PLANS for a long-awaited £49 million new school building in Machynlleth could be formally submitted to Powys County Council as soon as September.
In response to a question by Plaid Cymru group leader and chairman of the Bro Hyddgen school governors, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan – education chiefs have said that the project is making “good progress.”
Cllr Vaughan asked: “With this important plan to have a new school in Machynlleth having been in the pipeline for years, when will the planning application be submitted to the planning authority so that the scheme can be seen to be moving forward with urgency?”
Cabinet member for education, Liberal Democrat Cllr Pete Roberts said: “The Ysgol Bro Hyddgen re-build project is making good progress, with the completion of the concept design stage.
“The team will now proceed with the next stage of design, with the intention of submitting the scheme for planning permission in the autumn term.
“Once the next design stage is completed, a tender exercise will be undertaken to procure a contractor to complete the project.”
The proposal for the new school campus was first mooted back in 2017 and has been dogged by problems.
The original Bro Hyddgen project had fallen foul of the collapse of construction firm Dawnus in 2019 which led to the revised and bigger proposals.
In October last year, the Liberal Democrat/Labour Cabinet chose to downsize the proposal for the new Machynlleth school campus.
The new campus had been set to include library and leisure facilities which had been estimated to cost £48m in 2020.
But by October 2022 the cost had shot up to £66m.
Dropping the leisure centre from the project will see the costs fall back to £49.12m with 65 per cent of the funding coming from the Welsh Government.
The revised business case was agreed by the Welsh Government in January.
As part of the new decision councillors agreed to ask residents what they want to do about the library,
A “public engagement exercise” took place in February asking the people of Machynlleth and the wider Dyfi Valley for their views on a proposal to relocate the library into the new school once it’s built.
The consultation results saw 89.5 per cent of those who took part, disagree, or strongly disagree that the library should be moved from its current location on Heol Maengwyn – to the new all-through school building.
It is hoped that the school will be open to pupils in 2026.