Coleg y Cymoedd has taken another big step in its multi-million investment programme to transform further education provision in the Valleys.
The college has submitted an outline planning application to Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council to build a new £20 million campus in the heart of Aberdare town centre to replace its facility at Cwmdare.
It intends to regenerate the 2.7 acre site close to the railway station to create the state-of-the-art centre serving around 1,000 learners and incorporating industry-standard facilities for courses including: information technology, science, health & social care, brickwork, electrical, carpentry, plumbing, sport, and hair and beauty.
In addition the plans will provide a range of social and leisure facilities for the local community and restore the town’s old railway station building, turning it into a bistro café for students, staff and the public.
The proposed new campus, will also incorporate sustainable building materials, energy saving technology, solar panels and biomass boiler heating systems.
Additionally, the proposed site’s proximity to Aberdare railway station and town centre will provide students and staff with significantly improved access to public transport and commuter links from outlying areas.
The submitted application details Coleg y Cymoedd’s intention to acquire and develop two adjoining plots of disused council-owned land, located off Wellington Road, for the project.
The planned development is the latest stage in the college’s ambitious programme to change the face of further education in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly county boroughs, giving learners access to learning facilities fit for the 21st century.
This has already included a £9m investment to modernize the college’s Ystrad Mynach campus and the creation of a £40m new campus at Nantgarw, which opened in September 2012.
Coleg y Cymoedd’s plans for a new Aberdare campus were first announced at a public consultation this September and the college will continue to work with local officials and stakeholder groups to develop a facility that will transform post-16 education in the Cynon valley.
Judith Evans, principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “We are committed to providing excellence in education and skills development and to delivering real opportunities for our learners and the communities we serve. We constantly strive to break new ground because it is essential our students can access the very best facilities and equipment so that they have the best opportunity to gain employment or to study at higher levels.
“Our intention is to provide students and the wider Aberdare community with facilities they can be proud of, that also allow them to achieve their individual career and life goals. We have already seen the positive impact created by our Ystrad Mynach and Nantgarw investments. Now it is Aberdare’s turn.”