The Welsh Government will invest almost £12 million in a new school for Bontnewydd.
Gwynedd Council has welcomed Welsh Government's announcement of nearly £12 million investment to build a brand-new school at Bontnewydd, together with first class community facilities.
Welsh Government, via its Sustainable Schools Challenge competition, will provide all the funding for building the new school which will be larger, making the learning environment more comfortable for pupils and staff. Community facilities such as a hall, office space and car charging points will also be part of the project.
Environmentally friendly in its design, the school will have active travel links, enabling most pupils to either walk or cycle to their classes safely and will also be connected to Lôn Eifion. The building will make use of renewable and sustainable energy, with exciting work planned to reuse as much as possible of the school's original materials, reducing the carbon life cycle of the new building.
Cllr Beca Brown, education cabinet member, said: "This is great news and I congratulate everyone involved in drawing up the application. This is one of only three schools in the whole of Wales and the only one in the north to win this investment. It is a matter of pride that Welsh Government has chosen Ysgol Bontnewydd from all the applications received from all over the country.
"I am eagerly looking forward to seeing the work begin and to see local children benefiting educationally and socially from the school, which will provide educational and community facilities that are both accessible and green.
"I'm also looking forward to hearing the input of the children and the community throughout the process of establishing the new school. Ysgol Bontnewydd pupils will have the opportunity to be part of the design process and there will be exciting opportunities for them to learn about construction work, architecture, and sustainability.
"Since the opening of the new bypass, more families are expected to move to the village to live, so ensuring plenty of space for the possible growth in numbers of children at the school is a crucial part of the plan."
Garem Jackson, head of the council's education department, added: "The school and its new resources will enable the staff to deliver the highest quality education to the children as well as meeting the needs of the New Curriculum for Wales.
"Ysgol Bontnewydd's new building will be integrated with the local environment, celebrating its connection with nature and the environment, making the most of natural materials and local industrial history."
Cllr Menna Jones, local councillor for Bontnewydd and chair of the community centre committee, which will be part of this new development, said: "I'm sure I speak for the local people when I express my joy hearing the news that we will be having a new and modern school and community resources. Speaking as a parent of a child attending Ysgol Bontnewydd, this is very special news.
"Ysgol Bontnewydd and the centre have been at the heart of the community for generations but, like everything else, they have worn with time. With this investment families in the area can look forward to enjoying a modern school and community resources for generations to come.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Cyngor Gwynedd officers for putting forward a strong and inspiring application and to the Welsh Government for supporting it. I'm looking forward to working with the children and the wider local community to develop these fantastic plans."
Welsh Government’s minister for education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said: “Schools are much more than bricks and mortar. Well-designed buildings can play their part in tackling the climate emergency, supporting staff and learners with education, as well as delivering high standards and aspirations for all.
“These three projects are extremely exciting as well as a blueprint for our future school developments. They offer an opportunity to learn about sustainability, but also for learners to have an opportunity to be involved with the design and delivery of these buildings, to shape the environment they will learn with and to understand how decisions taken today have an impact on their future.
“Learning about sustainability is mandatory within our new curriculum for Wales. The three projects present a great opportunity to inspire learners and realise the Curriculum’s aim to develop ethical, informed citizens.”
Further planning and discussions will be carried out with the school and the residents of Bontnewydd, and it is hoped that the new school will open in 2026.