and drop-off area, it will feature a two-classroom unit for children with special educational needs, a 30-place nursery classroom and 15 places in a mixed nursery/reception classroom. There will also be provision for an early years’ playgroup.
Plans which went on view in Tenby last October showed each classroom with its own wet play and IT area, together with interactive whiteboards.
It will be the first school to be build in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to meet the BREEAM standards for sustainable buildings.
The Welsh medium school will have room for 210 pupils, and it will also have a 30-place nursery classroom.
Both schools are due to open at the start of September 2016 and pupils attending the current infants or junior school will - subject to parental preference - transfer to either of the new schools. The catchment area will remain the same.