PLANS to redevelop Machynlleth’s all-through school are set to be scrapped and revised after costs ballooned to more than £66m.

Powys County Council has been planning to provide a replacement building for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen since 2017.

An original £20m pound scheme that was outlined and approved fell on to the back burner following the collapse of the construction firm Dawnus in 2019.

The set-back however allowed Powys County Council to devise a more ambitious scheme, which was set to cost £48m.

Those plans, approved in 2020, would have seen the town’s library and a swimming pool on the school site, which would also provide education from four-years-old to 18.

But this week, Powys County Council has said that a review of the scheme, which has yet to get underway, had seen costs balloon to an estimated £66m, adding that “given the current economic climate, plans for the campus are no longer affordable.”

Bro Hyddgen plans
Costs for the new school building has risen sharply (Architype)

Revised and more affordable plans - which the council said “could include a space for a public library if required” - were set to be discussed by the council’s Learning and Skills Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, 28 September.

The council’s now preferred option is to build a new 540-place all-age school at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen’s secondary school site to replace the current primary and secondary school buildings.

The scheme would incorporate early years facilities, a community room, an additional learning needs centre, wellbeing areas as well as external areas and a 3G pitch.

The new preferred scheme does not include leisure facilities, with those “continuing to be provided from Bro Ddyfi Leisure Centre.”

“However, it is being recommended to Cabinet that the council seeks additional funding from alternative sources to support leisure centres across the county, including Bro Ddyfi Leisure Centre,” a report into the scheme added.

Cllr Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said: “We are committed to providing a new building for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen but the previous plans for a learning and campus are no longer affordable.

“We have carried out a cost review of the original learning and leisure campus, which has now reached an estimated £66m.

“This has meant that the proposed scheme is no longer affordable within the council’s Sustainable Communities for Learning (formerly the 21st Century Schools Programme) funding envelope.

“We believe that the preferred option will provide excellent education facilities for the next generation of learners.

“This option remains affordable within the current available funding envelope and protects the planned investment in other school sites elsewhere in the county.”

The new Strategic Outline Case and Outline Business Case to develop the new all-age school building for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen will be considered by Cabinet on Tuesday, 11 October.