Shock at closure of historic college site

By Alex Jones in Education

HARLECH was rocked this week by the announcement the town’s historic college building is to close, leaving uncertainty for dozens of students and staff.

Coleg Harlech’s Wern Fawr site, which has been open for 90 years, will cease to provide education for adult learners from September.

The future of the stunning grade-II listed building is now uncertain.

In 2013 Coleg Harlech had to sell off 350 pieces of art in an attempt to relieve some of its £900,000 debt and a feasibility study into the future of the college took place in 2015.

Despite those warning signs, the announcement came as a shock to the whole town as even the community council, which met on Monday night, had not been informed of the imminent closure.

Talks with Coleg Harlech staff are to take place this week, with dozens of students and staff set to be affected by the changes.

Gwynedd councillor Caerwyn Roberts admitted he was “very disappointed” by the news.

“We’re all very disappointed. It mentions services will be ‘relocated’ but I hope that those doing the relocating realise that Meirionnydd is amongst the poorest areas in the UK,” he said.

“Relocating to Bangor or Caernarfon does nothing for us. Losing jobs from the area is the last thing we need. I’m hoping they give that notion due consideration.”

Dwyfor Meirionnydd’s AM Dafydd Elis-Thomas hopes the Welsh Government will fund a feasibility study into future use of the site.

See this week’s north editions for the full story, in shops and online now

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Heather Hughes (Evans) · 105 days ago · Report

So very sad at the closure. Coleg Harlech provided me with the second chance to gain the education I so needed. The incredible dedication and consistent support of the teaching staff helped change my life as it did for so many other people. I also made some life-long friends there. A unique institution.

Danny (ex-Harlech stude) · 133 days ago · Report

No great surprise but this is an absolute shame. Blame the inept WEA - the best argument for euthenasia there is.

Lee Stewart · 161 days ago · Report

This is a massive shame. I studied there in 2009/10 and I could not thank the college enough for what it has done for me in terms of my education and future. You simply cannot put a price on how successful the college has been for many students like me, who wanted that second chance to get to university. I think the Workers’ Educational Association could've done a lot more but as with everything these days, it costs money.

Malc-B · 163 days ago · Report

Incredibly sad - Coleg Harlech provided a lifeline for many, myself included. Changed the lives of thousands of working class people failed by the 11 plus.

Denzil · 164 days ago · Report

Sad but not unexpected changed my life met my wife there

David Lloyd · 164 days ago · Report

Very sad ---studied there in the 1970s It was a very rich , life changing experience -

Rosie Murrell · 167 days ago · Report

Terribly sad news. This college and its tutors gave so much to so many, not least to myself and the friends I made there. None of us came away unchanged from two years of friendship & learning, the broadening of our views, the possibility of pursuing careers or dreams. The tutors were just simply the best one could have asked for. I hope the buildings and library will be saved for the future, and still 'live' in some capacity for the benefit of locals and visitors alike.

Dick Jones · 168 days ago · Report

Well, Coleg Harlech has served some people well for man years. Now, local people who want to enjoy higher learning, they go to universities or follow the Open University. It is a sign of the times.

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