TENBY - traditionally the heart of ‘Little England Beyond Wales’ – will see the opening of its first Welsh language medium primary school next year.

The new school, which can cater for up to 210 pupils between three and 11 from across the south of the county, is due to open in September 2016.

“This is a very exciting and historic opportunity for primary education in the town,” said Councillor Huw George, cabinet member for the Welsh language.

“It will strengthen and develop primary and Welsh medium provision in the area and - along with the new English medium school - will provide children in the area with the very best educational start in life.”

The new Welsh school, which will be housed in the current Tenby Junior School building in Heywood Lane, is the result of growing demand for Welsh medium education in the traditionally English speaking town.

The current Welsh unit in the town’s Infants School already has 71 pupils while numbers at the Junior School stand at 39.

Julie Jones, chair of the new school’s temporary governing body, said there had been a change in attitude?towards the?Welsh language in Tenby over the last few decades.

“Where once there was a handful of parents waiting to pick up their children from the Welsh units at the end of the school day, we are now in triple figures, waiting at five different class rooms across the infants and junior schools," she said.?

“The difference is tangible, and the demand for choice to be able to educate one's child fully in the Welsh language has been recognised by the county council."

The new school is part of a £8.37 million investment in primary education in Tenby by Pembrokeshire County Council. The cost of the project will be shared between the authority and the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools programme.